Film: 5738

Media | 1980 | Sound | Colour + B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Cecil Hepworth the pioneer filmmaker with his films and filming techniques - his story 1970's

John Huntley introduces and narrates.
Leamington Spa Bioscope show (Bioscope show film). Blackpool: Hurst Grove ceiling collapse; explosion of motor car/Phantom rides. Prince of Wales; Boer War; London Street; Funeral of Queen Victoria. How Old Lady stopped omnibus; Revolving table: King and Navy; on check; Petticoat Lane; Alice in Wonderland; Trip to Paris 1904; Bathing Baby Elizabeth. Rescued By Rover (Main action) Rescued by horse - John Gilpin's ride. Where oh where has my Little Dog gone
Fatal Sneeze: Tilly Tomboys; Suffragette in spite of himself; Coronation Steet; Prince of Wales; John Bunny at Derby. Hamlet; Q-riosities animation; Corporal's Kiddies. World War One; Cinema vans; The Secret (no.1); 'Coming Thro' The Rye'; Hollywood (Colour); Tansy; Walton Studios; Food Flashes (World War Two); end of Walton-on-Thames.

Film starts. Chrissie White and Henry Edwards in a car in Leamington Spa in 1920. Driving car through crowd of people. They are Hepworth actors. Still photos of travelling circus. A film of a front of house. Show with dancing girls trying to entice customers into tent. Man with handkerchief waving people in. Large numbers of men walking up staircase. Crowd arriving at Henley-on-Thames railway station. The Woodford (?), Essex, cycle meet. Women cycling on football pitch, possibly at Hove. The front of Blackpool in 1899. A point of view along the promenade. The end of the 1898 Derby. Still of British Film Producers Association, showing Hepworth + Paul amongst others. John Huntley in street in Walton-on-Thames. Street of Hurst Grove. Hepworth's studio. Still of original house. Circa 1901 outdoor stage set of ["Ceiling Collapse"]. Knockabout stuff.
"Explosions of a motor car" - car drives along road. Trick photography when it explodes and is shown to have disintegrated. Policeman takes notes in his notebook as limbs of accident vitims crash to the ground. Railway tunnel of Queensbury Tunnel in film made by Bamforth. G.A. Smith's "Kiss in the Tunnel" - the exit from tunnel. The entrance to the tunnel of Shilla Mill. Phantom ride into tunnel, story in the tunnel, kiss in tunnel. Exit from tunnel. Kiss from Bamforth film. 3 phases of film Kiss in the Tunnel are Bamforth , Bamforth, Smith.
Still of Hepworth demonstrating his eclipse- recording equipment. 1900 Paris Exposition- panoramic view from river Seine. Buildings. 1900 procession of Queen Victoria in Dublin. In carriage. H.M.S. Powerful being moved off to Boer war, Portsmouth 1900. Troop train, Kitchener. Kaiser's visit to London. Law courts in Strand opposite 1901 funeral procession at Victoria station. Still of Hepworth typing a script.
"How an old lady stopped the omnibus". Woman is run over by horse omnibus. Reverse camera angle trick shot as old lady pulls omnibus back. [Note a cyclist apparently cycling backwards, thus sabotaging the shot]
Woman falls off bus.
"The Revolving Table" humorous eating film. King Edward VII coronation. A visit to Ireland in 1903, King Edward and Queen Alexandra. Review of the fleet 1904 at Spithead. Officers greet king dresses in naval costume. Handshake. King Edward VII on the Royal yacht. 1904 Petticoat Lane. 'Alice in Wonderland' - The white rabbit. Alice chases rabbit into hole. Teaparty. Queen of Hearts, playing cards. 'Englishman's trip to Paris' 1904. Charing Cross station. Studio + location shot. On the train. On ship. Paddle steamer. Man sick over side of ship. French customs. Arc de triomphe. Café society.
John Huntley and Cecil Hepworth's daughter Elizabeth sit and look at a book. They talk. She flicks through book of photos. Elizabeth as a four-month old being bottle-fed. "Baby's Toilet", 1904. Mother holds baby up to camera. Still of Hepworth family. Elizabeth talks of acting in father's films.
"Rescued by Rover". A woman steals a baby from a prawn. Distraught family (1905). Dog jumps out of window. Runs down road. Wades through river. Dog discovers baby. Rover brings Hepworth to the house with the baby. Hepworth punts across a stream. Dog pushes door open and man enters. Father returns baby to wife. Congratulates or praises dog. Elizabeth talks. Stills of actor dog - not Rover, but Blair. Still of dog driving car.
"Black Beauty" - same type of story. Horse runs to rescue. Woman rides horse to save her mugged husband. Portrait of Hepworth. "John Gilpin's Ride". Tracking shot from car. (we see the steering wheel) as man rides horse away from camera. Walton Bridge. Riding through pond. Riding down street of Georgian houses. Man falls off horse. Still of Hepworth with some of his staff.
Elizabeth talks of her father's temper. Hepworth still developing sound system. A combined camera and sound device still. "The Hepworth Beaverphone". Sound film, man sings "where oh where has my little dog gone", in a copy of the Beaverphone system.

[section removed]

Outside of cinema with Mary Pickford film playing. Newsreel shot of Hepworth looking at shutter blades of film projector. Other man turns handle on it. Excerpt from "The Fatal Sneeze". Still of Chrissie White looking through window. Publicity still of White. "Tilly the Tomboy". Two girls drive horse and cart along. Girl pokes tongue out at other girl. "Tilly and the Fire Engine"- 2 girls kiss. Girls jump off horse-drawn fire engine. Unravelling hose. Running fireman. Alma Taylor is the other star. Fixing hose to fire hydrant top. Girls turn hose on and onto cyclists and fire brigade. Girls with medals on and laughing. Salute the camera.
J. Huntley and Chrissie White walk in a garden. She with a stick and resting on his arm. They walk in the garden of Chrissie White's home in Hampshire. It is thatched. Indoors, Huntley interviews White.
Still of Chrissie White holding horse with a giant horseshoe in front. Publicity still of her. John Huntley interviews her. She talks about her name and make up. Extract of Chrissie acting coyly between two men. Still of Hepworth.
Woman pins sign on tree "Votes for women"- from "A suffragette in spite of himself". Two boys watch and remove poster. Mat McDermott starred in Chris Edison film filmed at the Walton Studios. Boys pin poster on man's back. He walks off, boys laugh. He walks by an Anti-suffragette meeting and is hounded off. He stops at a newspaper stand. One of the billboards refers to Mr. Churchill. Man shakes his stick at tormentors. Fight ensues. Man runs off. Police chase him about central London. Suffragettes rescue man from police. They show him poster. He denounces them and runs away.
Actual footage of Whitehall in 1901 with horse-drawn buses and "Canada. Britain's Granary" sign on arch. 1910 funeral of King Edward VII. Hepworth's camera caught fire engines dashing along road to fire, with crowds waiting for the funeral cortege! Coronation of George V and Queen Mary. Investiture of Prince of Wales at Caernarvon in North Wales. John Bunny and Florence Trimble at the Derby in 1912.
Hamlet with Johnstone Forbes Robertson. Gaston Quirubet made "Q'riosities' which mix animated with live action. Little girl in bed plays with little black man. Parts of the picture pull(?) together from different sources.
"The Corporal's Kiddies"- real shots of Royal Thames Laundry at Walton. Shots of women in laundry in circa 1912. Injured ex-serviceman wants to work. He has lost an arm and is refused. Injured soldier meets former officer and salutes. He is appointed gatekeeper to his former commanding officer. Upper and lower classes.
Actual footage of the First World War. Trench mortars being fired. Explosions. Soldiers in snowy trenches: Allied troops climb out of trenches and walk in snow across no man's land. Still of Hepworth in army uniform. The Beaverbrook cinema lorry.
"The Secret" was film made by the studio for the Ministry of Information. It tells people how to make the best use of potatoes or dumplings - with Chrissie White and Henry Edwards. Nice little story - add potatoes to your puddings is the theme. Close-up of the recipe being made. Chrissie's man is happy with his home-made pudding.
"All's Button" a film about demob from 1920. Soldiers return from war. Soldiers and girl on doorstep. The "Hepworth" Magazine. Still of German U- Boot diesel switch and motors acquired for vast new studio. Still of family outside hotel on holiday. Still on a yacht.
Daughter Elizabeth talks of her father and his yacht. Still in the car as they film horses racing.
Film in which couple are on bridge. The rail collapses and man saves girl from falling in. She spurns him. Girl enters gypsy caravan.
Colour film of Hollywood in 1930s- walking down Hollywood Boulevard. "Coming through the Rye" was Hepworth's last major film. He was old-fashioned. Hollywood was new + vibrant. Scene from film. Coach arrives at house. People get out; set in Victorian times. Women in long dresses. 1920s. Outside of 'Empire Theatre' -outside a film premiere. Lots of lights and people to see Norma Shearer in 'Trelawney of the Wells'.
More from 'Coming through the Rye'- people talk in back garden. Man in smart clothes walks over from group. Elizabeth talks again about father not realising seriousness of situation. Still of the Hepworth children. The 'Hepworth' sign 1898- 1908' on the Walton Studio's Wall in the 1950's. The studio in the 1950's. Still of Hepworth's staff. Hepworth made trailers for other people. A Ministry of Food "Food Flash". Ration Book, indications of which sections to fill in. A woman enters a wartime shop. Preparing to cut ration allowances out of book. Shopkeeper. Another "Food Flash"- woman puts milk bottles outside her door. She does it clumsily and knocks them over. A man kicks bottle into gutter. Man sweeps gutter. All three of these people seen from knees down. A deflating lorry tire. Woman neatly placing bottles outside house. Still of Hepworth in old age. He died in 1952. All his films were then melted down. His daughter talks of his poor business sense.
Late 1960's- the studio being demolished. The inside as it is knocked down. Film camera on the floor.
Modern traffic passing the site of the old Walton studios. John Huntley talks to camera. Street name "Hepworth Way".
Montage of Hepworth movies: Early film - car knocks down policeman (use of camera trickery). Feeding a baby from bottle of milk. Men fighting - one punches other.
Horse and cab knocks down clumsy pedestrian. Rover the dog. Car craches into man squatting in road and car bounces off again. Coming through the Rye and early costume drama - people walk to camera. Ghostlike horse bus disappears as it travels along. Man is surprised. Railway train passes through station and disappears- it fades away. Man sits on Gladstone bag in middle of road. He gets up and fights an imaginery foe. He also fades away. Bag disappears in puff of smoke.


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