A scene from the movie – filmed in the Assembly Rooms by the look of it.
While we are still grappling with the ongoing effects of the Pandemic, Rob Coles reminds us of a time – more than half a century ago – when Bathonians were also queuing up for mass vaccination.
This time though – it was a fictitious outbreak of smallpox sweeping the city – and they were extras in a film based on such an epidemic.
“January 2022 is the fifty-ninth anniversary of the filming of ‘80,000 Suspects‘ that was about a smallpox outbreak in Bath. It starred Richard Johnson and Claire Bloom.
It was filmed in the bitterly cold winter of 1963, and there are many shots of Bath in snow and lots of locals as extras.
By the sixtieth anniversary, the covid pandemic will, hopefully, be over so the film may not be so relevant.
The film is available to buy from Amazon or to rent from the British Film Institute (BFI).
There are several interesting films about Bath that can be watched for free from the BFI – including Care for the Homeless – a Civil Defence Film set in Bath in the early 1950’s. “
Thanks Rob, and a Happy New Year.