This film is part of Free

The Three Children

Sorry kids – your parents might never let you out of the house again after watching this bleak 1940s road safety film

Public Information Filler 1946 3 mins


Blimey. An air of brooding malevolence hangs over this 1940s road safety film from the opening shot. An elevated view of a crossroads on Woodford High Road is paired with noirish soundtrack already in crescendo. The three young children of the title are introduced, and as they come together unobserved they meet a mysterious, dark stranger in the bushes and walk off with him hand in hand.

It is a sign of modern times that you are perhaps more concerned about the stranger than the traffic, but his presence is a symbolic one – he represents Death itself, guiding the children towards the light. The three children embody the number killed on the roads each day. The filmmakers of the Wanstead & Woodford Road Safety Committee bring a remarkable other-worldly tension to the piece that certainly scares the life out of parents. But anyone who lets their child tricycle around the streets alone whilst they take an afternoon nap probably needs the wind put up them.