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Title:BRITISCHE SPORT EN SPELEN IN TIJD VAN VREDE EN OORLOG (on copy held) [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 691
Other titles:BRITISH SPORTS AND GAMES IN TIME OF PEACE AND WAR [Translation]
Summary: Dutch language version of a film showing sporting activities in Britain before and during the First World War.
Description: The film shows examples of various sports. Firstly, flat racing, typified by the Epsom Derby, showing the horses coming round the final turn to the finish, and the winner's enclosure after the race. Next steeplechasing, showing a training race for a handful of horses. Some of the riders come off or have their horses fall under them over the jumps. Football is described as the British national winter sport. A professional match is shown, with the teams coming out of the tunnel and the game in progress. The home team is Aston Villa. Cricket, the national summer game, is shown as a village match, with the camera quite close in to the play. Rowing is illustrated by the finish of races at Henley Regatta, with crowds in punts surrounding the finishing line. Finally, golf, invented in Scotland. A match is in progress with a few spectators. One player just misses a long putt, after which his opponent misses a shorter putt and the hole is conceded.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 489 ft; Running time: 8 mins
Notes: Production: probably a British official film from the later part of the war, but there is no evidence for this. Professional football stopped after the 1914 season, and racing was temporarily halted during the 1917 grain shortage, so an earlier date is equally possible
Remarks: the unstated message of the film seems to be that despite the war British culture still flourishes and the country goes on as normal. There is a heavy emphasis on the Royal Family's interest in racing and on sports uniting people of all classes and social backgrounds. As an example of the crass awfulness of such an approach the film bears interesting comparison with MGH 332 LISTEN TO BRITAIN produced officially at the start of the Second World War, though to be fair to the propagandists of 1914-18 another Second World War film, BRITAIN'S YOUTH (UKY 242), is not noticeably superior in tackling a directly comparable message