A short showing how carelessness and accidents can harm the war effort, and steps on how to avoid them.



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Cast overview:
Pete Smith ...


Carelessness is sometimes referred to as the seventh column. Through the conduct of experiments, safety engineers work hard to prevent accidents and injuries associated with the seventh column. One such experiment is a simulation of highway driving. The test subject, Falstaff Pratt III, is provided a series of highway driving situations which may prove dangerous if not handled correctly. Most personal injuries occur in the home. Pratt may face the seventh column at home with smoking in bed, with a greased instead of waxed kitchen floor, with descending a poorly lit or poorly maintained steep staircase, or with an overcrowded shelf of materials. Seventh column workplace accidents can also happen to Pratt. The safety engineer's work may prevent many of Pratt's falls, which may benefit Pratt even if he is considered the Indestructible Man. Written by Huggo

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Comedy | Short


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Release Date:

31 July 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scotch bottle used in the driving test sketch is from Haig & Haig Pinch Scotch. See more »

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User Reviews

"Do I smell ham burning?"
22 April 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Very funny Pete Smith short about how people having accidents can hurt the war effort. This was a WWII era short, after all. So we get to see poor Dave O'Brien put through all sorts of demonstrations of accidents, which of course means lots of pain for Dave and lots of laughs for us. Dave O'Brien was always great in these Pete Smith shorts and stands as one of the more underrated comedic actors of his era. Some neat peeks into the daily routines of people back then. I always find that stuff interesting. Some of the tips were pretty good, too, and still relevant after all these years. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the title: we're told the seventh column is carelessness.

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