Film: 3408

Sport | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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A public information film about the Isle of Man TT road racing circuit 1960's

Presented by a local motorcycle enthusiast, highlighting the pitfalls and necessary lines of riding through certain stages of the course. Hardly any footage of actual motorbike riding.

An opening inter-title on khaki background,

'This film is primarily for enthusiasts with racing interests. But it also has another purpose - to show that the average motorcyclist with aspirations of becoming a first-class rider, can learn much good roadcraft from the serious competitor who handles his machine with competence, confidence and care.'

Longshot of Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, and its port with two ocean liners docked in the harbour. Shot of a beach at low tide and fairly busy with holiday makers sunbathing. Close up of a couple, sitting in deckchairs, reading an edition of Motor Cycling with Scooter magazine. Head on shot of horse and trolley car touring Douglas harbour. On board camera shot of horse pulling trolley car and passing another. Camera pulls back and slightly upwards left, to capture a billboard with the logo of Motor Cycling magazine. Merging shot to a room, possibly one of the magazine's offices. Portrait shot of the presenter, who has been speaking the introductory narrative. The presenter, dressed very soberly in jacket and tie with cardigan underneath, introduces himself as Geoff Duke (G.D.). He is sitting in an armchair with clasped hands speaking directly to the camera. His enthusiasm and passion for motorcycles is immediate, but the delivery is unanimated and deadpan.

Upwards glancing close up of front of Peveril Hotel on Douglas harbour front. Camera tracks down and left to G.D. and a group of motorcycle clubmen, all dressed in suits or jackets and ties, standing around chatting. Shot moves left again to an old style Bedford bus waiting for the group. Close up of bus front, bonnet and logo. The group climb aboard. Shot of bus pulling away and logo of Scotts tours clearly visible. This is the beginning of a tour of the 37 mile TT road race circuit with rudimentary technical explanation and terminology at specified stopping points to highlight notable stages throughout the course.

Panoramic long shot of the crescent shaped bay front and promenade as the bus leaves Douglas. Merging shot to close up of bus gently climbing a slight incline and coming to a halt to the left of the camera. Close up of the group getting off the bus to have a look at and discuss 'Braddan Bridge'. Close up of G.D. talking to the clubmen and gesturing with his hands by way of explanation of how to best approach this early stage of the course. Technical terms of left and right handers, peeling away and rpm are discussed as are throttle control, lane positioning and leaning. (This is the same format during the film, only varying for each differing obstacle arrived at. G.D. continually narrates from a separate script throughout). Racking shot, left to right of group walking over 'Braddan Bridge', with G.D. looking back along road and indicating certain aspects of the approach, entry, apex and exit positions required to negotiate the road safely and at high speed.

Shot fades to merge into a shot of open straight road and gently rolling fields and hills in the background. Frontal long shot of the bus coming towards and passing the camera left to right. Close up of the 13th milestone and the bus driving pass. Another group shot, off the bus, with G.D. explaining,

'… certainly one of the fastest parts of the course, completely blind on the approach and requiring absolute confidence, allied with hair line judgement.'

Long shot up the course to a prolonged right hand sweeping bend, with the group to the left. Reverse shot back down the road, illustrative of the commentary and the sense of this part of the course being able to sort out the very good from the not so good riders. Headlong view of bus passing over stage of course known as 'Ballaugh Bridge'. Bus pulling into the left outside a row of cottages. Group walking back towards and over the bridge to study the technique required to safely cross at speed, but not to remain airborne for too long,

'…having taken off in the most spectacular fashion.'

On board camera shot looking to the front of the bus and G.D. talking into a microphone. We hear of, but do not see, the road circuit passing through the fast and twisting Quarry Bends, Selby Bridge and onto Parliament Square in Ramsey. A panning shot across the square to indicate the first gear right and then left manoeuvre, the opposite of Braddan Bridge. Further group shot with G.D. in the middle indicating the line, throttle control and speed required. Camera shot downwards to tarmac and commentary about the hazards of warm weather and the effect upon tyres.

Long shot of bus travelling along open country road through the mountains. Bleak open country and shot of bus approaching the three left handers, or 3 Bends before Windy Corner. Long shot of group by the side of the road, looking into and then out of one of the bends. Close up of bus approaching final stop of Creg Ny Baa, a fast descent out of the last bend. Shot of the group off the bus again. Tracking shot right to left of the group walking along this last bend and looking and looking along the final very fast stretch leading back into Douglas.

For the remaining duration, the film returns to the opening office setting. Shot of G.D. introducing Bob Holliday (B.H.), the editor of Motor Cycling magazine. Seen through a six or seven minute sequence of alternating head and portrait shots between the two, G.D. and B.H discuss the road circuit and specific stages already seen, with the aid of approximately A3 sized diagram cards. This sequence is, towards the end, interspersed with the only shots of actual motorcycle footage during the entire film. Of these, there are four separate demonstrations at Ballaugh Bridge, Parliament Square, the Three Bends before Windy Corner and finally Creg Ny Baa.

The film closes with a close up head shot of G.D. talking into the camera about the importance of safety first when racing on public roads, as he finishes with

'Good Luck.'

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 3408.