1970s US cinema interlude - Previews of Coming attractions

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PublicEnquiry

 

Published on Nov 2, 2013

Back in the 1950s the Interludes on BBC television were short films used to fill up gaps in the programme, during intervals in plays (yes there were actual intervals then!), or as a standby in case of a studio breakdown. They mainly consisted of tranquil scenes, such as Ploughing, in which a horse-drawn plough would gradually work across a field, or a windmill, sails slowly turning. The interlude most fondly remembered is the Potters Wheel, in which a potter's hands (the potter was not shown) would make various vase-type objects on the wheel, but never actually finishing any. The films were accompanied on the soundtrack by peaceful music or natural sounds.

Three other programmes, not technically interludes, were also used to fill time on BBC television during the 1950s. They were two short items made by the BBC Film Unit, London to Brighton in Four Minutes and the BBC Suppressor Film. A longer programme, used as a last-minute substitute when the scheduled item was unavailable, was Journey Into The Weald of Kent, introduced by Sir John Betjeman. This film lasted longer and was made by the National Benzole petrol company; it was later also used as a trade test colour film.

The following list, unfortunately not complete, comes mainly from a handwritten sheet copied out by Arthur Dungate in the early 1950s augmented by information from the BBC. Inevitably there are gaps in this list; additions and corrections will be most welcome!

This list of BBC Television Interludes gives the title of the film, its length where known (films were seldom shown in full, however), where filmed (if known) and the accompanying music. It is assumed that most of these films were made by the BBC Film Unit.

ANGEL FISH (8m 45s). Shot at Regents Park Zoo.

1. Rippling Waters (Donald Thorne) - - QHLO (Chappell C 359)
2. Cloud Drifts (Cecil Milne) - - QHLO-Williams (Chappell C 213)
3. Picture in the Fire (Farnon) - - QHLO-Farnon (Chappell C 335)
BANKS OF STREAM (8m 45s). Shot on River Ouse, Olney, Bucks.

1. Cloudland (Bruce Campbell) - - QHLO-David King (Chappell C 400)
2. Queen Mary's Garden (Haydn Wood) - - QHLO-Torch (Chappell C 345)
BONFIRE (6m 50s). Shot at Lighthorne, near Leamington Spa.

CHURCH, MILL & STREAM (9m 15s). Shot at Olney, Bucks.

1. Starlings (Charles Williams) - - QHLO-Williams (Chappell C 261)
2. How beautiful is Night (Robert Farnon) - - QHLO-Farnon (Chappell C 312)
HARP.
Improvisation on the harp by Owen Mason

KAIETEUR FALL (7m 11s). Shot in British Guiana.

LOCH REFLECTION alias LOCH REFLECTIONS (7m 00s). Shot on Loch Tay by Monty Rednap.

1. The Most Covered Mountain (trad) (BBC 19381)
2. The Highland Cradle Song (trad) (BBC 19381)
3. March of the Cameron Men (trad) (BBC 19382)
4. Kenmure's On An' Gwa (trad) (BBC 19379)
5. March: Cabbi Freidh (trad) (BBC 19380)
6. Highlan Laddie (trad) (BBC 19379)
7. Cock of the North (trad) (BBC 19377) - - John Burgess (piper)
MOONLIGHT SEASCAPE. Shot at Chesil Beach.

PALM BEACH (9m 07s). Shot on Jamaica.

POTTER'S WHEEL (5m 50s)

1. The Young Ballerina (Charles Williams) - - QHLO-Williams (Chappell C 400)
2. Sadlers Wells (Haydn Wood) - - QHLO-Sidney Torch (Chappell C 345)
PLOUGHING (8m 05s). Tillingham (not Tilford), Essex.

1. The Ploughman Homeward Plods - - ?
2. Passing Stormclouds (Louis Voss) - - Grande Orch-Voss (Bosworth BC 1217)
3. Downlands (Cecil Milne) - - QHLO (Chappell C 389)
RABBIT MUSICAL BOX

RIVER & BIRDS (10m 00s). At Olney, Bucks.
Natural sounds & effects.

RIVER TAY (6m 55s). Filmed in Perthshire.

ROCK & SEAGULLS (4m 00s). St Mary's Bay, Brixham, Devon.
Natural sounds.

ROUGH SEA ON ROCKS (9m 30s). Shot at Pulpit Bay, off Portland Bill.
Natural sounds.

SANDY SHORE (11m 23s). Jamaica.
Natural sounds.

SEASCAPE (10m 00s). Shot at Chesil Beach, off Portland Bill.
Natural sounds.

SNOWSTORM

SPINNING WHEEL (6m 35s)

1. Table Talk (Dolf van der Linden) - - Metropole Orch-Linden (Paxton PR 586)
2. Muse in Mayfair (Vivian Ellis) - - QHLO-Torch (Chappell C 346)
SUNLIT SHORE

SWISS INTERLUDE (1m 45s)
(musical box?)

THE WHITE KITTEN. The kitten's name is Snowy and he was owned by a Mr Martin of Barnet, Herts.. Film edited by Bob Verrall, Supervising Film Editor.

Prunella (Leslie Bridgwater) - - London Promenade Orchestra (Paxton PR 423)
Summer Breezes (Reginald King) - - BBC recording bought in from a German library.
UP RIVER or UP THE RIVER (9m 30s). Shot at Medmenham Abbey, Henley on Thames, Bucks..
Natural sounds.
http://www.bvws.org.uk/405alive/info/prog_interludes.html


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