Cat no. 202

Wise and Otherwise

Running time33:39 Black & White Sound 1947 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

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The "Wright" and "Rong" way to road safety.


EducationalHealth and MedicinePublic Information Film

This film features two families, the 'Wrights' and the 'Rongs'. They are introduced by Donald Beves and Diana Crutchley. In this scene, Donald Beves picks up his paper to read that there are 500 people killed on the roads every month. The paper goes on to say that most accidents are caused by carelessness. The film moves to a morning scene in the Wright and Rong households. The Wrights are presented as being perfectly pristine with a clean house and neat front garden. The Rongs are portrayed as being very sloppy. They are all smoking; they are late up; Rong Junior has a hangover; ties are askew; top buttons not fastened; they have a dirty bathroom sink, a broken gate and they have overslept. It is the Rongs who have all the accidents. Breakfast is burned; the window closes on Rong Junior's head; Miss Rong Junior trips over a stray shoe and tumbles downstairs; the teapot is left on the edge of the table and scolds her arm and Mr. Rong sits on his cup of tea. There are no mishaps in the Wright household. Wright Junior is reading a comic called 'Traffic Light In Silly Billy Land'. A paper to keep young people safe. Every ten year old's favourite read! Miss Rong Senior, on the other hand is daydreaming and nearly misses the bus.

The next sequence shows various members of the families travelling to work and to school, contrasting the behaviour of the two. Mr. Rong fills the garage with fumes starting his post-war Standard. Mr. Wright leaves smoothly in his pre-war Morris 8. Mr. Rong has several 'near misses' on his way to work, parks on a 'no Waiting' sign and jumps a red light. The son cycles as the father drives. Carelessly. On arriving to work he lights up under a sign saying Danger: No smoking. Wright Junior and Miss Rong Senior arrive at school, although not until Miss Rong has been 'given a mouthful' by a driver she walked in front of. The film compares the behaviour of Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Rong when shopping. Mrs. Wright is careful to keep Wright Very Junior away from the traffic. Mrs. Rong and her youngest daughter are walking in the road, insulting traffic policemen and generally causing mayhem. This continues in the shop where Miss Wright happens to work. Mrs Rong tries on a number of hats but then leaves the store in a hurry after Miss Rong has run out of the shop (after a boy, of course), fallen over a bicycle and caused mayhem. She leaves Miss Wright to clear up after her. Upstairs Mrs. Wright and Little Wright take tea. In her basket Mrs. Wright carries a book Help Them To Safety. Every mother should carry it!

At Miss Wright Senior's school, a Police Sergeant gives a lecture on road safety. On the board behind him are the statistics. 1946: Children injured = 41. Careless Walking = 16, Cycling = 19. However, Miss Rong is paying no attention to this either. 5.30pm and it's home time. Miss Rong Senior goes to her piano lesson and then rides on her brother's crossbar. This time their luck runs out and Miss Rong Senior falls off, is hit by a bus and taken away in an ambulance. A Policeman 'phones Mr. Rong. He leaves his office and drives like a dervish, causing another accident. Mr. Wright to the rescue; he drives him safely to hospital. Eventually, after some worrying minutes, Miss Rong is pronounced all right!

Background Information:

Accident Council films, Wise & Otherwise, set in and around Gilbert Road
14 July 1949

Featured Organisations:

Cambridge Accident Prevention Council; Marshalls) Cambridge Businesses.Millers.)

Featured Buildings:

Emmanuel College; Old Addenbrokes Hospital; Eaden Lilley, department store

Cambridge Accident Prevention Council

William King

K.O. King

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