Film ID:
NEFA 21345



Visitor Tabs


This amateur comedy, produced by the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) in 1953, is the story of a dispute over the ownership of a fish, which a bunch of children and a bored artist find quite amusing. A picturesque Northumbrian river setting stands in for the fictional Damne D’Hôtte district of Northern France.

Credit: Nouveau-Château et Region ACA Une 16mm Unité Production 1953

Title: À Fis Hînge le Gend. ACA. A Fishing Tale

Title: The Damne D’Hôtte District of Northern France

The film opens with general views of picturesque countryside: wheat fields, cows in pasture, a farmer driving a horse drawn harrow, and a rocky stream with reeds.

An artist in a brown beret sits at an easel beside a river, looking bored. Three young boys are playing a game of marbles near the river. A man (also in a beret) smoking a cigarette takes up position on the stone bridge upstream and begins to fish. The artist perks up a little. The man casts his make-shift fishing rod and line onto the river.

On one bank of the river, Monsieur Legrand, also smoking a cigarette, begins to prepare his café tables for opening, with a glance at the fisherman on the bridge.

The artist suddenly looks attentive. The fisherman has already hooked a fish and shows it off to the artist, who claps enthusiastically. The fisherman baits his line again, and immediately catches another small fish. The artist scratches his head.

The man continues to fish, batting away flies. When he hooks yet another fish, the artist jumps up, really baffled at the man’s extraordinary luck.

The three young boys are interested now, creeping onto the bridge where the fisherman has his catch lined up. The curious boys pick up one of the fish. The fisherman shoos them away angrily. They run off back to their games on the river bank.

Monsieur Legrand dries a few glasses and busies himself at the café tables.

The fisherman once more casts off from the bridge. The boys peer through one of the bridge arches. Monsieur Legrand places a bottle of red wine on a table.

The fisherman appears to have run out of luck and impatiently flings his cigarette into the river. Monsieur Legrand continues to watch the fisherman as he sets up his café tables.

The artist is now dozing off at his easel, finding no inspiration in the landscape.

Monsieur Legrand calls over to the fisherman, who displays the fish he’s already caught. Monsieur Legrand gestures him over to the café. The fisherman hands over his rod and Monsieur Legrand takes up the challenge and fishes from his river bank. A fish bites quickly. The fisherman rushes back over to help. Monsieur Legrand has hooked a huge fish and lands it on the grassy river bank. Madame Legrand now rushes out and screams with delight. Monsieur Legrand bashes the live fish on its head to kill it. He holds up his catch, slapping the fisherman’s back in delight.

The fisherman is not amused and the two begin to fight over the fish, Monsieur Legrand declaring his right to the fish despite using the fisherman’s rod. An argument flares up, Monsieur and Madame Legrand and the fisherman all shouting at each other. There are close-ups of the two men’s faces as they argue and face up for a fight. The three young boys egg them on. The artist is wide awake now and also enjoying the dispute, rubbing his hands in glee.

The three boys glance first left, then right, as they follow the row between Monsieur Legrand and the fisherman. The two men shake their fists at each other. The artist laughs.

The fisherman now takes off his jacket in a show of bravado, and Monsieur Legrand clenches his fists in a comical stance. The three boys imitate the fight and tussle together. Monsieur Legrand and the fisherman begin to push each other around, and the fisherman’s jacket is trampled on the ground. Monsieur Legrand now tries to placate the fisherman and offers a price for the fish. The fisherman is outraged.

Title: What! Pay you for my own fish?

He opens his arms wide in disbelief. Monsieur Legrand attempts to bargain.

Title: Four of your little ones for my big one.

The fisherman shakes his head. They barter. Monsieur Legrand appeals to his wife. The bartering continues. Finally, they agree and shake hands. But as Monsieur Legrand goes to pick up his big fish, it is still alive and struggles back into the river. Monsieur Legrand looks on disbelief. The fisherman smiles and reaches into his own pockets for the small fish. He is disgusted to discover the fish have been trampled along with his jacket. He throws the squashed bits back into the river.

The boys laugh at the pair. Monsieur Legrand and the fisherman now see the funny side of the argument and laugh too.

The artist packs up his easel and heads off.

Monsieur Legrand and the fisherman sit down at a café table, and Madame Legrand pours out wine. The young boys head home, with no more excitement to be had. The fisherman and Monsieur and Madame Legrand are reconciled, raise their glasses in a toast and drink wine together beside the river.

Title: Fin. The End of a Fishy Tail


The Players

M. Petty - Jack Wrightson

M. Legrand: Fred Hopper

Mme Legrand: Beryl Allen

M. Dupont: Bill Allen

Pierre: Edward Sutton

Jean: Brian Kennedy

Jacques: Paddy Kilmartin


The Makers

Direction: Johnny Clarke

Camera: Jack Whillis, Stan Preston

Property: Norman Bush, William Swan

Continuity: Mary Clarke

Make-up: Fred Hopper

Titles: Bill Allen

Credit: Newcastle & District ACA A 16mm Unit Production 1953