Title Details

Heaven Help Us

Good and bad telephone practice are dramatically illustrated.
Year : 1967 | Total Duration : 21 Minutes | Producer : Frank Bagnall
Director : Robert Kingsbury |
Actor Max Meldrum as Alexander Graham Bell, hands outstretched pushing through large cut out letters. Unknown female actor, seated at a bedroom table, applying nail polish, answering a red telephone.
CU of candle flame with overlay text 'Pour L'amour du Ciel!'. B&W VS of two lovers seducing each other. Shot in film noir style with subtitles. Includes CU's of eyes, feet touching, woman's smile and lips, hands touching, candle dripping wax, woman's hand moving ornate chess piece. Telephone ringing interrupts. GS couple sitting at chess board beside table with lamp and old candlestick telephone in black room. Man switches on lamp, grumpily answers phone. Title over man lighting cigarette with candle. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141250 | 1 min 16 secs | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
Whimsical footage of WS of Alexander Graham Bell (telephone inventor) in heaven with telephones suspended in mid air. Zoom into Bell dressed as an angel sitting at table covered with phones of various shape and colour as he picks up and replaces receivers. 'International Communications' sign on table. Bell addresses camera as he removes wings, halo and robe to reveal suit. CU of hand brushing over telephones as Bell addresses camera. CU as he talks about incorrect telephone manner. MS Bell clicking his fingers then disappearing. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141251 | 2 mins 25 secs | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Silent film style B&W footage. VS woman running in formal garden and stroking then releasing carrier pigeon. VS of heavily made up young man posing in field. Stop motion as pine tree beside him grows bigger. CU of two pigeons on branch. Return to man in field now covered with snow. CU Alexander Graham Bell character playing piano and acknowledging camera. Track of young man stumbling through traffic across Sydney Harbour Bridge with sword in stomach and collapsing at toll booth. MS Bell removing hat as sign of respect. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141252 | 1 min 23 secs | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
Whimsical scenes of Alexander Graham Bell in heaven continued. VS of Bell at table covered with telephones. He addresses camera as he looks through address book and dials number on Bakelite phone. He hangs up and explains that he didn't dial correctly because he paused. CU of telephone themed address book with dial on cover as he checks number. Pan to CU of Bakelite phone as receiver is picked up and number dialed. VS of Bell waiting for someone to answer with CU of mouth and CU of hand doodling sketch of woman. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141254 | 2 mins 1 sec | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Zoom out from switchboard to receptionist smoking and drinking coffee eventually answering phone. VS messy office and elderly "office boy" painstakingly writing in ledger with ink and quill with grab of sand running through hourglass. VS Alexander Graham Bell impatiently waiting on phone with CU hand screwing up paper. Office boy on telephone then walking through series of doors followed by manager back-tracking through doors to office slamming phone back onto hook. CU of Bell putting finger to ear in pain. GS manager making phone call with feet on desk followed by series of failed attempts by callers and receptionist to communicate. CU of lights flashing on telephone switchboard and ECU receptionist dialling rotary phone dial with pencil. Pan from red telephone to woman painting fingernails with shots woman talking on phone to receptionist. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141255 | 4 mins 4 secs | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Track along line of young female operators wearing headsets at long switchboard. CU Alexander Graham Bell character on transparent phone to operator then at table covered in phones speaking on phone to receptionist at cluttered desk. CU black Bakelite telephone ringing. CUs receptionist frantically using switchboard as various office workers answer ringing phones. VS man in suit smoking pipe and businessman smoking cigar. Heated conversation between Bell and man on telephone ending with Bell slamming down phone. MS of Bell on diamante phone (talking to God). Superimposed text 'The End' interrupted by Bell running towards camera with arms outstretched. Shot slows to freeze frame. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141261 | 4 mins 18 secs | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
CU title card 'A Happy Ending'. Series of 'before' and 'after' shots of employees of disorganised company transformed into model office workers and telephone users in transformed offices. Stop motion of messy dispatch room being tidied. Surreal WS of Alexander Graham Bell character walking across panelled wall of office as businessman talks on phone and appearing unseen in other office scenes. WS of rocket launching against blue sky. WS of 'heaven' as man emerges from mist and answers phone. End credits over VS of telephones and film studio set with couple caressing beside silhouetted crew and equipment. Quicktime clip available.
Access No. 141265 | 4 mins 2 secs | 1960s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |