Film ID: NEFA 21339 Video of NEFA 21339 The House with the Golden Windows (1946) THE HOUSE WITH THE GOLDEN WINDOWS 1946 Visitor TabsDescription An early colour production by the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers' Association (ACA) written and produced by J. O'Hanlon and photographed by A.E. Nichol. This short fiction film follows the adventures of a small boy who goes in search of the illusive “golden windows” he sees across a rural valley from his family farm. During his adventure he meets a tramp and a local carter and is given food and shelter by a kindly housewife. Reaching his destination, he meets a girl who shows him that the golden windows are in fact glass reflecting the sunlight. Title: ACA Presents Title: The House with the Golden Windows The film opens on an exterior barn door shutting. On the door is written the cast of the film in chalk. Title: Cast. Boy: Alistair Sinclair. Girl: Maeve Bonser. Farmers Wife: Mrs Garland. Housewife: Mrs Nichol. Carter: Mr L. Bowes. Tramp: Mr J. O’Hanlon. Title: Written and produced by J. O’Hanlon. Photography A.E. Nichol. The association is indebted to Mrs J. Cantley McKendrick for pictorial backgrounds. The film fades into a view of a country lane leading to a farm in the near distance. Sitting on a fence post is a young boy wearing a tank-top and shorts. He is looking off into the distance. The film cuts to a view across a rural valley showing fields, trees and a small town or village. In the far distance a light twinkles from another farm. Title: Daily tasks begin again on the farm A flock of ducks follow a man across a field. In the farmyard four geese waddle about. The film cuts to a kitchen where a farmer’s wife is laying a breakfast table. She looks up at the mantelpiece from which washing is hanging. A small alarm clock reads a few minutes past 7am. Through a door the boy appears carrying his jacket. He yawns as he sits down to breakfast. He takes a drink of the milk. The farmer’s wife pours cereal from a metal pan into a large mixing bowl. She gives the bowl to the boy who takes it outside. The film cuts to a field of domestic geese eating beside the mixing bowl. Hanging from a farm gate the boy looks out across the fields. In the distance, a light can be seen again twinkling across the valley. There is a view through a farm gate showing domestic geese in the farmyard. The film cuts to show the boy carrying a small bundle coming around a wagon and running through the farmyard scattering the geese. He comes through the farm gate and hides beside the wall before getting up and walking away down the lane. There is a brief view of the mixing bowl laying on the ground. Walking down the lane he turns and looks back at the farm. The film cuts to the farmer’s wife in the doorway of the farm looking around for the boy. General view of fields. The boy climbs over a wooden fence and walks along the edge of a field. Sitting on a bed of a hay is a tramp who calls out to the boy. Surprised by the tramp the boy runs away and dropping his bundle. The tramp picks up the bundle as well as an apple which has fallen out and begins to eat it. The film cuts to the boy on a road stopping a carter who is riding a horse and cart. On the back of the cart are a number of milk churns and a large sack. The boy climbs aboard and they travel off together along the road. Beside a hedge on the back of his cart the carter pours a hot drink from a small thermos flask. He then takes a bite from a sandwich which was laying nearby. Sitting on the ground beside the horse which is eating from a bucket is the boy looking frustrated. He puts his face in his hands. Back on the cart with the boy the carter pointing off into the distance. The boy climbs down and they both wave goodbye. General view of the boy walking along a road towards another farm. The boy comes to a white door and knocks. A woman appears and takes the boy inside. At a dining table the woman cuts the boy slices of bread as he eats the bread with jam and drinks Rowntree’s Coco. The woman shows the boy out of the house. The film fades into a view of a sunset over a rural scene. General view of a farm house which fades to black. The film cuts to the farmer’s wife opening a window and looks out. General view of an empty field. The boy runs along a garden path and through a gate into a lane. The boy is seen looking around for something. The film cuts to the exterior of an ivy covered house with the boy standing beside the front door. A girl appears through the door and begins talking to the boy who points at the house. Title: Where are the golden windows? The boy and girl look intently before the girl turns and points to something behind them. Title: Look! Over there your farm has golden windows. The film ends with the camera pans across the valley. Sun light reflects of the windows of the boy’s home. Title: How often do we humans tend, to seek that ‘Gold’ at Rainbow’s end. When familiarity blinds our eyes to things beside us we should prize. Title: The End. Context In the aftermath of World War Two, a Newcastle cine club resumed their fiction filmmaking activities with this adaptation of an American fable 'for young and old', transposed to a Northumbrian valley. ‘Golden Windows’ is an endearing Kodachrome evocation of childhood innocence and aspiration. With Kodachrome film once more on the market after wartime restrictions, the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association, one of the earliest British cine clubs, founded by James Cameron and friends in 1927, chose to make this short in colour. The film was inspired by a story first published by American author Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards in the 1920s. Illustrations are by J. Cantley McKendrick, chairman and treasurer of the Newcastle Society of Artists and the manager of Martins Bank in Gosforth, Newcastle.