Film ID:
YFA 5656

BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS

c.1956

Visitor Tabs

Description

Short holiday travel film by Eric Hall, which shows some of the sights of Barcelona before visiting a traditional bullfight.

Title – A Hallmark Production

Title – Beauty and the Beasts

Title – Produced by J Eric Hall

The film begins with a map of Spain.

Title – Spain – Land of poverty and grandeur…

A man drives a donkey and two-wheeled cart along a dirt road with simple one-storey dwellings to the side. Children come running out to look at the camera. One boy blows up two red balloons. A group of youngsters kick up dust as they run along the road.

In Barcelona, a seaside esplanade is lined with trees, and the gothic spires of the cathedral are seen, followed by the Orphea film studios.

Title – Where man and beast still toil beneath and unremitting sun…

In a field, farm labourers make hay using a harvester pulled by two oxen. Two donkeys pull heavy rollers used to flatten the crop, and a man scoops up a handful of white grains to show the camera.

Title – Where meagre crops are ravaged by that scourge – the Colorado beetle

Striped beetles scuttle across dry earth.

Title – And harvest beetles turn in violent dispute upon each other

Two large beetles grapple with each other on a green leaf. In a field, a man and woman drive a donkey pulling a plough and the woman follows behind, putting the crop into a basket. They smile to the camera.

Title – These sun-scorched plains are fringed with trees from tropic lands…

At the coastline, the ruins of a small tower are seen by a sandy beach, probably at Tossa de Mar.

Title – …through whose green boughs the sunshine creeps

Women sit in the shade of the trees by the bright blue ocean. In the background is a small church, and on the beach are white gazebos which provide shade from the sun. Two men and a woman attempt to paddle a small white raft out to sea. A man leads a horse-drawn cart through the narrow streets of the town. Another sells coconuts from beneath palm trees by the shore, where vast piles of melons are also for sale.

Title – And, if beauty be not everywhere, then find it here…

A travel guide to Barcelona sits on a neutral surface. Trams and taxis pass by the large red stone archway of the Arc de Triomf, and a man in white uniform directs traffic from under a parasol. Mrs Hall, the filmmaker’s wife, stands near the Sagrada Familia and a young man, presumably her son, walks into view and takes her hand. The large Arenas de Barcelona, a bullfighting stadium, is seen from outside.

Title – But, find also man and beast in mortal combat

Inside the stadium, the stands are packed with people and a group of matadors in colourful costumes enters the arena. The bullfight begins with the matador’s assistants engaging the bull, and then a man on horseback stabs the bull in the neck. The matadors continue to fight, following which a dead bull is dragged away by three horses. The matadors down another bull and people in the crowd wave white handkerchiefs in support of the principal matador, who is awarded flowers and a bull’s tail.

Title – The End