Saturday, 30 October 2010
Here's George - our cheery knight of the road!
I've covered Charley, Tufty and Joe and Petunia; now it's time for a public information character who hasn't fared as well in today's pop culture. At some point or another a series of black and white road saftey films starring a character who looks a little like Bruno Bozzetto's Signor Rossi was released; I know of eight - Rude on the Road (above), Avoid Skidding, Beware of Weaving, Use Your Head - Breakdowns, The Way Ahead, Use Your Head - Acting Impulsively, Don't Abuse the Crossing and Tyre Maintenance, all of which are available across the two Charley Says DVDs. The character is anonymous in all of them except for Acting Impulsively, in which the narrator calls out "Here's George - our cheery knight of the road!"
The only one of the films I can pin a year to is Rude on the Road, which according to the Charley Says DVD liner notes came out in 1959; judging by the somewhat different visual style, with more simplistic car designs, this was the earliest of the eight. One or two online sources attribute Rude on the Road to Halas & Batchelor.