The Prendergast File

1964 , The Grand Union Canal (Other)

Spoof Ministry of Public Apathy staff training film.

A civil servant, Prendergast, in the Department of Constructive Delays is asked by his superior in the Ministry of Public Apathy, Clitheroe, to research and prepare an answer to a Parliamentary question on present canal policy for the Minister. Given 7 days to construct the answer, the civil servant becomes interested in the subject of his investigation and produces a report ‘full of recommendations’ and ‘advocating action’. The report does not fit the brief of inaction and is discarded by the Ministry of Public Apathy. The Minister’s reply, according to a ‘time honoured formula’, disparages the state of canals, their potential and the people who make use of them as well as determining that the present policy is to maintain the status quo until a new royal commission is deemed necessary to investigate the problem fully. The film concludes by mulling over the whereabouts of Prendergast, who by all accounts has abandoned his civil service career.

Featured Buildings

The Boat Free House [location unknown] The Globe Inn [location unknown] Palace of Westminster, London BBC Broadcasting House, London

Featured Events

Restoration work on the Stratford upon Avon Canal

Keywords

Spoofs; Training films; Civil servants; Bowler hats; Bureaucracy; Bureaucrats; Canals; Inland waterways; Waterways; Grand Union Canal; Barges; Narrow boats; Locks; Pleasure boats; Brentford electric lock; Parliamentary reply

Intertitles

Ministry of Public Apathy, Staff Training Series

Other Places

Hatton Hill; Aylesbury; Brentford

  • Maker : Denys Gueroult

  • Maker : Geoffrey Hart

  • Maker : Peter Kendrick

  • Maker : Beryl Symons

  • Samuel Prendergast Hugh Symons

  • Mabel Cunningham

  • David Hutchings

  • Harry Barlow

  • Jack James

Manifestations

The Prendergast File

  • Barcode
    INV399210
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:12:38
    Modification Date
    29/07/2019
    Parts
    Reference
    750054
  • Barcode
    INV398189
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:12:38
    Modification Date
    29/07/2019
    Parts
    Reference
    750053
  • Barcode
    INV349867
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:12:38
    Modification Date
    29/07/2019
    Parts
    Reference
    750052
  • Barcode
    INV357903
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    DNxHD 185x 10bit digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:12:38
    Has Image
    Y
    Has Sound
    Y
    Modification Date
    29/07/2019
    Parts
    Reference
    750051
    Sound
    sound
  • Barcode
    INV371992
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    DPX 10bit Log digital
    Dimension
    Has Sound
    Y
    Modification Date
    24/07/2019
    Parts
    Reference
    750042
    Sound
    sound
  • Barcode
    INV337296
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:08
    Modification Date
    08/10/2015
    Parts
    Reference
    739025
  • Barcode
    INV327801
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:08
    Modification Date
    08/10/2015
    Parts
    Reference
    738951
  • Barcode
    INV352036
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:08
    Modification Date
    08/10/2015
    Parts
    Reference
    738895
  • Barcode
    INV389364
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    DV digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:12:36
    Modification Date
    11/06/2015
    Parts
    Reference
    737930
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV386548
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    master digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:12:36
    Modification Date
    19/05/2015
    Parts
    Reference
    737778
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV302433
    Canonical Identifier
    1115
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour System
    unknown
    Colour Type
    unknown
    Dimension
    Has Image
    Y
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    pos
    Modification Date
    02/08/2010
    Parts
    Reference
    685878
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV226841
    Canonical Identifier
    647
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour System
    colour
    Colour Type
    colour
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:13:20
    Has Image
    Y
    Has Sound
    Y
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    pos
    Modification Date
    29/07/2010
    Parts
    Reference
    685436
    Sound
    sound
  • Award:
    • Group 1:
      • Note: Awards (data migration 25/06/2021): Amateur Cine World Ten Best Film Competition, Ten Best winner, 1964.

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