Fabulous film showing domestic bliss achieved by installation of new gas appliances!
Title "The Gas Council presents" appears over a crest motif. Produced by Associated British Pathe. Technicolor. A Gas Council Film - check copyright.
"Spring - the impatient time. Summer - the lazy time. Autumn - the rich time. Winter - the waiting time" says the film's narrator over shots representing the four seasons. Blossom and buds for spring. Waves breaking on a sandy shore and roses for summer. Corn growing in a field and golden leaves for autumn. Snow scenes for winter, a weak sun is seen behind a leafless branch.
Narrator says: "Let's take a look at that sun." Animated sequence shows a blue ball representing the earth revolving around a yellow sun. We see how the position of the sun determines the seasons. The narrator describes how the earth rotates on its own access. This is demonstrated through the animation sequence, the blue globe rotates. How the earth rotates in relation to each season is demonstrated.
L/S of a landscape in springtime. C/U of spring blossom. Sheep and their lambs are seen. C/Us of tiny chicks. Daffodils, children picking bluebells in a wood then running away from the camera. Four boys cycle past some oast houses. A couple walk hand in hand through a wood. Quintessential spring sequence.
Acted sequence. A young couple decorate their new home. The young woman holds up some curtains she has made herself. The husband speaks to a man who has come to fit their new gas fire. He tells him that they are a "Do it Yourself" couple. The husband describes how he took out the black cast iron fire. The engineer goes to switch on the gas. "May I light it?" asks the wife. The engineer laughs "You don't need matches!" C/U of the control on the fire being turned. The fire lights up. C/U of the gas fire as it lights.
The reason why days are longer and warmer is explained by the narrator and illustrated by the animated globe. Summer sequence. Women sit and eat sandwiches in a square in the sunshine. They feed the pigeons. Trees. C/U of a pink flower. A man tends to a beehive. Narrator asks rhetorical questions about whether we would truly appreciate summer if we hadn't lived through the winter first. "Would honey taste so sweet if we lived on nothing else?" Signpost reads: "To the Coast" - pan down to show a traffic jam.
High angle shot of a crowded beach. Various shots of holiday makers. Young people run into the sea. Children watch a Punch and Judy show. A Redcoat at Butlin's skips along with some children. Kids sit on the top of the Butlin's fountain and splash each other. A little boy sleeps on a lilo on the beach. A woman sunbathes. Lots of nice C/Us of middle aged and elderly people snoozing in deck chairs. Cricket match on a village green. C/U of a woman looking out of a window. She smiles at the cricketers then fills a large teapot with water - presumably for their after match tea.
Nice shot of man sitting in a deck chair in a garden with a lawn mower in front of him - he reads his paper. C/U of a little boy using a bicycle pump to repair an inner tube. A young teenage girl asks: "When's dinner ready mum?" Mother seems harassed, she wants the children out of her way. She opens the back door and shouts at her husband. She tells him to give them some weeding to do or something.
Fred, not looking up from his newspaper, calls the son: "Johnny, come and give me a hand in the garden." The boy says: "Not now dad, I've got a job on." Mother goes and sits beside father and starts giving him a right earful.
Johnny says: "She's off again, nag, nag, nag." - he says this in time with the pumping up of his inner tube! The sister says it is his fault for mucking about in the kitchen and breaking things. She says: "It's all right for her, I'm hungry." Johnny says: "Better get it yourself then." The sister decides to do just that. She puts a cut of meat back in the fridge and finds a cookery book. Mother sits out in the garden reading the paper as the children start to prepare food in the kitchen. Father snoozes in the deck chair as mother reads the paper.
Carol and Johnny proudly bring out some food: "Dinner is served." Father looks very proud of his daughter in her apron! "You'll make some chap a good wife one day". Carol is sent back into the kitchen to get cutlery. The family is all happy and giggly now that they've got some food to eat.
Autumn sequence. Combine Harvester at work. C/U of the man driving the machine. L/S of a group of people riding horses through autumnal woodland. L/Ss of a landscapes. Man walks through a wood.
L/S and M/S of men lifting a boiler (?) out of the back of a van. They close the door of the van, on the back is a sign which reads: "Another Gas Cental Heating Installation." The location is the building site of a new housing estate. More general autumnal footage - deer in a park, man raking leaves, children riding bicycles.
Low angle of children climbing a tree. An irate man comes running towards the tree, the boys jump down. "What are you little devils up to? Just look at you, you'll be for it when your mother sees you!" The boys wear school uniform which is very dirty.
They walk away and one of them says: "I won't half get it in the neck when I get home, just look at the mess I'm in." the other invites him back to his place for a wash up. "My mother won't mind, we've always got tons of hot water in our house." M/S of mother turning on boiler tap above the bath. "Come on boys, in you get, and no splashing either." The boys seem rather excited about the prospect of having a bath together! One of the boys puts his finger in the water to test the temperature.
C/U of mother filling cups with hot water from the boiler in the kitchen. She calls the boys from the bathroom, they have finished their bath and are drying themselves with nice fluffy towels. The boys sit down to what looks like hot Ribena. The table is set with that really nice blue and white striped china. "I hope I haven't been too much of a nuisance for you" says the lovely polite guest. "No trouble at all" says mother.
Winter sequence. Shepherd carries sheep on his back through snow. L/S of house snowed in. Mother, two boys and their dogs walk through snowy landscape. Swan stands beside floodwater. Signpost reads: "Public Footpath". C/U of man's feet in Wellington Boots as he walks through flooded landscape.
C/U of worn out pair of slippers. Elderly woman picks them up and places them by the fire. Cat sleeps beside the fire. Christmas sequence. Gas showroom window with Christmas decorations. C/U of painted section which reads: "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" with the gas logo - Mr Therm - playing a tuba (?). Good Father Christmas sequence. In a grotto Father Christmas lifts a boy onto his knee. C/Us of boy and Santa.
C/U of a sleeping baby. Young couple stand beside the baby's cot. "She seems to be sleeping" says the father, mother tells him to "Sh!" It is New Year's Eve, the woman's mother arrives to baby-sit. Hubby turns up the fire. Granny says that she'll see the New Year in on the tele. The young woman opens the cooker door to show her mother the lovely steak pie she has made for her. She explains that she has set the timer to turn itself off at 9 o'clock so that she can watch her Western in peace. Dessert is in the fridge. Daughter kisses her mother and gives her a big box of chocolates which bears the words: "New Year's Greetings."
The happy couple are then seen celebrating the New Year at a party complete with streamers. Great shot of a mirror ball on the ceiling! Balloons float down.
"Each season has something to offer" says the narrator over shots of clouds and snowdrops.
Film ends with shot of the Gas logo "Mr Therm"
End credits: "The Four Seasons - A Gas Council Film. Films Officer: Stanley Irving."
Note: excellent footage throughout this film. Great domestic interiors, the bliss of modern appliances making life simple and happy. Quintessential happy families stuff.
Documentation file exists for this film. Commentary transcript and shot list.