Here's Health (1948)

This dramatised film promoting the birth of the NHS weaves a family and community story around the cases of a hard-working local doctor.

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Film details


Here’s Health was one of a raft of government-sponsored productions released in the year of the birth of the NHS. As its ‘U’ certificate indicates, it was passed for cinema release, and we can safely assume its makers deliberately modelled its production values on commercial fiction films so it could slip easily into the full supporting programme.

It’s not known how many cinemas actually chose to book the film, but it’s hard to imagine either cinema audiences or exhibitors warming to it. The film’s message overwhelms its dramatic content and, for a piece celebrating social progress, its mood is weirdly sombre.

It was entirely normal, at this time, for a film like this – scripted, acted and fictional in content – to be classified as documentary if it had a ‘documentary’ subject and function, was funded by a ‘documentary’ sponsor, and produced by a ‘documentary’ company. The production company’s name, DATA, stood for Documentary and Technicians Alliance, and its members were mostly socialists and social democrats themselves strongly supportive of nationalisation – which might partly explain the film’s painstaking sincerity.

Cast & Credits

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