Social History | 1930 | Sound | B/W
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The Commonwealth and Canada 1930's
Singing cowboy. Student. Truck driver. They all go to the Regina Youth Camp. Camping. Morning call. Exercises. Lunch. Swimming. The sort of togetherness youth movements of before the Second World War. Canadian Pacific Railway. Steam trains. Crossing the Atlantic. Visiting London. Short street scenes. Oxford bus.
The tone is very nationalistic and hopeful. Youth contributing and making a difference for the future.
Credits. 'Here is a film with a new idea. A film that is different. Young men, Pioneering again have made this film for the young in heart, whatever their age. Amid the turmoil of the modern world- Youth marches on. Determined- Fit -Free.'
' On the Canadian Prairies' superimposed on the silhouette of a young man riding a horse up a hill, behind a tree. Two hands hold a guitar/banjo, one strums and the other fingers the frets. A young cowboy sings under a tree as he plays the guitar at night, one of his companions listens. Close up of his hands playing the guitar. He finishes his song and one of the other cowboys asks him where he learned the song, he turns to him and offers to tell them the story, they all voice their approval. He props his fist on his knee and begins to talk…(flashback).
A hand in a plaid shirt picks up two letters off a table. The hand reaches into a box and pulls out some flat bread. A horse stands in front of the post office, the screen door opens and the young cowboy tumbles out, he turns and waves through the door, stuffing the crackers into his mouth as he jumps towards his horse, he clicks his heels together as he reaches for his horse. The postman/grocer comes out of the screen door, shaking his first in the air. The cowboy turns his horse and waves as he rides away. The grocer shakes his fist on the porch. The cowboy rides quickly along the road by a railway and a grain elevator, lifting his hat in the air to taunt the man. He rides up to a water trough, dismounts and pumps some water for his horse. The horse's head in the trough as it drinks. The cowboy digs in his shirt pocket and then in his back trouser pocket for the letters. The horse lifts its head out of the trough. The cowboy smokes a cigarette as he looks at one of the letters. The pamphlet of the New Empire Camp, Regina ( Saskatchewan, Canada) with three robust young men on the front. The cowboy spits and opens the pamphlet. 'A call for new Frontiersmen. The Pioneers of our nations were builders of an Empire. The Canada of yesterday was a land of adventure and opportunity. Today, hundreds of young men are pioneering again. Their frontier is a new moral and physical fitness in themselves and in the nation. Come to the New Empire Camp, Regina.' The cowboy ponders thoughtfully at the well.
(In the present) The cowboy talks to his friends around the campfire about his 'old grandpapa'. A cowboy herds some cattle across a field. A close-up of the cowboy as he talks.
(flashback) as the cowboy talks about some of the men he met at the camp. A tall man in a striped suit, he lays his overcoat on the bed and then sits beside it, a college man, he unrolls a scroll of paper that lays on his desk. The University of Saskatchewan diploma in Latin. The man smiles and rolls the scroll up again. The pamphlet of the Empire camp on the desk. The young man picks it up and looks at it. The same print of the pamphlet as he lays it on the desk. His hand holding a pencil circles 'opportunity' and underlines 'yesterday'. He looks out the window. A man loads a barrel into the back of a truck as another truck parks in front of it and hits its front bumper. The young man gets up from his chair and moves towards the window. The man loading the barrel goes ahead to look at his bumper, annoyed. The young man looks out his window. The two drivers start getting mad at each other. The first man leans on the truck and yells at the man, gesturing with his other hand. The view of the collision out f the young man's window. The first driver walks back to his truck, kicking the back of the other car with his foot as he passes. The young man drops the pamphlet out the window by accident, it floats down. (Very hand of God -ish) It hits the leg of the driver. Out of the window, the driver picks it up and opens it, looking upward to see where it came from, but the college student has disappeared from his window. The text of the pamphlet , with 'Opportunity' and 'yesterday' marked, highlight 'Come to the New Empire Camp, Regina. Through the window, the truck driver puts the flier in his back pocket, puts his cap on and opens the door of the truck as the college student leans on the window sill.
'Regina' superimposed on a aerial view of that city, the Wascana Creek and Wascana Lake flowing through the centre of the town, University of Regina buildings on a bend of the river. An aerial view of the New Empire Camp, tent? Laid out in straight lines and a main building at the head of the compound. The cowboy, still in cowboy attire, with cow skin vest and chaps on, walks to a tent with a smaller boy in shorts and a t-shirt, the cowboy, pulls out a tent allocation slip from his pocket and checks it before shaking the other boy's hand, who leaves, and then ducking inside the tent. The cowboy nods and smiles as he sticks his head in the door. The driver, in white shirt and slacks, lies with his head on his pack, swinging his crossed leg and whistling. The cowboy looks over to the other side of the tent. The college student lies on his elbow, on his neatly laid out sleeping bag, reading a book. The cowboy smiles at him as well and looks again at the driver. The driver smiles back and gets up to shake hands with the cowboy and points over to the other guy. The student looks up and smiles briefly, then the cowboy extends his hand and he shakes it.
Looking up, a boy in a white sleeveless undershirt blows a bugle, behind him a British flag waves sturdily in the breeze. The bugler stands in the middle of the campground, the canvass tents, like tepees are arranged behind him, he runs off as his morning wake up call is finished and boys our out of the tents. A boy climbs out of a tent doing up his shirts as his goes, and runs towards over the tent ropes. A whole troop of boys runs towards us and over us. The boys line up in straight lines, adjusting their belts and shorts. One errant young man climbs out of a tent tucking his shirt in, he trips over the tent ropes and heads after everyone. He runs to join a line, still tucking his shirt into his shorts. One boy lays sleeping in a tent, he rolls over and looks around at the empty tent, the looks at his watch. His watch reads 645. He looks shocked, rubs his eyes and then lifts up the tent edge behind his head. Seen between a row of tents, the boys do callisthenics to rousing music, ending over with arms outstretched. Quickly, two lines of young men bend forward, arms outstretched to the sides, the repeat the move several time. Shadows of the young men exercising, bending and stretching. The two lines of young men again stretching. The head of smiling blonde young man, he turns his head to the right and the left. Three blonde, healthy looking men, extend their raised arms to the right, turning their heads at the same time, they repeat the move in unison. Their shadows as they do the same movement. The head of a brown haired boy, smiling, who turns his head to the right and left. Three other young men raise their right arms to the side, heads gazing over their fingertips. The head of another young man turning it from side to side. The three previous young men again, doing the same move. The head of another young men turns back and forth. The whole group of boys, all raising their arms in the air repeatedly. The young man still in bed, ( the college boy) pulls down the side of the tent and rolls over, and picks up his book, he opens it and begins to read, but obviously upset at having misses morning exercise, throws it away in disgust.
A young man stands between the rows of tents by himself, twiddling his foot then he walks forward alone. A line of men at a cafeteria table outside, getting food, many of them talking excitedly, the college boy looks for somewhere to eat. The driver sit in a chair near a tent, cutting the food on his plate. The college boy walks over and accidentally trips on the tent ropes and dumps his food off over the other man, the truck driver, who jumps up. His trousers are sopping with food and drink. The college boy talks, apologizing. The driver starts waving his arms about, yelling and getting mad, then suddenly he stops, looks down and then smiles at the other man. They start to talk, the truck driver brushing off the accident. He picks up his empty plate from the ground and walks away. The college student looks after him, puzzling.
A letter to Mr. Fred Wood., from the truck driver talking about how the camp has made him do some hard thinking about his ways and about the incident with the food. The truck driver, laying on the grass writing his letter, scratches his cheek with his pencil and then turns to his letter again. He writes, admitting that he has been stealing the odd box of apples from his employer, but saying that, even if he fires him, he with pay for them when he gets back. The truck driver looks up again, scratching his cheek.
A group of the campers at a lake side, possibly Wascana Lake, some jump off a small diving tower erected on the shore, other swim in the water, the University building rise behind. One boy does a swan dive of the diving board, another boy follows him. A man holds a football in his hands and kicks it hard. Another boy catches the ball and runs towards us. He stops and throws the ball. Another boy catches the ball and throws it. Another boy does the same. Two young men walk in between the line of tents, talking. Two men talk, sitting on the grass. The Premier of the Saskatchewan shakes hands with a line of young men, heading to England. The truck driver seals his letter and starts to address it.
A man in a suit and hat shakes hands with a line of men in shirt sleeves, as follows the man ahead of him and boards a train. Men climbs onto the train with their luggage. The truck driver takes a telegram from the porter. Men board the train. The cowboy waves as he boards, still wearing his cowboy hat. The truck driver, Joe Reynolds, opens his telegram. Canadian Pacific Telegraphs. 'Letter received Your job OK Gladly extend holiday to let you join overseas party We foot the bill Wood Wholesales Grocery Ltd.' Joe, yells, raising his hand in the air and turns behind him to show all the other young men. Steam puffs out behind the wheels of the train as they start to turn. Joe waves wildly. The conductor blows his whistle and waves his arm. The Canadian Pacific locomotive pulls out of the station. The train hurtles along the track, smoke pouring from its smoke stack. The train crosses a road intersection, car wait as it flies through towards us. A aerial view of a harbour, possibly Halifax or Montreal. Two young men look over the railing of ship, a life preserver hangs below. Seagulls fly above the waves. A man stands by the rail of the ship. Two men look over side of the ship. A man looks out at the sea behind the ship.
Back to the present day, the cowboy continues his story, telling his fellow cow herders that they should go to England if they ever feel like travelling.
A boat passes under Tower Bridge. Big Ben. The war memorial. Outside St. Paul's Cathedral? The cowboy looks around in amazement. A bus in Trafalgar Square. A crowded sidewalk. A child with a hat on feeds pigeons. A bobby policeman directs traffic. A man play violin on a lawn, a crowd gathered behind him. The Canadian Embassy in Grosvenor Square. The cowboy laughs heartily. The tops of umbrellas as rain pours down. A car drives through a puddle. A broom sweeps water, along the curb. A street car drives along the curb. Big Ben. Household Cavalry Mounted soldier in full dress uniform. A soldier rides through the gate at Buckingham Palace. The street signs of Downing St. and Whitehall. The sign of the Dominions Office. The cowboy lifts his hat to people passing by. The Canadian Embassy again. The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. A policeman directs traffic. The Liberty building in front of Carnaby Street. A bus on Oxford Street. The Wellington Arch. The War Memorial. A factory on the Thames. A private bus drives up High Street, Oxford (University College?). 'Oxford' on the side of the bus. The heads of the young men stick out of the bus as they look. A church tower in Oxford. The group of men in Christ Church gardens. A whole group of men run up a hill, more than just the twenty-four from Canada. The large group of men from all over the Empire walk up a hill together. The cowboy sits on a fallen branch and plays his guitar , men lie on the grass around him and listen. Two hands play the guitar. The cowboy sings. The college boy walks under a tree and then sits down on the grass at its foot. The cowboy signs. The young men sit around the cowboy and sin. Three young men sing to the cowboy's song. The cowboy keeps singing. Two of the young men lie on the grass listening to the song. Four boy sit on the ridge of a hill and listen. The cowboy strums his guitar and sings. The college boy sits in the shade and chews on the end of his pencil. The cowboy sings. The young boys listen. The cowboy sings. At the song's end, Joe sits up from where he was lying and talks. The boys around listen to him. The college boy writes on a paper on his lap. The paper and his pencil as he writes, some of the lyrics of the song, a horses head, the pencil writes on the paper. The cowboy sings again. The college man looks up. The young men sit around the cowboy listening.
A steamboat passes under a train bridge, possibly at Quebec. A group of young men lounge in various position on deck and on the railings. The boat passes up the St. Lawrence River. Château Frontenac at Quebec City, Quebec. The Canadian Federal Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. Two men paddle down a rough river in canoes, supposedly voyageurs. Niagara Falls, superimposed, a crowd of men march. A wide field of wheat waves in the breeze. A factory. A downtown street, possibly Toronto, Ontario. A cowboy a and some cattle wander over the prairies. The Rocky Mountains. The cowboy, truck driver and college student walk shoulder to shoulder, superimposed on a barricade of log exploding. The Rocky Mountains again, then a factory or grain elevator.
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