Film As we've discussed previously, the news archive on YouTube are an endless, seemingly bottomless supply of footage of our collective past, hundreds and thousands of moments in time captured in a way which wasn't possible before the invention of photography existing so that nothing much can be forgotten about anything. For that reason and because every other film you can think of from that year's been invalidated by the various rules I decided upon at the beginning of this project, my favourite film(s) of 1938 is the Pathe News archive. Yes, cop out has two words. Anyway, having hit the wall and made a hole in it, let's choose some examples which cover the usual interests of this blog.
Their Majesties In Liverpool (1938)
My Grandfather was in the Liverpool Scottish, though he died before I was born. I didn't know either of my Granddads. This from the "Royal Tour of Lancashire" spoken with the same exoticism as any other part of what was then the British Empire. I like to think I displayed similar athleticism when our school cross country was on Wavertree Playground but in truth I came second to last and only because the other person turned up late and ran the wrong way.
The National Theatre At South Kensington (1938)
George Bernard Shaw receiving the deeds, a sod and a twig at the launch of the National Theatre. Shaw of course wastes no time in comparing himself to Shakespeare. At this early stage it was designating itself as the home of the Bard in London, years before the Barbican and the Globe.
Henry VIII Model Aka Model Film Stars Issue Title Ride 'em Cowboy (1938)
A quick scoot about online to find out more about Harald Melville. He was an author with many books about set design published later in the 40s and 50s. 1948, ten years later, was a busy year for him. His one screen credit according to the IMDb was as an actor and art director on a film called Castle Sinister, a spy thriller. That same year he was the set and costume designer at a Glyndebourne production of Die Entfuhrung in the Bath Festival 1948 (Theatre Royal, Bath). He also appeared at the Gateway Theatre in two shows.
Billy Mayer And His Claviers (1938)
And now some music. Since even the legacy of the Sugababes doesn't stretch back this far not counting the release of Angels With Dirty Face starring James Cagney, here's some other musical dexterity.
Window Cleaners on The Empire State Building.
Welcome to New York, it's there waiting for you. The Pathe archive is filled with these sorts of films of events and happenings which in later years are the stuff of askew montage sequences in the likes of Amelie, Stephen Poliakoff dramas and Adam Curtis documentaries. It's not just that this happened, it's that it happened regularly. Here's another bonus example:
Musical Dawson Birds (1938)