Cat no. 649

Almost A Miracle

Running time9:22 Black & White Sound 1937 St Neots, Cambridgeshire

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Genre:

Promotional

Scenes of the Quads at bath time, attended by their nurses. Shots of Anne and Michael in the bath. Paul and Ernest are being dried by the nurses. They have a special large square bath. Anne tries to wash Michael's face and succeeds in knocking him backwards.

The film moves back to November 1935 when the quads were born, prematurely and weighing an average of 3 1/2 pounds. There is a shot of all four of them wrapped in white blankets and then one is weighed. They are wiped with warm olive oil and then fed on sterilised water. The nurses wear face masks.

At four months old Mrs. Miles takes them for a trip into town in a double ended pram. She is holding the hand of a toddler, perhaps about three years old.On their first birthday, the quads play indoors on a roundabout. They sit in their chairs eating and then sit in a group around their cake. They are shown playing in their cots, Anne hitting one of her brothers. The Quads learn to walk and are filmed negotiating the step out of the French windows into the garden. In the garden, Paul and Michael play in a toy car, Ernest plays with a ball. Anne is filmed brushing her hair.The final sequence shows the Quads, aged two, in the nursery about to go to bed. Mrs. Miles nurses Ernest with Paul nearby. Anne and Michael play with the gramophone. Sister Harden says `Thank heaven for Cow & Gate'.

Background Information:

The Miles Quads were born on November 29th, 1935. There wasn't enough room for them in the Miles council house, so they were taken to the home of Dr. Ernest Harrison, their G.P. A few days after they were born, they received the King's Bounty from the Privy Purse - a cheque for £4.00! In 1936, the family moved into a house bought by public subscription. During 1937, people would queue to see them at a shilling a time. The publicity was to go on into their teens. In 1949 their father refused permission for them to appear in any more advertisements. Gaumont British News filmed the Quads on Christmas Day, 1935. It was one of the hardest films they had attempted. The room had to be kept at a temperature of 75 degrees (Fahrenheit) and they couldn't risk exhausting the oxygen. Filming was only possible for a few minutes at a time. They filmed the babies being oiled and weighed, dressed and fed. (See: The Daily Film Renter and Moving Picture News, Monday, December 30th, 1935.)

Featured People:

Anne Miles; Ernest Miles; Michael Miles; Paul Miles; Mrs Miles, their mother; Master Miles, their brother; Sister Harden

G.B. Screen Services Productions

Cow & Gate

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