The Things People Do

Registered:   7th July 1955
Duration: 19 minutes
Board of Trade Certificate number:
Production Company: ​ ​​Harold Baim Film Productions

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16mm Jobs and Business (B&W) 1955


Comentary Spoken by: Franklin Engelmann
Photography: Eric Owen, Alfred Burger
Written and Produced by: Harold Baim


Oddly enough, this is the first time I've had the privilege of seeing what goes on in the cellar of one of London's leading hairstylists. And as a mere male, it certainly made me sit up.     

When I called, the dispute as to whether the young lady should have her tresses cut or not had just been resolved by Steiner himself.     

They tell me that for a lady to have her hair cut short is a major episode in her life. But ever a slave to fashion and convention, madam must conform to the style of the moment.     

The battle of indecision is over and Operation Shortcut is a success.     

The next thing to do is shampoo and in the hands of an expert, it's never a wash out.     

Setting is important, for her new look will depend upon how this is carried out.     

Under a battery of what look like space helmets, this gentleman is the process of drying.    

Among other adornments, the weaker sex are going in for face initials this season. Hair decorations are a decided asset to a lady's crowning glory.     

She can see you and many times through you in this latest mask. This young lady is head and shoulders above anyone else.     

Introducing another attractive headdress.     

Steiner himself enters to try the latest in feather creations on a client eager to be fashion wise.     

Initials stenciled on the hair are the latest craze. They make sure that her gentlemen escort knows he has the right girl.     

A very pleasant experience and well worth my visit.  From the hands of the experts, she takes a new lease on beauty and the latest thing in earrings will not distract oncoming traffic.     

I've seen some queer fish in my time but the London Aquarium's collection takes some beating. These are called Harlequins from Malayan waters. With befitting names like Dominos and Sergeant Majors, this group of cuttlefish originate in the Indian Ocean.     

Texas Cichlids have a unique manner for choosing their mates. They lock themselves together, mouth to mouth, and then tug away for many hours. For the weak this game often proves fatal, but that's the idea as the strong are considered to be capable of looking after the young ones.     

A born fighter, this specimen is called a Jack Dempsey. He doesn't take much water with it either.     

The Lake Galilee Cichlid said to be a descendant of the Bible fishes. Attacking in large shoals, these man eaters are so called because they are flesh eating.     

Cannibal of the English rivers is the pike. Pretty vain, too, if you ask me.     

This is Joe, a Cichlid again, fairly intelligent in a fishy sort of way. When annoyed, the blowfish will fill with air. Well, it gets him to the surface, if nothing else.     

From the Amazon comes the Bubblenest Catfish, armour plated and quite a nasty character.  

Another member of the Cichlid family, an aunt or something.     

Hatchetfish can fly, though they didn't come here that way from their home, which is in South America. The scorpion fish abounds in all tropical seas. A scratch from one of them may well prove fatal, changing their colour to suit their present background, they lie in wait for their prey.    

Developed by the Chinese by selective breeding, the Celestial Goldfish were once treated as sacred. Certainly very camera shy, this one was interested in showing off his veil like tail.     

“Ma, she’s making eyes at me”. We're again indebted to the Far East for this specimen called the globe eyed Goldfish. The eyes certainly have it.     

Found in all seas, Anemones appear in many colours. Attaching themselves to rocks, they feed by waving their tentacles and grasping whatever comes their way. See how the tentacles react as food is dropped onto them to be eventually carried to the mouth in the centre. I'm sure the Pearl Scaled goldfish inspired the songs “I'm forever blowing bubbles” and “Trumpeter, what are you sounding now?” He's the Billy Bunter of the fish world. But his school is again China and Japan.     

You see in China they read from bottom to top. The side view to prove he's a good all-rounder. Anything they can do, he can do better if he has to stand on his head to prove it. Not used to this film business. He gets a sudden attack of stage fright and decides, oddly enough, that's all there is. There ain't no more.     

Picasso was born in Spain in 1881. Ten years later, he exhibited his first paintings. One of the most controversial artists of all time, it was not until 1946 that he became interested in pottery. At at an exhibition recently I saw some excellent examples, the first of which was this tea service. Fruit dish embodying the Dove of Peace, his favourite theme.    

A typical Picasso in which his extreme individualism is given full rein, is this dish with the motif of a goat's head.     

A lamp base which has the forms of both a woman standing with arms on hips and of her head with coils of hair.     

Flower vase in the shape of a duck with holes for flowers on its back. This massive bird vase is in black and white with touches of rust color. The body of the vase forms an egg shape and two handles curve outwards, like wings. Drawn freely, it's considered to be one of Picasso's finest impressions.     

The lady flower vase. The gentleman water jug. She's from the north of France. He is from the south. They should be very happy together.     

In classical Grecian style, this shaped piece with its dancing figures is in terracotta on a white background. Picasso found he enjoyed pottery immensely as it was a medium on which he could impose his own amazing personality.     

This painting was recently acquired by the Zwemmer Gallery in London and is worth £5,000. It's an abstraction representing a woman's head and body. It's supposed to capture a mood of mockery and disappointment. Not to everyone's taste. One thing is certain, though, Picasso will be remembered as one of the world's most original artists.     

Now pictures from the past. Delving into my library of old films, which is quite extensive, I came across this gem produced more than 40 years ago, Berkel's Dream.    

It's a relic well worth looking at because it was the forerunner of the cartoon film and gives us a first class insight into what the cinemagoer of 1900 or thereabouts used to enjoy and what in fact, in those days rolled them in the aisles long before the advent of Cinemascope wide screens and other refinements of present day motion picture entertainment.    

Berkel's Dream was a silent film, so let it be so. It's odd enough without comment from me.     

I couldn't quite make out when I first saw it what this injection mold was making. It seemed to be producing parts of the human body. Well, I wasn't far wrong as I was watching this take place in the largest doll factory in Europe. I knew that they were parts, in fact, replicas of human hands and legs and faces.     

In the land of moving heads, I spent an intriguing day watching the shape of dolls to come.     

From the injection molds the various parts move on to the polishers who see that all joints are as smooth as smooth before passing on to the assembly line. There mustn't be a single part that would scratch or hurt the proud owner to be.     

Assemblers know what's what. And though it looks fairly easy, it takes experience before one person can put a doll together in order to turn out hundreds each week.     

The individual parts must, of course, fit perfectly so that the assembler’s task is not made difficult. It's really quite a precision job.     

This process is called 'lipping and cheeking', because when it's had enough of the lip, it's time for the cheek. This procedure gives the doll its healthy, rosy colour.     

It's not an optician's nightmare, but some of the millions of eyes, all of different colours, which are used to give the dolls their wide eyed Marilyn Monroe look. Not in the same surroundings as the lady showed earlier in the film, but nevertheless with a great degree of skill and application, hairdressing is a very important aspect of a doll's appearance. Cutting, curling and setting are carried out with first class efficiency.     

These are Princess Anne dolls calculated to win the heart of many a young daughter.     

Could be the work room of a large dress factory. So it is. But the difference is that here only dolls’ dresses and underclothes are made.     

The same careful designing and creating which goes into the production of gowns for fashion houses is the order of the day when it comes to making a trousseau for some youngster's birthday present. Some of the larger dolls have complete wardrobes of indoor and outdoor wear.     

Down the travelling band they come, some dressed for packing and some, well, not quite ready.     

Here are a few of the newest inhabitants of Toyland waiting to be taken home and no doubt cherished until they bear little resemblance to the wonderful replicas of humans they originally were. Oddly enough, today they make them walk, talk, cry and sleep. I wonder what they will think of next?     

And to the sounds of the wedding march, I'll say, so long.  

[End Credit]

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