Neat color film of London in 1927 (video)

I love the description, from the video page, of how it’s almost like watching old postcards, but in motion:

Incredible colour footage of 1920s London shot by an early British pioneer of film named Claude Frisse-Greene, who made a series of travelogues using the colour process his father William – a noted cinematographer – was experimenting with. It’s like a beautifully dusty old postcard you’d find in a junk store, but moving.

Music by Jonquil and Yann Tiersen.

I also get a kick out of people starting at the filmmaker, like he’s from Mars:


And the hats!  They’re ALL wearing hats (except a very few in front).

And the little girl with the hair, who’s either gone now, or 86 years old.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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19 Responses to “Neat color film of London in 1927 (video)”

  1. emjayay says:

    There is a lot of footage that is even closer to the turn of the century in England that was discovered and restored only a few years ago. Some guys went around filming people in crowds at a parade or leaving the factory at the end of the day, processed it in a mobile lab, and showed it the next night. People would pay for the opportunity to see maybe themselves or people of their town on film for the first time.

  2. emjayay says:

    Took me a second. Now I get it.

  3. Von Lmo says:

    nice music bed track…i would have suggested Waterloo Sunset.

  4. beltman713 says:

    I was thinking about the same thing. All those people, gone now.

  5. zorbear says:

    yes — you can identify them by the little tiny shirts that they wear…

  6. Cletus says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ve seen this one from 1906 San Francisco, haven’t you John?

  7. UncleBucky says:

    Me, too.

  8. nicho says:

    Polotics — are those the bugs that the ponies get?

  9. Or it proves you have more taste in art than politics :)

  10. I was thinking about that too.

  11. HeartlandLiberal says:

    One other profoundly moving thing about this was meditating on the fact that most of these people are gone now, their time over. This was triggered by the young girl in white sitting on a curb in the park. All I could think was, that my mother would have looked like that in 1927. And she died nearly ten years ago, now. I think the fact that we were seeing the people, all unrehearsed or posed, walking, driving, going about their daily lives, in color and in motion, made in all the more poignant.

  12. HeartlandLiberal says:

    Funny. Immediately following a remark about what would it be like if some rich American bought the Tower and moved to America to Palm Beach for their bungalow, the filmmaker takes us over London Bridge, which, of course, was bought by a rich American and moved block by block and reassembled in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

  13. codyj says:

    Gee, THANKS for this, wonderfull glimpse…love the cars n trucks, restored many like that over the years, what a remarkable window into the 20s, THANKS!

  14. pricknick says:

    Very nice John.
    Proves you’re better at research than polotics.

  15. BeccaM says:

    Fascinating. Thanks, John.

  16. That’s the other thing, yeah, it didn’t even entirely hit me – I’ve never seen people from the 1920s before, in action – I don’t think. Something seemed odd, but I hadn’t put my finger on it. You’re right.

  17. Wonderful is an understatement. Short of a time machine, that’s the closest any of us will ever get to that era.

    For people who enjoyed the movies, here are some even older still photographs, in vivid color no less!
    Once upon a time I could locate the entire collection in the Library of Congress, but the tiny selection at the Wiki is all I can manage now. :)

  18. emjayay says:

    Well then you should love the PBS/BBC The Midwife and Bletchley Circle series. And so should any anglophile. Or anyone.

  19. Larry Seiple says:

    Lived in England in the early ’50’s. That is amazing.

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