Film ID: NEFA 10464 Video of 10464 Christmas 1935 CHRISTMAS 1935 1935 Visitor TabsDescription This Christmas spoof film was made by amateur Middlesbrough filmmaker Tom H. Brown and won a special commendation in an Amateur Cine World film competition. The Middlesbrough streets and the filmmaker’s first home, 'Melrose,' provided the film sets. The principal actors were Tom Brown himself, his wife Kate and daughter Helen, with his parents Tom and Mabel as two drunken guests. Tom Brown Senior performed the role of photographer when Kate and Tom appeared together in the film. This home movie provides an authentic record of the English domestic interior of the 1930s with glimpses of art deco style wallpaper. Title: ACW Specially Commended By The Board of Amateur Cine World Title: Christmas 1935 Credit: Photography By T. H. Brown A hand scribbles on a calendar page from December 1935. A woman in an apron is furiously blending cake mixture. The shot shows the table top with artfully placed eggs and flour on scales. The camera zooms into the bowl as the ingredients are mixed. A baby helps with the mixing. The Christmas puddings are prepared. A husband and wife are in the living room. The husband pulls out a wad of money. The wife takes most of the money. The husband looks at the two remaining notes he has left and shrugs. There is a shot of a shop window with many busy shoppers and children in the street. The money vanishes quickly. Only small change remains. The husband carries many presents. He puts change into a vending machine for Beechnut peppermint chewing gum. Change goes in and the machine is 'Empty!' The husband heads off angrily and goes to the butchers for the Christmas turkey. Title: Xmas Eve. The wife flicks through an Amateur Cine World magazine and looks at her watch. There is a shot of the grandfather clock. It reads 6 o’clock. She picks up baby Helen and climbs the stairs to bed. The clock reads 10 o’clock. Husband and wife sit in leather armchairs by the fire. They unwrap the Santa outfit. The husband puts on the Santa Claus mask. Wearing the full outfit, he unloads the presents into a pillowcase hanging on the cot. Title: Meanwhile The wife decorates the tree. There are shots of Christmas decorations and tinsel on the table. She blows up the balloons. A shot of a bare fir tree fades into the wife putting the final decorations on the tree. The Santa mask amuses the baby. The grandfather clock says quarter to one. Title: Xmas Day. Baby Helen plays with her presents while mother looks on. There is a shot of the baby playing with an educational toy of shapes and objects. Husband and wife sit in their armchairs. The wife tries on her new fur coat. She kisses her husband. The husband admires his new book and kisses his wife. Title: Our Guests. The Aunt (Aunt Ginnie,) grandfather and grandmother in her fur coat, arrive at the house in their car. The turkey is carved. Plates are filled with traditional Christmas dinner. Close-up of an empty plate, the meal eaten. The turkey is taken away and the steaming Christmas pudding is served. Paper hats are worn. The grandfather wears a paper hat and looks merry. A very drunk grandmother, in pearl necklace, swigs down a glass of port and rolls her head, laughing drunkenly. Portrait shot of the tired husband, propping up his head with his hand, eyes closed briefly, before he opens his eyes wearily. There is a shot of a cine camera on a tripod, decorated in tinsel, and a half drunk bottle of port sits on a coffee table beside it. End title: The End. Context A Christmas tale of woe and merriment in Middlesbrough with a scary Santa and teetotaller tippler. The Christmas spirit eludes a Middlesbrough dentist when his wife holds the purse strings and the family are too fond of his port. This delightful semi-fictional home movie won a 'Specially Commended Award' from Amateur Cine World in 1935 and featured the filmmaker’s teetotaller mother Mabel in a cameo role as the drunken dinner guest. This accomplished film was made by keen amateur filmmaker and chairman of the Tees-Side Cine Club, Tom H. Brown, who followed his father into both the dental profession and cinematography as a hobby. His wife (real and fictional) or father may have helped in this production as T.H. Brown himself stars as the scary Santa. In addition to shooting home movies, documentaries and travelogues between 1930 and 1960, Tom and Kate Brown both acted in many Tees-Side cine club productions on location around Middlesbrough and the Cleveland area, the first a spoof melodrama made for the princely sum of 15 shillings in 1929.