Film: 5148

Places + Locations | 1950 | Mute | B/W


New York USA Great street scenes from the 1950's

People arrive at Wall Street for work. A man wearing a hat (homburg or trilby?) walks along the pavement, the camera focuses on his briefcase. There is another take, the man moves from a stationary position and walks again, this time behind him we see women in 1950s dresses and commuters walk past a newspaper stand and a man in a striped T shirt stands by the road by a No Parking sign. There is a third brief shot of the man doing the same walk.

A man in shirt sleeves walks along the street carrying a box, he walks past the offices of the Wall Street Journal. Repeated takes of a man walking in the opposite direction past the Journal offices, carrying small paper bags, presumably food.

A man in a hat rubs his chin and looks up. A piece of paper with writing on it is held upside down. In the next shot it is the right way up and reads "AR1001 Face, Roll 3, Wall St. Subway". Various shots of people emerging from the subway station up the steps. Various busy street scenes with pedestrians and traffic. Piles of newspapers on the pavement by a newspaper stand. Pavement, sidewalk level view of people's legs as they walk past. Women wearing hats coming out of the subway station, a man smoking a cigarette looks directly at the camera as he comes up the steps.

View from the ground of the tops of skyscrapers. At the bottom, a couple of men stand outside the offices of the Marine Midland Trust Company. The camera pans up to other skyscrapers.

People on board the Staten Island Ferry. One man reads a newspaper as he leans against the rail. Below the deck on the ferry, all the seats are full with people reading newspapers or talking. One woman looks at the camera. Various other shots of people on board the ferry. Front and rear views of people walking off the ferry and away from the terminus building. Cars and buses, people crossing the roads. Upside down paper reads "AR1001 Face 2, Roll 2, Staten Island Ferry". A boat crosses the water. The Statue of Liberty. Crowds of people walking across bridges out of the ferry terminal building. View from ground level of people's legs - all the women have calf-length skirts and smart stiletto shoes. Back view of crowds. Shot of buildings.

People walk past a shoe shop, mainly black people. One man wearing glasses looks in at the shop window. Sign on wall for Blumstein. Back view of two women looking in a shop window. A woman holds a baby with a dummy. Two older black women chat. Girls look in the window of clothes shops.

Children play on swings in the park, the younger ones pushed by two women. Children play in sand in the park. A black youth. Older black boys play basketball on a court.

View of street and shops from a moving vehicle. Signs for Michigan Furniture, Connolly Shoes, Apollo Jewellery, F W Woolworth & Co. Also a cinema showing God's Little Acre (1958) and Street of Sinners (1957). Great views of shops and people walking on the subway.

Statue of Liberty, aerial views of New York skyline. Camera pans down from top of building to street level. People walking along street. Street sign E. 56 Madison Avenue. Commuters, mostly men wearing hats, walk along street. Aerial view of street and parked cars. People looking at pictures for sale on the street, art sale. Close up of a black and white print in a woman's hand, then she puts it down. Two men point and discuss one of the pictures. It is all modern art. A woman wearing a hat ties a picture with string to the railings. Man in a checked shirt. Sign for The Starving Artists Studio. A man with a moustache sits and smiles in the sunshine.

A man holds books and shows them to camera one by one - James Thurber's Fables for our Time, Here is New York E. B. White, E. E. Cummings Poems, The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger and Arthur Miller's Collected Plays. A bookshop, there are three men behind the counter, one is smoking, various people are browsing.

Scenes in a crowded Washington Square Park in Lower Manhattan, a group of girls is dancing. Shot of the arch. A girl and boy sit on the ground, she is cross-legged with a guitar on her lap. A man with a beard and sunglasses lays asleep on the grass. Another man lays on a park bench, beside him a teenager is sketching. A young man plays a recorder, others watch him. A girl leans back against a boy for the camera. A small boy drinks from a water fountain, holding an empty can. A youth with glasses lays on steps with his eyes closed. Two men talk, both are smoking, one is wearing cut down shorts. People milling around in the park. Two men play chess on a table in the park, other men sit around watching the game. The group of girls and young women dancing are dancing in a circle with a crowd of people looking on. They are wearing Capri pants (cropped trousers) with shirts tucked in. Two young men are playing guitars, a young crowd around them are singing along. Another shot of the circle of dancers near the arch, as cars drive past. Shots of crowds in the park as the camera pulls away.

Aerial view of New York buildings. View of city from the water. A man sits on the pavement fixing wires (?) and taking something from his pocket. He is wearing a coat and peaked cap. Another man, a workman in a checked jacket and checked peaked cap crouches on the pavement surrounded by tools. He files something, he is wearing gloves, jeans and workman's boots. Shot of a manhole with a circular ladder around it. The workman emerges from it then goes back down again. He comes up again, looks around and goes back down. Shot of wires and a flashing warning light with a street in the background and railings. The camera pans up to show traffic lights - the workman is repairing the lights.

Two dustmen in uniforms and matching caps empty metal dustbins/trashcans into the back of a rubbish lorry/dustcart. One then sweeps the street with a broom while the other holds a dustpan and empties the debris into the lorry. The machinery at the back of the lorry moves around. They empty more dustbins into it. Rubbish disappears into the revolving machinery.

Two men at the back of a lorry take metal (milk?) churns from it. One wears a light coloured suit and tie and the other a checked peak cap. People walk past. A sign "Dig We Must". Workmen on the street, one is sawing wood, people walk past. Another workman stands in a hole in the ground. Another workman shovels sand or earth. Another loads metal onto a van.

An ambulance with a loudspeaker on the front drives off, the writing on the side says St Vincent's Hospital. Shot of street with tall buildings, the tops of cars and hats visible. Close up of lamp on a wall by the house number 840, then camera pans up the building to ornate decorative stonework and window, architecture. Three apartment blocks side by side, traffic passing, the camera pans up to the top. Buildings on street. A chauffeur in a cap waits in a car, he looks up. Back view of a woman walking along the street with a dog on a lead.

Workmen high up on a building site, the floors are in place and they pass up a plank of wood from level to level. The site with scaffolding, the camera pans down to show the sign "400 Park Avenue - 21 Story Office Building Air Conditioned. Occupancy Scheduled Spring 1957. Joseph F. Bernstein 21 East 40th Street, New York 16, NY. Murray Hill 5-4787 - Renting Agent".

Road sign E. 54 Park Avenue with building site in background. Similar shot with crane visible. People walking on the other side of the road. Office frontage "Lever House" and on window "Lever Brothers Company". Reflection of building site visible in the window. View from ground level of the front of a large glass fronted office block. Camera pans down to ground level to show a row of workers on a long bench, chatting, eating and reading. Various shots of the building under construction and surrounding buildings, with parked cars, passing traffic and pedestrians. Metal girder being slowly moved by a crane onto a lorry. A workman climbs over the girder and moves it into place on the lorry with ropes. Workman on top of the building. View of hole dug out for foundations with trucks and machinery, one with the name Slattery. Buildings, camera pans down to show work going in foundations, digger and crane in operation.

Bus number 1929 drives past a crowd people waiting at a bus stop outside a pharmacy. Another bus pulls up and people board. It is very busy and a queue waits to board. Some young women are wearing headscarves, they look at the camera and laugh. A soldier walks past with a kit bag. The bus is going to 8th Street and 4th Avenue.

A group of policemen, cops, wearing caps and with holsters, stand and chat. A young policeman gives a lady directions and points, she walks off. He is approached by another woman. Pentagon Bar Restaurant in the background. Crowds on the street. A police telephone and No Parking sign on it. The young policeman talks to someone.

Scenes of office and clerical work. A woman stands at a printing machine. Another woman stands by another machine with rollers. Rows of women in a typing pool. A man stands by a machine with throws out slips of paper. A man and a woman stand by filing cabinets or machinery. A small machine with some sort of printing. Another typing pool, one of the typists blows her nose. A young woman operates an adding machine. She looks at a piece of paper as she types into the machine. Another woman wearing glasses sits at a typewriter. Cigarette smoke is coming up beside her desk. Close up of her hands on the machine. Close up of the machine printing information on cards - punch cards? Shots of typing pool, most are women but there are a few men.

Workmen outside, one wears a mask and solders, sparks fly. Men lift planks.

A building is on fire, jets of water shoot up. A fireman, fire-fighter turns a water pipe. Shots of the burning building, a large building with arches. Hoses shoot water into the building. Various shots of firemen, hoses, billowing smoke. Aerial view of burning building and jets of water. Firemen carry a hose. Firemen stand on the fire engines trying to extinguish the fire with hoses. A fireman puts a gas mask on. People watch from behind the police barrier. Firemen with oxygen tanks on their backs A flag. A statue.

A car parks beside others under the guidance of a man in uniform. People hold a protest banner outside a Blue Star garage "End the Emergency, End Federacion, Release Congress Leaders…Nyasaland"?. A car drives past the banner. Two men sitting on the pavement.

Repeated shots from earlier.

A young black man, smoking, stands on a cart pulled by a horse, the cart has fruit, melons in it, it drives past a smart car.

The camera stays on an area of pavement by a parked car and films whoever comes along. Aerial view of an old man in an apron walking slowly along the pavement, behind him another old man with a flat cap. Shot of the kerb or curb. A black couple walk along. Two young Asian boys walk along. A middle aged man in a suit and bow tie, looks like a businessman, talks to another younger man outside a building, he touches his shoulder and talks behind his hand. Back to the pavement - a middle aged white couple walk along, with a young man, the older man is wearing a suit, hat and bow tie and the woman wears a pair of great 1950s sunglasses, she puts her arm through the young man's. A man in a jacket but no tie walks past. A woman holding a child's hand walks past in the opposite direction, we see their backs. Two men walk past and stop to cross the road.

Theatre posters for Blood Wedding (Little Theatre), Anatol and Waiting for Godot, a woman walks past. Back to the pavement, an old man walks slowly past. A couple pass by, the man is wearing long shorts. Three women pass, talking and laughing. A fire hydrant stands on the pavement. A smart young woman walks past, a man smoking, a boy carrying a paper.

Sign for MacDougal Street. A man pushes a cart along beside the traffic. Two women walk past San Remo Café then stop and continue talking. One points and they walk one. A dishevelled looking woman with untidy grey hair walks past the café. A man pushes something (a road sweeper?) across the road. A man carries a step ladder on his shoulder. Another man. A woman walks along carrying parcels in both hands, she looks into windows as she passes, then crosses the road. A mother and her children. A grandmother holds a child's hand, another woman is behind them. The grandmother and child cross the road. Two men talk on the corner. Other people pass by. One of the men stands on his own. Various other people walk past. A man looks in at a window. A man in an overall cleans the front step of San Remo Café Wines and Liquors with a broom and bucket. A man walks past carrying brooms. Camera films from behind curtain, then curtain opens.

Apartment buildings with fire escape steps. Large advertisement on wall for Hygrades. Camera pans around to show street and traffic. Buildings shot from moving vehicle. Machines working on building site. Street corner again from behind curtains. Curtains open and close. Street sign for Bowery.

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