Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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A London travel writer visits Madeira to make the first travel film on the island. The reporter is a woman and her editor has sent her from London to do the assignment 1950's
"Our reporter in search of news finds a peace-loving people whose island lives up to its name of "Pearl of the Atlantic"" say the editor. First motion picture of the island.
The Reporter: Miki Hood
Mr. Charles: Horace Zeno (host in Madeira)
Reporter at a typewriter, outside in a terrace, narrating that she is in Porto Santo, the capital of Madeira. Lots of trees. View of the hills, ocean, white houses on the hills, palm trees, cathedral. Cobbled streets, home-drawn carriages, baby donkey on street, barefoot man walking by street. Car along avenue, view of cathedral at the back. Side streets, cobbled, Cars parked. Shops on the sides "LOJA" (shop), women outside of shop, dressed in white. Street lamps. Boys carrying baskets on shoulders. View of people walking on park. Women with mid-calf skirts, men with trousers on shirts. Two sets of two men carrying a passenger on a hammock walking on a cobbled street. Men wear hats. Two men, with straw hats, push a wicker sled on the cobbled road with a woman and two children on board. Men wear white trousers and shirts. Wide black belt.
Governor's palace named the Fortress of Saint Laurence, named such as it was on that saint's date that the island was discovered in 1420. Wooden hotels. Banana trees. Beach, man dives off board. People sun-bathing "in a free and easy modern manner". Women washing clothes at the river. Musicians playing at a restaurant. Guitars large and small. View of the hills from a hotel. Bar scene, women in black cocktail dress and men in black suits. View of ocean at night. Headlights of the cars along streets. Reporter typing again, recounting how it was only 2 weeks before that she had left Fleet Street. Scenes of London. Shops: "John Brumfit", "Stern's". Car on driveway to home. Reporter arrives at home and has to drive back to the port to take a boat to Madeira. Stops to let train by. Driver wears a fur coat. Reporter wears a wool coat. Arrival at port. "VENUS" is the boat. Passengers waving goodbye. View of boats leaving the port. Airplane in the air. Captain and co-pilot. Reporter sits down. Passengers at the bar, smoking. Bursar serves drinks to reporter. View of the coastline of Madeira. From the air. Plane lands in on the water. White houses on the hills. Boat takes passengers to shore. Reporter says good bye to Captain. Savoy Hotel. Car arrives at hotel. Bell boy with brass buttons. Carries luggage to the hotel. Reporter walks outside to the streets, past an arts and craft fair. Lace and baskets on display. Reporter wears dress to mid-calf. Long and red nails. Reads "A Glimpse of Madeira" by Cecil N. Nicler Reporter sits in terrace of hotel. Waiter brings drink, hotel manager approaches her.
Reporter dressed in white loose trousers and white shirt. Portuguese colonial architecture. Walks up the avenue. Jacaranda trees. Camera shop. Photo on display of Winston Churchill oil painting on a terrace overlooking the village of Cama dos Lobos (nest of wolves) during his visit in January 1950.
Fishing village Cama dos Lobos. Boats on shore. Fisherman hoists sail. Local women wearing head scarves, black or white dresses. Vineyards, man grape-picking. 18th century church. People swimming, drinking. Reporter with large straw hat, flowery dress, large earrings. Modern market place. Wicker baskets. Flowers. Fruit. Courtyard. Man in suits.
Santo Antonio Village Church. Three children. Views of the countryside. Hills. Reporter at the typewriter. Scene of bar, bottles on the back. Table made of a barrel. They drink wine and toast.
Swimming pool by the ocean. Sailing boats. Young man diving of boards. Wicker baskets bearing grapes. Men standing by baskets. Men carry grapes, men carry goatskins filled with wine. Man making a barrel. Flame inside. Rolling of barrels. Procession of goat skin bearers. Ceremonial moment in pageant celebrating this year's vintage. Goat skins are carried on the back of the neck. Wine is poured into barrels. Each goat skin carries 45 litres. Wicker making village. Men and women making wicker items. Costumes of artisans have not changes since medieval times. Basket-making takes place in the commercial district. Embroidery making. Women sitting on the hillside sewing. Irish linen used. English lady introduced in 1850. Fine tapestry making. Wools imported from England. Reporter sits around a table to stitch tapestries. English motifs: fox hunt, Gainsborough portraits.
View of HMS Vanguard. Ships on port. English sailors on leave. Large ship on view, it is from South Africa.
Another town, Terra da Luta (Land of the fight), with shrine of Our Lady of Peace. Procession to the Virgin Mary. Children in white. Women with black lace on the head. Band playing music. Men carrying statue of the Virgin Mary. Lots of people. Folk dancing in traditional costume. Men with pointy caps. Small guitars. Men with baggy trousers to the knees and short boots. Palm trees. Fishing village. Legend of man who eloped from West England, en route to France, boat was carried by the currents to this town. Woman died upon arrival, man, Robert, died after burying her. Sailors left and reached Morocco and were sold into slavery.
Singers serenading reporter at night with guitars and singing. Night scenes of clouds, mountain tops and palm trees. Fado singing in the background. Day coast scenes, house on mountains. Beach scenes, port scenes, children diving off port. "The Island of Tranquillity". Night scenes. Lamps on. Ship in harbour. Porter helping the reporter load luggage onto car. Boy hands her flowers. Hotel staff wave goodbye. Boat takes passengers to plane. Plane takes off the water.
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