Film ID:
NEFA 21410

CHAR-CHAR

1963

Visitor Tabs

Description

A group of cleaners disturb a burglar breaking in to the safe at their employer’s house and attempt a citizen’s arrest. A car chase ensues after the burglar escapes. This comedy short is a 1960s Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) production.

Credit: Newcastle & District ACA Film Unit Amateur Cinematographers Association

Title: Char-Char

Credit: Cast in Running Order

Sylvia

Irene

Marjory

Pat

Peter

Margaret

Ian

Credit: Chased by

Sound: Edward

Camera: Geoffrey

Director: Florence

Clapper-Loader: Dave

Continuity: Norma

Set: Bill

The film opens with an exterior of a grand house. A group of cleaners (the charwomen of the film title) are about to take a break after a morning’s work. They are all women, wearing headscarves and too much make-up.

Inside, a cleaner is tidying a desk. Another cleaner is outside polishing glass in the windows and doors of the house. Still tidying, the first cleaner, vigorously chewing gum, checks the time on a wall clock. Its seven o’clock. Another cleaner in hair rollers walks into the room and takes off her overall. She is wearing a woolly cardigan with ‘Ringo’ embroidered on the back. The cleaner at the desk takes off her rubber gloves. Another cleaner walks in with a tray of tea for her co-workers. The cleaner at the desk sits down and puts her feet up. She slips her shoes off, takes a cigarette from a box on her employer’s desk, and lights up. A younger woman walks in wearing a stripy 60s shift dress, her bra strap hanging down She’s glued to the pages of a story in the magazine ‘True Confession’.  Close-up of one of the stories she’s reading. Two cleaners set up the tea for their break. The cleaner with her feet up at the desk browses through the owner’s stuff. Another cleaner in their gang arrives, agitated. She’s seen something happening in the house. The cleaners rush out.

In another part of the house, four of the cleaners pop their heads round a door, comically, one by one. A fat burglar is busy stealing from a safe in the room. The cleaner who had been tidying the desk takes control. She sends each of the cleaners off to get a weapon. They reappear brandishing the tools of their trade – mops, brushes, cleaning fluid. The burglar is taken by surprise as they attack him with their cleaning gear. He cowers in a corner. The cleaner in the stripy dress is sent off to call the police. Meanwhile, the burglar is wrestled to the ground. Three cleaners start to tie him up with cord. One of them gestures triumphantly. The cleaners’ leader chews gum and looks decidedly unimpressed. She goes to hurry up the young girl, who has got distracted by her True Confessions magazine.

The fat burglar escapes his ties and struggles through a window. The cleaners all fall over each other in their haste to chase after him. The cleaners’ leader looks on disparagingly.

The burglar makes his getaway in a Bentley parked outside. The cleaners spot an unsuspecting young man in a blue Mini, which they commandeer. Three of the cleaners pile in the back of the Mini with their cleaning tools sticking out of the windows. The leader gives the driver instructions to follow the Bentley. Meanwhile, back at the house the clueless cleaner in the stripy dress has managed to get stuck in a window.

The Bentley races down the road with the Mini in hot pursuit. Five young lads are perched on a fence, killing time as the cars speed past. A couple are stopped in their tracks by the sight of the chase. The cars round a corner. Two young men flatten themselves against a fence to get out of the way. The Mini overtakes the Bentley and heads it off. The Bentley has come to a halt, the Mini blocking it off. The burglar looks out of the car window, scared. The cleaners climb out of the Mini and chase the burglar into an allotment. He waves a white handkerchief in submission. They slowly walk towards their victim with their weapons. Meanwhile, the Mini driver is examining his damaged car bumper. The cleaners are now enthusiastically beating up the burglar.

Back at the house, the cleaner in a stripy dress is now stuck in a window and awaits their return. She waves over her magazine at a policeman who has arrived. She looks shocked when a load of banknotes flutter to the ground from the magazine. The policeman proceeds to book her for burglary.

Title: The End