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.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

Introduction

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

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top