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His fighting chance.

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About this work


Infantile paralysis, commonly called polio, is a disease which attacks adults as well as children. This film gives a general account, showing a number of cases, of how the disease affects its victims, and of the modern techniques of rehabilitation that are used. Nowadays there is much more chance of full recovery than formerly. Commentary by Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt and Michael Redgrave.


UK : Central Office of Information, 1949.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (10 min.) : sound, black and white



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Produced by Central Office of Information. Made by Crown Film Unit.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive


Segment 1 Opening credits. The narrator introduces a 2-year-old boy, Johnny Green, who is lying on a hospital cot. He cannot move his head or right arm due to poliomyelitis. Then John Broadbent, a 19-year-old, is seen in bed; he also has polio. His doctor examines him; John cannot touch his knees with his forehead. He is taken to hospital. A hospital ward is seen with the patients undergoing physical rehabilitation. Doctors and nurses encourage children and adults to exercise their limbs. Children learn to walk again with the aid of frames and sticks. The narrator mentions that the late President Roosevelt had polio. King George VI in a public ceremony introduces Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt and invites her to unveil a statue of her husband. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:59:04 Length: 00:04:59:04
Segment 2 Mrs Roosevelt is heard in voiceover talking about rehabilitation. Water therapy in a swimming pool is seen and she says that the White House had a pool for President Roosevelt to use. She explains that progress can be slow; a young boy is seen in an iron lung. She emphasises the need to stimulate children as they recuperate; a class takes place on the children's ward. The children produce a newsletter about the hospital. A young girl in a wheelchair paints a picture as part of occupational therapy. Workshops are seen; John Broadbent weaves on a loom. Adults who have left hospital are seen in the world of work. John finds a job he can mostly do sitting down and he is seen learning to be a draughtsman. His voice is heard talking about how he now takes an active part in everyday life. Johnny Green is seen again and the narrator says that skilled doctors and nurses will help him recover the use of his limbs and that he will 'go ahead and win through'. Closing credits. Time start: 00:04:59:04 Time end: 00:09:59:04 Length: 00:05:00:00



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