Halliday Sutherland

"A born writer, especially a born story-teller. Dr. Sutherland, who is distinguished in medicine, is an amateur in the sense that he only writes when he has nothing better to do. But when he does, it could hardly be done better." G.K. Chesterton.

Britain’s 1st health education film

Movie John MNeilAccording to his obituary, Halliday Sutherland produced Britain’s first health education cinema film in Edinburgh in 1911. The film was called: The Story of John M’Neil.

The British Film Institute catalogue describes the film as a:

Dramatized story of a Scottish family living in slum housing, illustrating how tuberculosis can be spread from one member of the family to another; and the treatment available.

An article in The Times on 18th May 1937, mentioned the acquisition of the film by the National Film Library:

Films have long been used for propaganda and education, and one of the earliest examples of this type of film must have been The Story of John M’Neil, produced in Edinburgh in 1911 by Dr. Halliday Sutherland. It describes the Edinburgh system of controlling tuberculosis, and the present copy is the gift of the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis.

Researchers can request to view the film at the British Film Institute (link to Research Viewing Services here) The BFI catalogue numbers are: C-642837; C163141;  C163142;  C163143;  C163144. You can view the catalogue here.

Many thanks to Louise Williams, Archivist at the Lothian Health Services Archive for her thorough research in helping me to find this film. MHS.

Update 24 April 2018: The British Film Institute have made the viewing of the film available (free of charge). See The Story of John M’Neil .

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This entry was posted on 8 August 2014 by in Consumption, Films, Scotland, Tuberculosis.

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