British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Nation on Film , Series 2

Synopsis
The second series of six programmes in which aspects of life in the twentieth century are depicted on film, much of it shot by amateurs. Disc One contains Selling Cars, Women’s Football and Kearton’s Wildlife.

Selling Cars
This programme shows rare footage of a Lanchester car going up a flight of steps at Crystal Palace, London. It was shot in 1904, just eight years after the Lumie’re brothers brought the first moving picture show to Britain. Later footage shows how film-makers associated cars with sex appeal, sophistication and liberation. Cars were sold as vehicles that could literally take people to places they had never seen before. Some films act almost as travelogues, showing cars in dramatic landscapes, travelling up hills, through streams and along spectacular coastal scenery. In the 1930s car manufacturers responded to public concerns about the number of deaths on the roads. Companies like Morris promoted the safety features in their cars. However, manufacturers were still keen to use speed as a key selling point.

Women’s Football
Using professional and amateur archive film this programme reveals how a group of World War One munitions workers became international celebrities. The women worked at the Dick, Kerr & Company factory in Preston, Lancashire and started playing games in order to raise money for injured soldiers. A number of servicemen returned from duty and found life extremely hard. The games were well supported and substantial sums of money were raised. However, the women were also highly regarded for their skills as footballers; Dick, Kerr’s Ladies were unofficially crowned the England women’s football team and a number of games were captured on professional newsreels. The programme examines some of the problems newsreel cameramen encountered in the early 20th century as they attempted to film football matches, and capture the all-important goals. Some observers claim the success of the women’s game was too much for football’s male establishment. They say that the FA (Football Association) was concerned about competition damaging the men’s game. In 1921 the Football Association outlawed the women’s game, banning it from FA grounds, a ban that lasted for half a century. Amateur film-maker Ron Frankland captured images of the women playing after the ban (on non-FA grounds).

Kearton’s Wildlife
Kearton’s Wildlife looks at wildlife photography and film-making in the early 20th century. Cherry Kearton was a farmer’s son from Yorkshire and a keen amateur naturalist. He and his brother Richard developed pioneering techniques in order to capture images of wildlife; they used ladders, special tripods and hides made from dead animals. Later in his career Kearton narrated and starred in his own movies. He became an international celebrity and was known for his skills as a showman. Kearton’s mission was to obtain the first moving images of certain wild animals, particularly from Africa. His work was hugely popular and also influential.

Disc Two contains Flying with Cobham, Package Holidays and The Ramsden Collection.

Flying with Cobham
Flying with Cobham is the story of one trail-blazing pilot in the 1920s and his mission to get the British public airborne. Sir Alan Cobham sought every available means to achieve his goal; moving footage became a key vehicle for his propaganda. Cobham realised that he needed to maximise filming opportunities if his message was to spread to a wider audience. In 1926 a documentary film-diary was made of his trip to Cape Town. Cinema audiences were treated to fantastic images of exotic locations. The footage included stunning aerial images of the Pyramids and Victoria Falls. Later in his career Cobham also developed commercial joy rides for people who wanted to experience flying. He staged the flying circus where the public would enjoy great aerial stunts including wing walking. However, Cobham never lost sight of the fact that he needed film to promote his pioneering activities.

Package Holidays
During the 1950s and 1960s package holiday tours were taking off. Tour operators were keen to use film to promote this new life experience where a greater range of people had the opportunity of enjoying a foreign holiday, often for the first time. Hundreds of would-be tourists turned up at public halls to watch movies commissioned by new tour operators such as Thomas Cook. The promotional films spoke of golden sunshine and sands just a few hours away. Spanish fishing villages, including Torremolinos, were promoted as idyllic locations for a summer break.

The Ramsden Collection
The Ramsden Collection examines a newly-discovered collection of amateur films from Yorkshire. For 20 years, husband and wife, Betty and Cyril Ramsden, recorded the world around them. In particular they captured middle class life in the north of England. The couple enjoyed a comfortable existence in Leeds where Cyril worked as a dentist. They devoted much of their life to making mini documentaries using a 16mm camera. Their rich celluloid legacy challenges the cliche’d view of 50s Britain as a decade of dreariness. While the post-war period is known for its hardship, austerity and rationing, the Ramsden films reveal a northern middle class enjoying parties, holidays at home and abroad, country shows and days out.
Series
Nation on Film, Series 2
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2007
Notes
Broadcast on BBC4 beginning 3/11/2006
Subjects
History; Film Studies
Keywords
amateur films; film and video production techniques; football; history of aviation; marketing; motor vehicles; social history; wildlife; holidays; archive films; women in sport

Online availability

URI
http://www.ouwcb.co.uk/index.html
Price
£39.99
Delivery
Download

Credits

Contributor
David Jason

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£39.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
180 minutes
Year
2007

Sections

Title
Kearton’s Wildlife
Duration
30 mins

Title
Women’s Football
Duration
30 mins

Title
Selling Cars
Duration
30 mins

Title
Package Holidays
Duration
30 mins

Title
Flying with Cobham
Duration
30 mins

Title
Ramsden Collection, The
Duration
30 mins

Production Company

Name

Open University

Distributor

Name

Open University Worldwide

Web
http://www.ouw.co.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
+44 (0) 1908 274066
Address
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA
Notes
NB. As of May 2016 Open University Worldwide are no longer distributing DVDs. They have posted this message on their website: ‘Unfortunately Open University Worldwide Limited has decided that product sales are no longer viable given the reduced funding to Higher Education institutions and diminishing demand for the products we have traditionally stocked. At present the Open University Students Association (OUSA) will continue to sell the "Good Study Guide", and we are in discussion with other possible distributors to continue to make The Open University’s products available for purchase. As soon as we have any information on other channels of distribution we will update this notice’. Some products are still available via second hand dealers on Amazon.co.uk

Online Retailer

Name

Open University Bespoke DVD - Clips & Bits

Web
http://www.ouwcb.co.uk/index.html External site opens in new window

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