- Title: THE FRANCE I KNEW [Main Title]
- Film Number: MGH 3772
- Other titles: AMATEUR FILM BY ROSIE NEWMAN [Alternative Title]
- Summary: Amateur film shot and edited by Miss Rosie Newman of her inter-war travels in France (probably 1938), and footage shot on her wartime trip to France from 30 March 1940 to mid May 1940.
- Description: The film opens with a sunrise shot, followed by scenes in Le Touquet, probably 1938, with shots of a large open-air swimming pool and Aero-plages (sand-yachts) on the beach. Scenes from the Grandes Fête de Fleurs in Le Touquet including a group of young girls dancing in the street, older girls dancing in the street accompanied by an orchestra, girls doing gymnastics in the street, various flower decorated floats including depictions of the following - Jeanne D'Arc, L'Entente Cordiale, Peace and Napoleon. Film of Paris, probably also 1938, including footage of the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe with a shot of the Eiffel Tower. Shots along the Avenue des Champs Elysées showing the traffic and the Arc de Triomphe. Flowers on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Shot across the Place de la Concorde showing a fountain and the Egyptian obelisk. Shots of other sights of Paris including the Place Vendôme, La Madeleine, street cafés, a balloon seller, small children riding in goat carts and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Shot across the river Seine with film of the "modern" buildings from the International Exhibition of Paris. Le Trocadéro. La Colonne de la Paix. Brief shot of fireworks. Unidentified artist at work in his studio painting using a palette knife including shots of his painting of the Princess Brinda of Kapurthala and her daughter Isadora (?) and shots of the artist playing a piano accordion. Miss Newman's companions embarking on a Pullman carriage at a Paris station. Interior shots in the dining car. Scenes in Biarritz, probably 1938, including a tram, shots of the coastline including the lighthouse, the Hotel du Palais, waves breaking on the rocks, a children's playground on the beach, postcard vendor, souvenir shop, street vendors, Spanish refugee children, men fishing from the beach, the lighthouse, five dachshunds playing with a ball on the beach and a shot of a bemused poodle. Large Basque villas and their gardens. Bayonne Cathedral. Shots of a large fairground carousel. A trotting race through the streets of Bayonne (?). A Basque peasant with his ox cart. Shots of the harbour of St Jean de Luz. Scenes in the village of Sarre (?) in the Pyrenees, including shots in the market (with one women shielding her face to avoid the camera), and men playing Pelota (?). Scenes at the Convent du Refuge with a brief shot of the building and shots of the sisters and orphan probationers going into the graveyard to pray. Shot of a train entering Biarritz station (?). A contingent of the Chasseurs Alpins with full pack and skis on the march. A panning shot across the mountain village of Gourdan (sic. Gourdan-Polignan?). A market in the mountains. Restaurant St Pol (?). Shots of flowers and fruit trees. A contingent of unidentified Arab cavalry. Scenes in Monte Carlo, including a panning shot across the harbour and an exterior shot of the casino. Scenes in Cannes, including the beach, boats in the harbour, men playing boules on the dockside, brief scenes in the Le Suquet quarter. La Croisette, passers-by admiring a parked car with an unusual central tail fin design, probably a Czech Tatra Type 87 variant with a special sports type body. Sustained sequences showing various shop fronts including - Chanel, Guerlain, Van Clef Arpels, Heim and Vincent. Queue outside a cinema. Open air roller skating rink. The Carlton Bar. Ice cream vendor on the front. Two boys in model cars. The Californie Palace Hotel. The English Church in the Californie. Rolling title quoting from Rupert Brooke's poem The Soldier "If I should die think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field, That is for ever England" , shot of a well tended grave, presumably, of an British soldier. Scenes in the garden of La Garoupe. The Villa de la Croix-des-Gardes and its gardens. Shots of a sunset, followed by a brief shot of a Union Jack and of a French Tricolour. The second part of the film opens with the caption "In April 1940 we visited France again to entertain troops with film shows, and benefit the French Red Cross". Shot of a poster advertising a screening of "Visions de L'Inde" (Glimpses of India") Cercle Interallié 5 May 1940. Posed shot of Rosie Newman, with Bob Fennymore and the specially built boxes containing all her film equipment. Close-up of the seal of the British Board of Film Censors on one of the boxes. Shots of some of the official documents required to organise the trip. Brief black and white footage of the BEF in France including soldiers marching, a tank on a road and French and British officers and men climbing up a steep bank. Black and white shots of British troops filling their water bottles from a large water cask in a railway station, British troops sitting on a railway station platform and a shot of a train departing, probably Paris. Troops resting sitting on a platform in a railway station, probably Paris. Exterior shots of the British Army and RAF personnel and a nurse (?) standing at the door of the "British Leave Club" at the Hotel Moderne (?), probably Paris. Brief interior shots taken during the screening of one of Rosie Newman's films, showing a small auditorium full of seated troops with Bob Fennymore operating the projector and Rosie Newman standing in front of a Union Jack decorated screen delivering her spoken introduction to the film. Shots of members of the Indian Contingent of the BEF marching and on parade in the countryside. Shots of permits issued by the French War Office and British Ministry of Information allowing Rosie Newman to film. Brief shot of three nurses standing by the side of "a modern mobile surgery, a gift from America", a large white lorry with the following inscriptions painted on the side "Ministère de L'armement" "Camion opératoire, Bronchoscopie, oxygènothérapie, tranfusion sanguine" "Camion Radiographique Laboratoire". Brief panning shot of French women working in the fields. French and Senegalese troops resting in the Southern French Alps region near Cannes. Capitaine Briand and Lieutenant Heral posing for the camera sitting on a motorbike. Shots of French and Senegalese troops resting and eating. Shots of French troops on leave walking along Le Croisette in Cannes. Panning shot along the coastline at Cannes. French soldiers and civilians playing boules, probably in Cannes. Red Cross lorries. More scenes with the French Senegalese troops, showing the troops resting, cleaning their rifles, with their mules, cooking in the open-air and several portrait shots on individual Senegalese soldiers. French soldiers resting and eating at a Poilus Foyer (Foyer Militaire Cannes) with the building decorated with several Union Jack flags. French Senegalese troops packing their equipment and on the move. French troops in a railway station, possibly Cannes. Poster of a French sailor looking out to sea "Il veille....souscrivez". Caption "May & June 1940" followed by a drawing depicting the Nazi attack and fall of France and General de Gaulle's message "La France a perdu une bataille! Mais la France n'as pas perdu la guerre" with scenes of Free French troops including black and white footage of Chasseurs Alpins, followed by colour scenes shot in Plymouth, England 6 December 1940 showing Triomphant and the submarine Surcouf. The film concludes with the poster "French Resistance Throttles the Boche" and the rolling caption "For 4 years, France held under the German yoke has been paying with her blood for the treachery of those who surrendered her. Tens of thousands of patriots have joined the ranks of the fallen heroes of 39-40. They died that France should keep her place in the world they fought to save. République Francaise. Liberté Egalité Fraternité."
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM (MGH 3772)
- Featured Period:
- Production Date: 1938
- Production Country:
- Production Details: Newman, RosieBritish film-maker, "Britain at War" (Production individual) Newman, RosieBritish film-maker, "Britain at War" (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations:
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: Colour Sound format: B&W Soundtrack language: Lenticular Colour Title language: English Subtitle language: English
- Technical Details: Format: 16mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 2 Footage: 2076 ft; Running time: 87 mins
- Notes: Further information on Rosie Newman and her films is held in the Production Office. The caption sheet held does not correspond exactly to the version of this film held by the Museum. The black and white BEF sequences were shot by British Army Film Unit cameramen - our film refs AYY 2-1 and AYY 5-4+5. Miss Newman travelled to France on 30 March 1940 under the auspices of the British War Office, the French Red Cross and the YMCA to show three of her pre-war films "Across the Border", "To the Land of the Pharoahs" and "Glimpses of India" as entertainment for members of the British Expeditionary Force and to civilian audiences to raise funds for charity. Miss Newman was accompanied on her trip by her chauffeur/ cine-operator Mr Bob Fennymore, and, for part of her trip, Lady Joan Birkbeck (wife of Colonel Oliver Birkbeck). Shot on a mixture of 16mm B&W, Kodachrome and Kodacolor. Czech Tatra car probable identification made by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
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