I recently came across a Radio 4 show (via the excellent Speechification) about these bizarre and unintentionally hilarious films.
Check out Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham, England:
Known as ‘quota quickies’, they were a product of the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 which meant that short films – or supporting features as they were known back then – were subsidised by the government to offset the dominance of the Hollywood main features.
They were made by director Harold Baim who managed to persuade Savalas via his agent – Dennis Selinger of ICM – to provide the voice for these travelogues.
What makes it even funnier is that Savalas never even visited the locations he is waxing lyrical about.