How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

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MichaelB
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How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#1 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:32 am

Instantly recognisable to anyone who went to the cinema in Britain during the 1940s, Richard Massingham combined humour and information in these wonderful instructional films on a range of subjects from how to cross the road to the art of saving water at bath time. This collection celebrates Massingham as one of British cinema’s most fascinating and enduring characters.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#2 Post by Dr Amicus » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:00 am

The only one of his films I've seen (knowingly) is the glorious The Five Inch Bather, only a minute and a half long, but an absolute hoot - and if that's typical of the rest of his work, than this will be a must buy.

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MichaelB
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#3 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:16 am

It's all too typical. I've got a load of Massinghams sourced from various DVDs (the scattershot Charley Says Vol 2 has quite a few), and they're wonderful.

Here's Coughs and Sneezes (1945).

Oh, and here's The Five-Inch Bather (1942) as well.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#4 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:02 am

If this is Blu-ray, then I am buying.

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MichaelB
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#5 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:05 am

Doesn't look like it - the full press release says "This DVD collection". And a DVD-only release would be squarely in line with BFI policy on things like the various documentary sets, the COI Collection, Here's a Health to the Barley Mow and Roll Out the Barrel.

Jonathan S
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#6 Post by Jonathan S » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:59 pm

I hope his best two films will be included: the 1934 two-reelers And So To Work and Tell Me If It Hurts, though they're anything but instructional. I recall reading the latter was banned after complaints by the British Dental Association, and it outdoes even W.C. Fields for conveying dental anxieties and pain, primarily through use of avant-garde techniques.

Massingham doesn't star in those two, but their pessimistic and doleful outlook certainly anticipates his own screen persona as well as, I feel, Tony Hancock's.

Channel Four used to show those two plus the 1950 short The Cure (in which lumbago replaces toothache!) which was shot by John Burgoyne-Johnson, a familiar name to anyone in the UK seriously involved with amateur film-making a few decades ago.

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reaky
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#7 Post by reaky » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:39 pm

Very appealing. These look a bit Robert Benchley, a bit Gerard Hoffnung.

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MichaelB
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Re: How To Be Eccentric: The Richard Massingham Collection

#8 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:48 am

Full specs announced:
How to be Eccentric
The Essential Richard Massingham

Richard Massingham’s face was instantly recognisable to cinema-goers in Britain during the 1940s. His performances as the well-meaning but bumbling everyman in a series of imaginative shorts, provided instructions to the public on everything from how to cross roads to the correct way to sneeze into a handkerchief and the need to bathe in just five inches of water during wartime rationing. On 24 August 2015 the BFI brings these enjoyable films to DVD for the first time in How to be Eccentric, The Essential Richard Massingham.

Marked by a wonderfully inventive combination of comedy, instruction, surrealism and whimsy, these films not only starred Massingham, but were also often produced and directed by him. This essential collection, selected from films preserved in the BFI National Archive, celebrates this extraordinary figure and reveals him to be one of British cinema’s most fascinating and enduring eccentrics.

The films are accompanied by a 34-page illustrated booklet with essays, a biography of Richard Massingham and notes on each film.

The films are:

Tell Me If It Hurts (1934)
Coughs and Sneezes (1945)
Jet-propelled Germs (1948)
Handkerchief Drill (1949)
Another Case of Poisoning (1949)
The Cure (1950)
The Five Inch Bather (1942)
Post Early for Christmas (1943)
In Which We Live: Being the Life Story of a Suit Told by Itself (1943)
Elopement in France (1944)
Down at the Local (1945)
An Englishman’s Home……. (1946)
Moving House (1950)
What a Life (1948)
Watch Your Meters (1947)
Warning to Travellers (1949)
Help Yourself (1950)
Pool of Contentment (1946)
Pedal Cyclists (1947)
Pedestrian Crossing (1948)
30 Miles an Hour (1949)
Introducing the New Worker (1951)

Product details
RRP: £19.99 / Cat. no. BFIV2049 / Cert E
UK / 1934–1951 / black and white / English language / 170 mins / DVD9 / Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 / Dolby Digital mono audio (256kbps)

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