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4 and 20 Fit Girls (clip 1)

A wartime exercise class

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A wartime ‘educational’ film that shows women performing a variety of fitness exercises. This clip shows women skipping and dancing and performing foot exercises to make feet more supple.

Questions & Activities


  • How are the exercises different to a modern aerobics class? (think about music, types of exercise, clothes)
  • What impression does the film give about the role of women, and how women's bodies are viewed?
  • What impression do you get of the narrator? Why do you think this is a man?
  • When was this film made, what was life like in Scotland then, especially for women?


Create your own exercise programme, including warm-ups

What examples can you find in the modern media of stereotypical views of women?

If this film was made today, how would it be different?

Change the mood of the film by replacing the soundtrack with, for example, different music or a different voice-over talking about attitudes to health and fitness

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-123-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0699
Date 1942
Who GB Instructional (production company), Mary Field (director)
Where Scotland
Event World War II
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 2:33
Film Length 11:00