Film ID:
NEFA 17668

MCQUEEN FAMILY TRIPS TO USA

1955-1956

Visitor Tabs

Description

This amateur home movie documents the McQueen family travel to the USA in 1955 and 1956 aboard Cunard-White Star ocean liners Mauretania II and the Queen Mary. The film features many family scenes with friends in New York, Long Island, and locations in Virginia, with interesting footage of a children’s Halloween Day parade.

The film opens with various shots of Mac and May McQueen on the ship deck of the Mauretania II with other passengers, and relaxing on a sun lounger with newspaper. There is a shot of the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Ellis Island and nearby urban coastline as the ship sails into New York Harbour.

May and family friend, Marie Dubowy, in 1950s sunglasses, walk out of a building and get into a convertible car. A woman waves. There are many examples of 1950s American cars parked here. May relaxes on a sun lounger on the lawn of the Dubowy’s home in Charter Court, Long Island.

In New York City, May and another woman are sitting on a bench in front of the Rockefeller Centre International Building and the outdoor Atlas sculpture in midtown Manhattan. There is a shot of the Bronx Toll Gate with five lanes of traffic.

A large crowd of children in bizarre fancy dress costume and masks march from a stadium building during a Halloween parade, with crowds of adults watching. One child carries a placard that reads “DA WOILDS CHAMPEENS.” Another child wears a head to foot robot costume made of boxes. A close-up of a child in a scary mask follows.

There are various shots of McQueen family friends Dick and Marie Dubowy in a Long Island playground next to a highway. Outside their Long Island home, a group of teenagers pose and shoot off a catapult, including their sons, Gary and Richard, in checked shirts. A woman in a bobble hat poses inside the building. A man poses in front of the garage. Two women are drying dishes inside the house.

Olive and two other women are in a park on the waterfront, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. There is a shot of an equestrian statue on a plinth. The three women stand at a crossing. Two children are pictured on a seesaw. May and another woman pose on swings, the young woman cradling a baby. Next, there is an interior shot of a family meal.

The following scenes were probably filmed in Virginia with family friends, the Newsomes. A group of women, including May McQueen, are standing outside a house where a guide is dressed in historic costume of wig and frilly shirt. The women are laughing with him. A dark interior shot follows.

An African-American man in historic costume drives a horse-drawn carriage for tourists along a street of clapboard houses. Four women pose outside a building and one shakes a man’s hand. A shot of two women walking in a park follows. A man and boy walk through a rural town.

A woman in headscarf talks to a man by a white convertible car. A boy walks shyly into a house. Two men in overalls and lumber jackets are measuring or fixing a garage door. A dog wags its tail.

Back in Long Island, the camera pans along the front of a long, modern house with several different cars outside, which include a Volkswagen. A boy is stroking a dog. The McQueens, Dubowys and friends, are gathered outside the Dubowy’s house. Two women cradle young babies. There is an informal group portrait of the different generations of women in the families, also with two children, on the porch of the house.

May McQueen poses in a fur coat on the deck of the Queen Mary ocean liner. Mac poses in the same place. May walks on a deck of the ship in the sunshine. The ship passes Ellis Island (?) There is a high angle shot of another ship. May walks on the deck of the Queen Mary with companions.