Film: 6355

Newsreels + Film Magazines | 1960 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Two news stories. The first presents the American take on the political situation in Iraq from 1958 onwards. The second is a 'funny' about 'the walking craze'.

Violence in Iraq
A map of the Middle-East, with Iraq in the centre. Camera zooms onto Iraq, which is described by the narrator as 'the cockpit of the Arab world'. Iraqis on the busy streets of Baghdad. Sellers in a marketplace. Really good panning shot of an Iraqi street as filmed from the back of a moving vehicle. The voice-over says that the events in Iraq are occurring against 'a way of life that has changed little since the Dark Ages'. Dramatic incidental music. A policeman/traffic warden stands in a street and holds up his arms, facing the camera. A few cars drive on the street. Wonderful shot of a harbour, overlooked by a mosque, where traders load up a variety of boats. Men dig in a mine, women balance trays of minerals on their heads, while a man in the foreground sieves sand and rocks. The patronising voice-over states 'Today's Iraqi backwardness represents a marked decline from the days when Iraq's central acres were a part of storied Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilisation. The 'backward' industry of the Iraqis is seen in really good shots of horses pulling chords that operate water troughs.

Two men operate heavy machinery in an oil rig. Good shots of the oil drilling equipment. Officials supervise activity in the oilfield. Several workmen congregating around a large oil pipe in the ground. Close-up of rich-looking Sheikh types overseeing the work. A workman wears a protective mask and operates a blowtorch to repair the pipe. Shot of the oilfield, where the camera has been positioned to get a shot of the land, as seen between two pipes. High-angle view of several large storage oil drums, while a car drives along the adjacent road. High-angle shot of the oil refinery buildings. Shot inside the refinery of the tall machinery and pipes.

A royal horse-drawn procession rides through an Iraqi street (Bagdad or Baghdad?). King Faisal II and an accompanying person in royal dress sit in a horse-drawn carriage, that comes to a stop. Around 40 soldiers all dressed in white stand to attention by the King's carriage, while other military types salute and hold flags. Faisal and companion get out of their carriage.

A desk topped with microphones at an indoor press conference. Faisal and officials walk through a door and up to the desk. He wears a military dress uniform. The narrator describes how the King's 'friendliness toward the Free World' was resented, and how 'Pro-United Arab Republic groups and communist infiltrators harassed him.' Faisal stands for photographs at the press conference. New footage of Faisal wearing a suit at some kind of outdoor ceremony. He walks away from his car accompanied by aides. Faisal walks along a path laid out for him, shaking several hands. There are many people at the ceremony, and it is notable that virtually all of them wear westernised suits or military uniforms - none seem to be wearing traditional Arab clothes. Faisal conducts some kind of opening ceremony by cutting a ribbon.

Footage of Faisal in military dress uniform at an indoor official function, meeting Saud bin Abdul Aziz, then King of Saudi Arabia. Saud was 'having his own troubles with the Reds and Arab Nationalists', according to the narrator. Members of Saud's entourage sit in the function room, looking solemn. They wear Keffiyehs (traditional Arab head-dresses) and white robes. Faisal and Saud sit and talk to one another.

The narrator relates how army and airforce officers seized control of Iraq in 1958, with accompanying images of planes flying in formation, shot from the ground, and a tank driving down a road. Cheering soldiers line a Baghdad street. The army leader of this coup, Abd al-Karim Qasim, is seen standing solemnly on a porch, with some officials. A tank travels down a street, while the narrator describes how the revolutionaries executed Faisal II and his Prime Minister. Qasim is described as having 'sold out to the Kremlin', and he is seen welcoming an Arab dignitary of some kind. Qasim and the dignitary sit in on a sofa together while cameramen film them. We are given a close-up of Qasim's smiling face, while the narrator tells us that his 'appointment of Reds to high office was his undoing'. We are told of another officers' coup d'etat that killed and overthrew Qasim, 'calculated to thwart further communist influence'. We see the inside of a room containing the bloodied corpses of Qasim and two others. What appears to be Qasim's corpse is briefly seen being carried through a street on a stretcher.

The narrator states that this second coup was 'regarded in international political circles as greatly enhancing the prestige of Gamal Abdel Nasser.' This man, Egypt's President, is seen in a large hall, walking up to a podium to give a speech to an applauding audience. He smiles and informally salutes them. Panning shot of the crowd clapping. Nasser begins to speak, and the narrator says that he has recently been 'courting the West,.
Iraq's new president, Abdul Salam Arif, is seen in military uniform, walking up a set of steps. He turns away from the camera and waves at an unseen crowd. The camera cuts to the cheering crowd, but it looks as though this shot may have been edited in from a separate occasion. At night, Arif stands by a microphone and reads out a speech. Shot of a massive cheering crowd in daytime. Arif gives another speech from a platform, this time seen during the day. The narrator says that Arif and 'his friend' Nasser are beginning to see that Arab and 'Free World' interests are not incompatible. Lots of smiling Arabs have congregated in a crowd, and the cameraman pans round to film them from fairly close-up. They smile and wave at the camera. Some are military, others are civilian. The narrator describes this as 'anti-Soviet Iraqi troops… greeting their new leader.' Two soldiers sit on top of a tank in a Baghdad street. Shots of traffic in Baghdad, and soldiers stopping and searching cars at a roadblock. The narrator says 'army and militia men carry on the search for communist infiltrators, over 100,000 of whom entered Baghdad during Qasim's regime.' Mugshot picture of an Arab man, as the narrator describes how foreign communists are deported from Iraq. A poor-looking Iraqi rides a horse down a Baghdad street. Three armed soldiers stand powerfully in front of a tank parked in the street, as the narrator describes how 'Native Reds, known for crimes perpetrated on behalf of Qasim, are sent before firing squads.' Soldiers continue searching cars at the roadblock, and an armed man in civilian clothes looks on. The voice-over states that Arabs are 'more concerned about the dangers of communism than is realised by some Western leaders.' Soldiers stand in the street by a parked military jeep and stroll around. The parked tank is seen again shot from further back as the narration finishes by claiming that Iraq is undertaking a 'bold bid to unshackle itself from Communism.'

2 - Looks at the craze of the Kennedy March. In 1963, President Kennedy said 'I think most American people are so weak, they can't even walk fifty miles within twenty hours', which lead many Americans to try this themselves.
Quirky upbeat music plays throughout, while a voice-over narrates. An American officer addresses a group of marines who stand outside. The marines walk briskly down a road, smiling and talking. Athletes on a walking race, it appears to be fairly novelty as many of the competitors are in middle age. They are followed by photographers and cameraman (some of whom are on bicycles). (Slightly speeded-up footage) Close-up of a woman's bottom, and then her feet as she walks quickly along a road. Several people walk along the same road. There is snow on the ground, and a few cars drive slowly by. Two women walking, wearing woolly jumpers and scarves. The randy cameraman gives us several more close-ups of their backsides!
Two slightly overweight men compete in the walking race, pulling pained facial expressions as they go. Close-up on the stumpy legs of one of the racers.
In a city street, in front of an important-looking building, former President Harry Truman walks up to a police officer and shakes his hand.
A woman walks down an empty road, with a close-up on her feet.
Close-up of two sets of male, uniformed legs. As they walk, the camera pans up to show that they are beret-wearing soldiers. They are doing the walk in the middle of a city road, blocking traffic. Several suited reporters are struggling to keep up to interview the soldiers.
Two men on the walking race, filmed from behind. Their hips wiggle amusingly. Close-up of a women's heeled feet as they walk. Woman, man and children's feet. Close-up of some feet that are wearing flat, cheap-looking shoes. Five penguins walk in a line by a pool. Back to the women's bottoms seen previously, walking along the snow-covered road. A baby penguin tries to walk up a ice-covered slope but keeps falling back down. Slow-motion high angle shot of a middle-aged man doing the walking race. The feet of a woman walking two small dogs. Various feet shot quickly.
A mother and baby giraffe walking in a zoo enclosure. Two toddlers wearing anoraks walk along a paved street holding hands. A postman's feet walk, and the camera pans up to show the bag he is carrying.
A lone athlete walks backwards very quickly down a street. He is watched by a small crowd of onlookers, while a man walk forwards alongside him, and a car and cyclists follow. Close-up of his legs walking backwards. Close-up of the backwards-walker and his guide from the torso up.


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