Film ID:
YFA 463



Visitor Tabs


This is a film by Charles Chislett of a tour he and his wife Grace took with a party of holiday makers visiting the ancient sites Egypt, including Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.

Title - Two million years ago: the story of a thousand mile journey up the Nile

On a map, a man points to the route that they will be taking.

Intertitle - London Airport - via Athens - to Cairo

Passengers board a BEA plane at London Airport. The plane takes off and the flight is filmed, including inside the plane and in the pilot's cabin. The plane lands and passengers leave.

Intertitle - Morning outlook - Cairo

The sun rises and they tour the city, beginning at a temple, filming streets full of pedestrians. The party board a mini bus and tour the city, filmed from the front of the bus.

Intertitle - Sultan Hassan Mosque

The mosque is seen in the distance, and then at the entrance visitors are given slippers to put over their shoes. They film the architecture and decorations of the mosque, with pots of incense hanging from the ceiling.

Intertitle - The Mohammed Ali Mosque

Again the mosque is seen at first in the distance, before they look around the inside, with Grace wearing the slippers. From the roof of the mosque they survey the city.

Intertitle - Cairo from the Citadel

They look out over Cairo from on top of the Citadel, showing the houses and workmen below unloading sand from a lorry. They continue their tour on foot, also showing some derelict areas.

Intertitle - Back through the 'Bazaar' area

They walk through the market, with its stalls and bustling side streets. A man gives a fire-eating display, and horse drawn carts pass by. They get onto a small sailing boat.

Intertitle - A public park in Gezira Island

A group of people play a game with a bat and ball. The flower beds are being watered, and Grace walks with a friend through the park as a cyclist passes carrying logs. Children play volleyball and football, and another group of children are getting a ride on horse drawn cart. A man kneels down on the grass in prayer. People walk past carrying pots on their heads, and there are vendors, including one selling pretzels. There is a bridge over a river.

Intertitle - Let's go up the radio tower in the Andalusian Gardens

The radio tower is shown and then the panoramic view of the whole city from the top. Down below a game of football is being played in a stadium, and there is also a horse racing course. Chislett films Grace standing next to another man who is filming Chislett in turn.

Intertitle - Road to Giza and the Pyramids

Their bus tour continues along busy roads, stopping to take photographs. They pass fields, herdsmen, camels, fishing in a canal and see the pyramids in the distance. On arrival they walk around the ancient site, showing the statues and tomb. A boy climbs a palm tree to cut off some leaves. Around the area local farmers herd their sheep. There are camel rides and they visit a caf?.

Intertitle - The step pyramid of Zoser at Saqqara (about 2650 BC)

They continue their tour of the pyramids, showing the tourist sellers.

Intertitle - The group of pyramids at Giza is one of six groups extending over 18 ? miles on the edge of the Libyan Desert

There are more sellers, and people riding camels.

Intertitle - The great pyramid of Cheops contains 2.3m blocks of stone each weighing 2 ? tons each

A man dismounts from his camel, as Grace walks around a building with a stained glass window. Inside there is an exhibition of objects from the tomb of Tutankhamen. Outside in the streets a man herds his sheep, and in a caf? a boy goes around selling cigarettes from a tray. A man in traditional dress approaches the party. Then the next stage of their journey is indicated again on the map.

Intertitle - After a night on the train dawn finds us 400 miles south of Cairo - approaching Luxor (Ancient Thebes)

The next stage of their journey is by rail, filmed from the train. When they arrive at their destination station a boy helps them with their luggage. Behind them there is row of large columns.

Intertitle - The Valley of the Kings lies in the barren hill across the Nile en route to the Great Temple of Amun at Karnok

The party tour the ruins, filmed from a variety of vantage points. Some construction work is being carried out in one place. Grace walks around carrying a palm leaf.

Intertitle - The Temple of Luxor

The party tour the Temple, with Grace touching the toes of one of the statues of Ramses II. They also show some of the nearby streets and a sailing boat on a river at sunset.

Intertitle - 6 am start for the Valley of the Kings

The party take a boat trip, boarding the boat where locals are working on the river. After this they take a car ride along a bumpy mountain valley.

Intertitle - Entrance to Tutankhamen's Tomb

They next look around the Tutankhamen site, showing the layout and exhibits. Nearby excavation is being carried out by lines of workers carrying out rubble in buckets.

Intertitle - Temple of King Rameses II

The temple is being visited by groups of tourists, including a group of school children in blue uniforms.

Intertitle - The Colossi of Memnon

Again there is a tour of the Colossi, with children by the water's edge. The party then board a sailing boat to continue their journey.

Intertitle - By the road to the Temple of Hathor at Dendera (Ancient Tentyris)

On the next part of the trip they stop to show local people farming. A boy is by a water pump being worked by an ox; and there is also an ox drawn plough in a field. Camels pass carrying sticks. The crops in a field are being flattened. From on top of the temple they view the dry landscape with irrigation channels.

Intertitle - By train to Aswan - 130 miles south of Luxor

People gather at a railway station where construction is taking place. They take a train, filming the journey, passing a sign for El Mahamid, and showing the driver eating a banana.

Intertitle - Cataract Hotel Aswan (Assuan)

The film shows the pink hotel and its gardens, and also Grace looking at the view of the ferry from the veranda. Two men play local musical instruments - a drum and one stringed bow. They take another boat trip.

Intertitle - By road and ferry to Edfu (about 200 BC)

First by road they pass camels and donkeys, then they board a ferry. At Edfu they walk around the ruins, cross a footbridge and pass a camel carrying a large load of hay.

Intertitle - The ancient granite quarries of Assuan

Again they tour the site, with Grace and others being filmed from above as they walk around the quarries.

Intertitle - Above the present Dam at Assuan we board the Sudanese river steamer and travel 210 miles southward through Nubia to Wadi Halfa in the Sudan

They continue their journey by river across the barren landscape. They arrive at a town with street sellers next to the pier. There are people on donkeys, women carrying baskets on their heads and a bustling market. They continue along the river passing rock carvings before getting off again to look at more ancient statues, and then back on the river with a colourful sunset.

Intertitle - Wadi Halfa

Cargo is being stowed in docks, with a makeshift gangway being placed onto a boat. Inland some men are tending to gardens and boys ride on donkeys.

Intertitle - The second cataract has little flow of water except in the flood season

People are farming by the river, tying up the cut hay in the fields. Some boys pose for the camera. A man gives a demonstration of putting on his turban, and then holds up a stuffed lizard. Grace and the other members are assisted onto a boat, and later get off again. There is a sign for Buhen Temple and lemon trees. They group tour the ruins before returning to the boat to continue. They arrive at docks, possibly Cairo, where cargo is being stacked ready for transportation.

Intertitle - Up at dawn to catch the plane for Athens and London

There are more panoramic views over Cairo, and then they take a plane filming Cairo from above as the film comes to an end.