Film: 5804

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

Aboard ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 1950's

Opening sequence: Alistair Cooke voice over starts with an animated globe of the world alluding to the fact that four-fifths of the world is covered in water. A rather grandiose beginning continues with reference to the historical context of sea travel and its beginnings a thousand years ago.. Still paintings of Leif Eriksson and his Viking comrades setting out on their voyage across the North Atlantic. Close up of painting of Christopher Columbus. Cooke continues with his potted history of sea exploration and travel over a map showing the routes of travel between Europe and eastern shore of the U.S.A. Painting of a clipper ship with three masts. Painting of Samuel Cunard who envisaged a regular line which could carry passengers on steam ships in safety on time regardless of wind or weather. On 4th July 1840 the first regular Cunard liner, Britannia, sailed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Halifax in Boston. Painting of this ship accompanies the voice-over. Cunard steam ship headquarters in Liverpool with the distinctive flag of the company on a flagpole. Mauritania ship, Britannia ship. Media and Parthia ships. Samaria ship docked at quayside. Coronia ship. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Illustrated map of UK showing Southampton and Cherbourg both starting points for the Queens Elizabeth and Mary. Other ships of the fleet serve Liverpool Cobh and Le Havre, also shown on map. Cunard offices exterior in Lower Regent Street with Routemaster bus passing by. Model of Queen Elizabeth in shop window in Regent Street is looked at by a young boy and his mother. Cunard Line office in centre of Paris. Panning shot of Cunard offices interior with travel agent discussing details of travel with customers cabin accommodation. Map showing different types of cabin available in tourist, cabin or first class travel. Illustrated map showing destinations of ships, including Halifax, New York and Montreal in Quebec. Very good shot of exterior of boat train at Waterloo with passengers standing outside Pullman wagons waiting at station. Sign for Cunard Line "The Cunarder". Queen Elizabeth. Good shot of the Cunarder. The first express train designed to carry Cunard passengers. The train pulls out of Waterloo station and is seen arriving at Southampton Ocean terminal. Passengers look at one of the ships tied up at Quayside (two funnels visible). A bell boy wearing maroon uniform, cap and gloves carries luggage for two passengers along a corridor into a first class room. Panning shot of first class cabin showing opulent decoration with wood panelling throughout. Passengers line the decks to wave farewell. Tugs dwarfed by the huge ship move into position. Exterior of ship with word Elizabeth clear. Rigging and crow's nest which look incongruous and of an earlier seagoing time. Mechanised gangway is removed and the ropes are let go. The Queen Elizabeth is ready to sail. Close up of controls on bridge of ship. Close-up of funnel with steam rising and horn blaring. Passengers wave goodbye to their friends as the ship moves off. Friends on shore wave back. A sailor moves the controls as the ship moves away aided by tug boats at slow ahead speed. Down Southampton water. Panning shot of this 1000ft long ship. Passengers enjoy a cigarette on the ship on deck. Cherbourg train station where passengers from Paris arrive and join the ship. People line the quays at Cherbourg harbour. Direction signs for the main deck: Shops, barber and beauty parlour. Prom deck: Shops, travel bureau, public rooms and library. A passenger points to the handy deck plan. Passengers enter on of the thirty five lifts which serve the fourteen decks. Panning shot of the purser's office. Radio telegram office. Our two elderly passengers scan the passenger lift. A woman hands over some dresses to a cabin boy. Brief shot of bedroom. Panning shot of three men getting their hair cut at barbers. A woman admires her hair in the beauty salon. A shoe shine in smart uniform cleans shoes. A couple are served breakfast in bed by two servants. Behind them an ornate screen can be seen. Close up of the Ocean Times printed overnight on the ship. Close up of a white bakelite telephone. Women operators at telephone exchange. A woman talks on her phone. A couple take the air on the broad decks. Passengers enjoy the sun on comfortable deckchairs. Cabin class sports deck. Broad tourist class deck. A man photographs two friends reclining in chairs. Veranda grille high up on deck where passengers enjoy a view of the sea with their lunch. Close up of Chinese figurines and handbags on sale on the on board shop. Woollens, tweeds and cashmere knitwear, along with men's ties, pyjamas on sale. Good shot of on board library. Two men enjoy a game of chess. An attractive woman wearing a distinctive 1950's one piece bathing suit plays a game of catch over a badminton net. A very beatnik looking couple, he wearing small skullcap large lapelled white shirt and black tank top, she all in black except white square sunglasses with black lenses, very similar to 3-D cinema glasses, play quoits. Other people play shuffleboard. In the gymnasium a man boxes and people engage in various exercise. A couple ride an exercise bike, another two men exercise on rowing machines. Bathers dive into the swimming pool on board the ship. Close ups of swimmers wearing 1950's costume in pool. Afternoon tea is served on the broad enclosed promenade deck with cakes and pastries being offered to the passengers. Tea is served in the main lounge. A waiter brings over cake stand which is inspected by a woman sitting with her friends. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth in main lounge (Queen Mother). Inlaid marquetry panels in main lounge. Adorning the great stairway between the promenade and the main deck is the largest marketing panel in the world, which depicts the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. This work is seen in close up. According to the voice-over this work is an inlay of many rare woods in their natural colours, more than seventy varieties of wood. Exterior of a cinema with sign and set of five large lobby cards for unidentified film. On the promenade deck aft is the theatre for first and cabin class passengers. Good shots of interior with curtains opening and theatre goers taking their seats. Good shot of observation bar on the promenade deck. Tray of cocktails. A barman pours two drinks into champagne glasses from a cocktail shaker. Cabin class nursery. A boy plays at a miniature captain's bridge. Children's party where children sit at tables and balloons are thrown from one table to another. Smoking room with sumptuous spread of food. In the background is a mural map which shows a panorama of the North Atlantic illustrating the route of the two "Queens" from the Bishop Rock to Ambrose light ship. Queen Mary passes Queen Elizabeth on open sea. Sailor adjusts direction of ship with ship's wheel. At this point in the film quality is marred by tramlines. Ships officers use sextants to plot the course of the ship. Close up of crows nest. Panning shot of funnel and deck of ship, port and starboard. Passengers stroll along the decks. Sunset with two figures in foreground. A couple prepare for dinner, he wears a smoking jacket, she a large pink nightgown. Passengers in full evening dress arrive at the main restaurant with a substantial buffet including lobster on display. Passengers are served at tables by waiters. Steak is served on a platter. Roast of lamb is presented. Beef carver cuts slices of roast beef in the restaurant. A couple look at a waiter who shows them the grouse and pheasant on sale. Chef prepares crepes. Passengers retire after dinner to gamble. Dance band plays as passengers dance. Dancers play a knockout game on the floor which entails keeping a balloon suspended between two foreheads. Statue of Liberty on the port side of ship. Manhattan skyline seen from the deck with numerous shots of the skyscrapers on the island. Queen Elizabeth steams up the Hudson River. Empire State Building in long shot. Long shot of Queen Elizabeth. Cunard White Star pier. Passengers say their goodbyes and leave the ship via the gangway. Park Avenue, New York, Fifth Avenue, Bowling Green Lower Broadway. Vibrant orange and reds of the forests of New England in autumn. "Maid of the Mist" in Niagara Falls. Chicago city centre. Canadian Rockies. Orange groves in California. Chinese theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Grand Canyon Arizona. Native Indians dancing. A car passes through the Appalachian mountains. A boat goes through the shaded cypress gardens of the Carolinas.


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