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What a Life (1948)

Two businessmen make a pact to end it all. After several failed attempts, something happens which changes their mind.

Director:

Michael Law
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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Massingham Richard Massingham ... Mr. A
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Mr. B
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Brander Arthur Brander
Madge Brindley
Ken Buckle Ken Buckle
Dorothy Gray
Ella Milne Ella Milne
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Storyline

Two businessmen make a pact to end it all. After several failed attempts, something happens which changes their mind.

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Plot Keywords:

attempted suicide | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cited as an example of excessive expenditure of the UK government's Central Office of Information in a House of Commons debate on 23rd May, 1949, by Edward Keeling, Conservative MP for Twickenham, who said: "My right hon. Friend gave some examples of expenditure which he thought was excessive. I should like to give two or three more. We are spending £750,000 on films, and very little money is earned by them. We have no less than 150 vans touring the country showing films free, and some of them seem to me to have very little sense. I saw a film the other day called "What a Life," on which £9,000 of the taxpayers' money was spent with no return whatever. The scene opens in a public house, where everybody decides that things are very bad indeed. Two of the people are so depressed that they decide to kill themselves. They get into a boat, row out, shake hands, and dive into the sea. Then they find that there are only three feet of water, and so they go back to the "pub."" See more »

User Reviews

Bizarre propaganda
29 February 2020 | by kmoh-1See all my reviews

A very odd film, made by Public Relationship Films for the British government's Central Office of Information, designed to counter doom-mongers as Britain's post-war economy in the austerity years failed to excite. We had, said the pessimists, won the war but lost the peace.

Mr A and Mr B wander through the streets and pubs of London totally depressed, before attempting suicide together. Somehow this cheers them up; it is not clear why or how.

Apparently, co-writer Richard Massingham, who also played Mr A, was one of the pessimists, and couldn't see any silver lining in the cloud of Clement Attlee's government. Hence it is unsurprising that the film is one of the least convincing propaganda films ever made. Indeed, in 1949 Edward Keeling MP in the House of Commons commented "I saw a film the other day called "What a Life," on which £9,000 of the taxpayers' money was spent with no return whatever. ... When somebody was asked what was the purpose of this film, his reply was that it was intended to show that things were not as bad as they seemed. I rather think that the Lord President himself saw that film, and I should like to ask him whether he thinks that film was worth £9,000 of the taxpayers' money."


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2008 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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