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Seventh Column (1943)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 31 July 1943 (USA)
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 - Narrator


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


Approved | See all certifications »




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

Fun Pete Smith Short
22 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Seventh Column (1943)

*** (out of 4)

This Pete Smith short isn't the greatest in his series but it has enough laughs to make it worth sitting through. What we've basically got is Smith explaining the various ways people can hurt themselves and Dave O'Brien is the actor who gets to abuse him body showing us. These includes countless jokes about too much wax on the floor which can make you fall and we have several gags about no lights on stairs, which of course also leads to falls. Being 1943 we even get some jokes that might not go over too well today including drunk driving and people who smoke in beds only to catch fire. These Smith/O'Brien shorts never really get the credit they deserve but with Smith's great, fun voice and O'Brien's perfect comic timing they just made some real magic. The best joke here is actually the one dealing with drunk driving but I'm sure many will either be offended by it or not see any humor in it. The stuff dealing with the stairs is also funny as is another bit with a man on a ladder.

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