Amusing Random Short Films

Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham

Back in the 1970s Telly Savalas (best known for playing Kojak) recorded a series of short films that extolled the virtues of UK cities like Birmingham, Aberdeen and Portsmouth.

I recently came across a Radio 4 show (via the excellent Speechification) about these bizarre and unintentionally hilarious films.

Check out Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham, England:

Known as ‘quota quickies’, they were a product of the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 which meant that short films – or supporting features as they were known back then – were subsidised by the government to offset the dominance of the Hollywood main features.

They were made by director Harold Baim who managed to persuade Savalas via his agent – Dennis Selinger of ICM – to provide the voice for these travelogues.

What makes it even funnier is that Savalas never even visited the locations he is waxing lyrical about.

You can listen to the Radio 4 show here or download it as an MP3 here.

> Find out more about Telly Savalas at Wikipedia
> Radio 4 page for Telly Savalas and the Quota Quickies
> The Baim Collection