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4 and 20 Fit Girls (clip 2)

A wartime exercise class

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A wartime ‘educational’ film that shows women performing a variety of exercises during a keep-fit class. In this clip we see the women performing arm exercises, exercises for the whole body, waist exercises, relaxing, skipping, medicine ball exercises.

Questions & Activities


  • What examples of patterns and symmetry can you see?
  • How do different camera angles and techniques create artistic effects?
  • In what ways are the women shown to be a single group rather than individuals?


Why is relaxation important? What do you do to relax?

The narrator says that women should 'remove the fat from their stomach'. Research how perceptions of women's bodies and 'beauty' change throughout history (e.g. Renaissance paintings where larger women were idealised and modern use of tanning salons).

The film uses slow motion, find out how slow motion works, why might it be used (e.g. in sport)?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-125-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0699
Date 1942
Genre Documentary, Educational
School Subject Health and Wellbeing, Physical Education
Who GB Instructional (production company), Mary Field (director)
Where Scotland
Event World War II
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 5:12
Film Length 11:00