Triumph Over Deafness
See also: Education of the Deaf

Still from 'Education of the Deaf/Triumph Over Deafness' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947-50'
'Until recently deaf children were also dumb because they could not hear any sound to imitate. Now they are sent to special free schools where they are taught to speak and to use what hearing they may have, augmented with hearing aids. This treatment is superseding finger-language. It encourages sufferers to mix more freely with others, and the children grow up as normally as possible.' [1]

Date: 1946
Duration: 19:52

Director: Jack Ellitt
Production Company: D.A.T.A. Films[2]
Producer: Donald Alexander
Cinematographer: Wolfgang Suschitzky
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Narration: David Lloyd-James
Editor: -
Sound Recording: A.G. Ambler
Assistant Editor: E. Mason
Assistant Camera: L. Griffiths

Length: 35mm: 3000ft. 16mm: 1200ft.

Made in conjunction with:
Department of Education of the Deaf, Manchester University.
The Royal Residential Schools for the Deaf, Manchester.
The Christie Hospital, Manchester.


This film is a shortened version of Education of the Deaf, and is intended for a less specialised audience.

The schools seen in the film are affiliated with what is now known as the Seashell Trust. The primary school seen in the film is the Manor in Middlewich, Cheshire. The school was moved here from Old Trafford, Manchester at the outbreak of war[3]. The upper school was based in Old Trafford, though it appears that the building has since been knocked down.

Wolfgang Suschitzky is actually listed under the attribution of 'Photography' in the film's titles credits. This is notable as Suschitzky is also well known for his photographic work, some of which can be seen HERE.

The only difference in the titles credits between Triumph Over Deafness and Education of the Deaf is that the sound recording for this title was done by A.G. "Buster" Ambler, whereas it was John Woodiwiss on Education of the Deaf.

Triumph Over Deafness (Great Britain, 1946)
Educational Films, Background Films
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: British Council film made by Data
Production: Donald Alexander
Commentary: David Lloyd James
Music: Beethoven
Recording: R.C.A., by A.G. Ambler
Editor: E.Mason
Photography: Wolfgang Suschitzky
Made by: Jack Elliott
2 reels 1861ft / 21 mins Format: 35mm and 16mm, both Sd.
UK Rights: British Council

This is a short version of the British Council film Education of the Deaf reviewed in the Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 13, page 107, and is an excellent factual record of the work done for adults and children in Manchester at the University Department of Education of the Deaf, the Royal Residential Schools and the Christie Hospital.

This somewhat harrowing film brings home vividly the handicaps of deafness, which some of us are perhaps inclined to treat too lightly. Those who see this film will not be likely to continue to do so, and will at the same time be deeply impressed by the skilled aid given to these sufferers in Manchester. It could be shown with benefit to sensible upper forms in schools, in training colleges, women’s institutes and guilds, and indeed to any audience which is willing to see an occasional film which deals intelligently with some grave problems. [4]
  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50
  2. ^ 'Documentary And Technicians Alliance'
  3. ^
  4. ^ Appraisal by the Background Films Viewing Committee
    Index to Vol. 15 NOS. 169-180 1948
    Films issued between January 31st and 29th February (1948)
    Monthly Film Bulletin of the BFI, p.g 9