Public information film

public information filmsPIFPublic Informationinformation shortspublic service film
Public information films (PIFs) are a series of government-commissioned short films, shown during television advertising breaks in the United Kingdom.wikipedia
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Public service announcement

PSApublic service announcementsPSAs
The US equivalent is the public service announcement (PSA).
In the UK, they are generally called 'public information films' (PIFs); in Hong Kong, they are known as 'announcements in the public interest' ('APIs').

Charley Says

Charley Says NO
Charley Says NO: An animated series of PIFs with a ginger cat called Charley (whose warning growls were voiced by Kenny Everett) who advised children against various dangers they might encounter in their daily lives.
Charley Says is a series of very short cut-out animated cartoon public information films for children, produced by the British government's Central Office of Information and broadcast in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s.

Apaches (film)

ApachesApaches (1977)
Apaches: A public information film shown in primary schools about the dangers of playing on farms. This PIF is notorious for being extremely graphic.
Apaches is a public information film made in the United Kingdom in 1977.

Green Cross Code

The Green Cross Code Man
Green Cross Code: A character played by David Prowse who advised children about crossing the road safely. An earlier road safety campaign targeted at children featured the animated squirrel "Tufty", and a Tufty Club for young children was later founded.
Prior to the introduction of the Green Cross campaign, a series of puppet animation public information films, featuring Tufty Fluffytail and narrated by Bernard Cribbins were in regular broadcast rotation across the UK.

Protect and Survive

Protect and Survive: A series of films (never shown) advising the British public on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. They would have been shown constantly on all television channels in the build up to a war. Voiced by Patrick Allen.
It is intended to inform British citizens on how to protect themselves during a nuclear attack, and consists of a mixture of pamphlets, radio broadcasts, and public information films.

Robbie (film)

RobbieRobbie'' (film)
Robbie: A film based around a child losing his legs after being struck by a train. A modern equivalent, Killing Time, was shown in secondary schools during the 1990s but was later replaced for, apparently, being too graphic. Robbie replaced the notorious and extremely graphic The Finishing Line. However, Robbie and The Finishing Line are arguably not strictly PIFs, being produced by British Transport Films.
Although it is not strictly a Public Information Film, it is often considered to be so by fans of the genre.

Lonely Water

The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water
Lonely Water: A 1973 film warning children of the dangers of foolhardy behaviour around lakes and ponds. The film was shot in horror movie style with a menacing black-robed figure, featured a memorably chilling voiceover from Donald Pleasence ("I'll be back-back-back...!") and allegedly frightened and traumatised a generation of children.
Lonely Water (widely known as The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water) is a 1973 British Public Information short film made for the Central Office of Information (COI).

Joe and Petunia

Joe and Petunia: A series of animated PIFs about a couple whose amazing stupidity caused dangerous problems for everyone around them. They appeared in only four PIFs ("Coastguard", "Water Safety – Flags", "Country Code" and "Worn Tyres"), but their popularity grew so quickly that it was decided to kill them off in the last one. However, they were "resurrected" when "Coastguard" was remade in 2007 with updated references: Petunia is reading Hello! and listening to an iPod; Joe wears a Burberry cap and phones the desktop-PC-using coastguard on his mobile phone.
Joe and Petunia are characters from a series of public information films in the UK.

Patrick Allen

Protect and Survive: A series of films (never shown) advising the British public on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. They would have been shown constantly on all television channels in the build up to a war. Voiced by Patrick Allen.
He narrated the British Government's Protect and Survive series of public information films in the 1970s; some of his lines in that production were re-recorded and sampled into the single "Two Tribes" by the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives

Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives: A series of 1980s–1990s PIFs targeting drink-driving offenders. An equally well-known and successful road safety campaign was Clunk Click Every Trip, fronted initially by Shaw Taylor and later by Jimmy Savile.
Drinking And Driving Wrecks Lives is the tagline to a series of public information films (PIFs) that ran in the UK between 1987 and 1997, addressing the problem of drink-driving.

Clunk Click Every Trip

campaign
Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives: A series of 1980s–1990s PIFs targeting drink-driving offenders. An equally well-known and successful road safety campaign was Clunk Click Every Trip, fronted initially by Shaw Taylor and later by Jimmy Savile.
"Clunk Click Every Trip" is the slogan of a series of British public information films, commencing in the summer of 1970 presented by Shaw Taylor, then in January 1971, starring the now-disgraced entertainer Jimmy Savile.

Richard Massingham

The earliest PIFs were made during the Second World War years and shown in cinemas; many were made by and starred Richard Massingham, an amateur actor who set up Public Relationship Films Ltd when he discovered there was no specialist film company in the area.
Richard Massingham (31 January 1898 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire – 1 April 1953 in Biddenden, Kent) was a British actor who is principally noted for starring in public information films made in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Kenny Everett

The Kenny Everett Television ShowThe Kenny Everett ShowThe Kenny Everett Video Show
Charley Says NO: An animated series of PIFs with a ginger cat called Charley (whose warning growls were voiced by Kenny Everett) who advised children against various dangers they might encounter in their daily lives.
In 1973, Everett provided the voice of the cat 'Charley' in the Charley Says animated series of public information films.

Brian Wilde

Play Safe: A series of three made in 1978 warning children of the dangers of playing near overhead power lines and electrical sub-stations. The films, narrated by Brian Wilde (of Last of the Summer Wine and Porridge fame), were particularly graphic and frightening, depicting the electrocution of young children.
In 1978, Wilde voiced the public information film series Play Safe, highlighting the dangers of overhead power lines to children.

Julie (public information film)

Julie
Julie: A film about the importance of rear seat belts, which ran for 5 years between 1998 and 2003 with a return in 2007, and was so successful it was adapted for broadcast in France. It was updated with the THINK! logo in 2001.
Julie, also known as Julie knew her killer, is the title of a British public information film (PIF) about the importance of wearing a seatbelt in the rear of a car.

Central Office of Information

COICentral Office of Information (COI)
After the war, PIFs were produced by the Central Office of Information (now closed), and again by private contractors, which were usually small film companies.
COI celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006 with several events including a film season at the National Film Theatre and a poll to find Britain's favourite public information film on the BBC website.

Donald Pleasence

Lonely Water: A 1973 film warning children of the dangers of foolhardy behaviour around lakes and ponds. The film was shot in horror movie style with a menacing black-robed figure, featured a memorably chilling voiceover from Donald Pleasence ("I'll be back-back-back...!") and allegedly frightened and traumatised a generation of children.
Pleasence provided the voice-over for the British public information film, The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water (1973).

Jimmy Savile

Sir Jimmy SavileClunk, Click... As It HappensJames Wilson Vincent Savile
Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives: A series of 1980s–1990s PIFs targeting drink-driving offenders. An equally well-known and successful road safety campaign was Clunk Click Every Trip, fronted initially by Shaw Taylor and later by Jimmy Savile.
Savile presented a series of Public Information Films promoting road safety, notably "Clunk Click Every Trip", which promoted the use of seatbelts, the clunk representing the sound of the door and the click the sound of the seatbelt fastening.

Reginald Molehusband

Reginald Molehusband: A man (Ian Gardiner) who demonstrated the correct way to park safely. His reverse parking was "a public danger", bets were laid on his performance and people came from all round to watch, until the day he got it right – "Well done! Reginald Molehusband, the safest parker in town." This film is now classified as missing and is not in the archives of either the COI or the private company, which now owns most of its archive footage, although an audio recording still exists. However, a remake was done in 2006, with Gardiner reprising the title role.
Reginald Molehusband was a fictional character who starred in a public information film commissioned by the Central Office of Information and shown on British TV during the 1960s.

British Transport Films

British Transport Film
Robbie: A film based around a child losing his legs after being struck by a train. A modern equivalent, Killing Time, was shown in secondary schools during the 1990s but was later replaced for, apparently, being too graphic. Robbie replaced the notorious and extremely graphic The Finishing Line. However, Robbie and The Finishing Line are arguably not strictly PIFs, being produced by British Transport Films.
BTF also produced the controversial The Finishing Line (1976) and Robbie (1979), which warned children against trespassing on railway lines and are often thought of as Public Information Films.

SuperTed

Spotty
Supersafe with SuperTed: This short 1986 film featured characters from the Welsh animated series SuperTed who were flown to Earth by SuperTed, to teach his friend Spotty how to cross the road safely. A flashback reveals an incident when Spotty was nearly killed by running across the road on the planet Spot (his home), to talk to his sister Blotch. After teaching Spotty the proper procedures for crossing safely, SuperTed then warns the viewer that he "can't be there to save you, especially on the planet Earth". The animated "setting" for the film was based on Castle Street in Cardiff city centre, Wales, with Cardiff Castle as a backdrop.
SuperTed, along with Spotty and his sister Blotch, appeared in a Public Information Film in 1986.

Amber Gambler

Amber Gambler: A film about the dangers of racing through amber traffic lights before they turn to red.
Amber Gambler is a metaphorical phrase and the title of a British public information film (PIF) from the 1970s, about the dangers of speeding through traffic lights before the amber changes to red "when there is ample time to stop", or in advance of it turning to green.

John Hurt

Sir John HurtJohn Vincent HurtSir John Hurt.
AIDS – Don't Die of Ignorance: Two sets of PIFs from 1987 told by John Hurt, about the dangers of AIDS. One showing the iceberg at sea until the camera pans down into the sea to see an embossed AIDS Text on the side. Another one when a man is engraving AIDS on the monolith, when it is done it lies flat on the ground with the AIDS leaflet and the bunch of lilies on it.
Hurt provided the voiceover for AIDS: Iceberg/Tombstone, a 1986 public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS, and played the title role, the on-screen narrator, in Jim Henson's television series The StoryTeller (1988).

Richard Briers

Richard David BriersRichard 'Sugar-Flavoured Snot' Briers
Frances the Firefly: Animated PIF told by Richard Briers dating back to the 1990s by Fire Safety Institute of Britain (remade by Fire Kills in 2000) about a young firefly named Frances. Because she's too young, her tail does not glow and she feels sad. Meanwhile a naughty cockroach named Cocky Roach, shows her a box of matches that was left by his mum on the kitchen table and gives one to her. She lights the match and flies around with it, until the flame burns her and she drops the match. The match causes a fire, and Frances' wings were badly burned. Following an emergency meeting led by King Chrysalis, the insects rebuild the buildings. It ends with Frances being told not to play with matches, and Cocky Roach being banished from King Chrysalis' kingdom. He is found hiding amongst the litter bins in towns and villages, never to dare show his face again. The narrator concludes, 'Remember – Never play with matches!'.
Briers notably narrated the public information film Frances the Firefly, about the dangers of playing with matches, firstly in the mid 1990s when first made, and then in the early 2000s when re-made by the Government fire safety campaign Fire Kills. He also recorded the voice of a Sat nav specifically designed for senior citizens in the BBC 2’s hit TV Show Top Gear, Series 19, episode 5, which aired only a week after his death.

Alexei Sayle

Alexei's Midnight Runners
Moonlighters of the Other Side of the Galaxy: Another animated PIF dating back to the 1990s (originally made by DTI and later remade by Fire Kills in 2000), narrated by Alexei Sayle, about two aliens called Biblock and Hoblock going for a stroll one day, and find a 'strange object' lying in the moon dust. Back at the Moon City, they ask their computer what it is. The computer tells them it is a lighter and they are very dangerous, children must not touch them. Later at night Hoblock goes out and secretly brings the lighter back to the Moon City. Hoblock plays with the lighter, which sets the Moon City on fire. It ends with Hoblock building the computer back together again. Because everyone was so cross with Hoblock for what he did, no-one came to visit him again, apart from his little sister Hibling bringing him sandwiches every day. Hoblock repeats the same warning to her every day, 'NEVER PLAY WITH LIGHTERS!', then Hiblick replies 'AND NEVER PLAY WITH MATCHES EITHER!'. The narrator concludes, 'AND GROWN-UPS – KEEP LIGHTERS AND MATCHES AWAY FROM CHILDREN!'.
Sayle also narrated the PIF Moon Lighters about two moon creatures, Biblock and Hoblock and the dangers of lighters.