Twist And Shout: The Launch of ‘Twister’ in 1966. Where? Butlins Of Course!

  

We all know Twister! The embarrassing MB game that always ends up with a pile of panting bodies with minor injuries. I used to fear the moment when a friend’s parent would drag out the dreaded Twister mat. The game fuses three of my biggest hates: Being trapped underneath another person, being physically stretched, and colour coding.

Disguised as a game that awards those with a flair for amateur acrobatics, Twister actually favours those with a talent for amateur dramatics, because it’s all about cheating. Victory depends on switching your left foot from green to yellow, or your right hand from red to blue in those snatched seconds when the loathed judicator isn’t looking. Although if you had my child minder, she was always looking. Enough said.

British Pathé have this newsreel in their online archive of the launch of Twister! The video shows several games of Twister being played at once on a lawn at Butlins. The canister notes admit that this reel would have been 1960s advertising for the game.

It's a colour coded battle of the sexes

I’ve no idea why the teenagers have to play in their underpants, and some of the older spectators look a bit too thrilled for my liking, but it wouldn’t be a 1960s family holiday camp without scenes that combine nudity and old age would it?

Going on holiday and being forced to play Twister with strangers is my vision of hell, but these guys seem to be having the time of their lives.

In this Butlins version the red coats announce the positions, and when opponents fall they are immediately replaced with a new eager contestant, like the dashing chap in yellow and black boxers who turns out to be no match for the brunette girl in a yellow knitted jumper. It’s like a predecessor to speed dating.

Click on the images to watch the Twister video. Or WATCH MORE VINTAGE BUTLINS NEWSREELS HERE.

The battlefield is spread out across the acid green lawn at Butlins

Author: British Pathé

British Pathé holds the world's finest newsreel collection. We also represent the Reuters historical collection. All 220K films are viewable on our website.

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