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Other titles:NO 5 - NAVAL FROGMEN [Main Title]
NUMBER 5 - NAVAL FROGMEN [Alternative Title]
Summary: An advertisement for 'Senior Service' cigarettes featuring underwater frogmen of the Special Boat Service.
Description: START 00:00:00 Pre-title caption: "The following film won the first prize in the Series category at the Advertising Film Festival at Cannes, Sept. 1956." followed by main titles.
00:00:12 Scenes on board a Royal Navy Vosper fast patrol boat P8044, with three Special Boat Service (SBS) frogmen on board. To prevent damage to their equipment, their method of entering the water from the boat whilst it is travelling at high speed consists of leaping onto a rubber raft tethered to the craft and rolling sideways into the sea.
00:00:45 Wearing protective rubber suits, air tanks and flippers, the three frogmen begin their underwater mission - "The effectiveness of this underwater operation lies in its silence and secrecy." Their objective, an 'enemy' warship, is illustrated with stock shots showing the entrance to Valletta harbour on Malta (with the Royal Yacht Britannia visible in the background) and a flotilla of Algerine Class minesweepers moored in a Mediterranean port. They swim under water to their target (illustrated here by the Vosper patrol boat itself) and place limpet mines on its rudders. Such operations usually take place at night.
00:01:33 Afterwards they are picked up at high speed by the patrol boat. The method consists of a naval rating sitting in the rubber raft alongside the Vosper's hull lowering a large rubber ring into the water that the frogmen grab and use to haul themselves onboard - "Seals have nothing on these frogmen!". Afterwards, safely back on board the patrol boat, all three SBS frogmen share a packet of 'Senior Service' cigarettes - "There's a good hot cuppa waiting and time to enjoy a well-earned cigarette. A really satisfying cigarette too. Senior Service - tobacco at its best!"
Production Details: Senior Service Cigarettes (Production sponsor)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Keywords: Cold War 1945-1991 (theme)
Royal Navy 1945-2000 (theme)
Special Forces post-1945 (theme)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: Colour
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 200 ft; Running time: 2 mins 10 secs
Notes: Remarks: This film is a fascinating and unintentionally funny mix of armed services recruitment film and commercial advertisement. Made at a time when medical science had not yet established the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, this film's efforts to link the product advertised here with the understated, matter-of-fact machismo of highly-trained military specialists seems ludicrous now. However, the underwater shots of the SBS frogmen are useful.
Technical: There appears to be some water damage to the original film in the underwater sequences.