Film ID:
NEFA 8800



Visitor Tabs


A satirical take on the classic BBC television series of interviews by John Freeman called Face to Face, which ran from 1959 to 1962. ICI Billingham's amateur theatrical team, "The Smoker", gently send up senior ICI management and the ICI staff jobs assessment scheme, known as the Haslam Scheme.  Two members perform the characters of the interviewer (based on John Freeman) and interviewee, Bob Haslam. Robert Haslam was a leading industrialist who held positions as a director and chairman within several divisions of ICI on Teesside between 1960 and 1983. The production may have been made around the time (July 1966)  that the government's national wage and price freeze was in place.

Title: Face to Face

Title: Bob Haslam

Title: With The Smoker

After the titles, the film follows the format of Face to Face interviews.  The viewer never sees the face of the interviewer, who appears only once.  The camera scrutinises the face of the actor playing "Bob Haslam" using many close-ups of his face.

The interviewer (off-screen) questions "Bob", who is Chairman of the Panel reporting on staff job assessment, a scheme linked to the setting of salaries and wages.  "Bob" is lead to implicate ICI management in a degree of cronyism, somewhat exposing the class system, or hierarchy, of industrial relations in the business, and, by extension, society.