Film ID:
NEFA 10487

MOVIE NO. 31: ITALY 1949: REEL 1 LONDON TO ROME

1949

Visitor Tabs

Description

Travelogue by Middlesbrough based amateur filmmaker Tom H. Brown that records a grand tour through Italy in the summer of 1949 with his wife, Kate. This is the first part of three reels that record their travel by air from Northolt Airport to Milan, and by motorbus round Milan, Pisa, Rome, and on to Naples. The film focuses on the architecture, famous landmarks and monuments that they visit, and includes footage of traditional religious costume and the ceremonial costume of the Papal Swiss Guards at the Vatican. A short sequence documents a march by Italian Communist Party supporters in Pisa, and political graffiti in the town.

Title: Movie No. 31

Title: Italy 1949

Title: Reel 1: London To Rome

Title: London

Passengers enter Kensington Air Station in London for transportation to the airport.

Title: London. Northolt Airport. June 30, 1949.

Kate Brown walks out of the terminal building. She’s wearing a 1940s check swing jacket. Passengers board an Italian airplane. There is a shot of the pilot in the cockpit of the Italian airplane. A hand drawn map and arrow indicate the destination as Milan.

Title: Italy. Milan Airport. 4 Hours Later

A shot of a windsock is followed by exterior views of the 1930s buildings of a Milan airport. Cars and taxis are waiting outside the airport with good shots of vehicle styles. There is a close-up of a Milan guidebook cover.

Title: Milan. Marble Cathedral. Consecrated 1577.

Milan Cathedral (or the Duomo Cathedral) is pictured in a sepia photograph. There is an exterior view of the cathedral from ground level to spires. A close-up of a bronze bas-relief that depicts the birth of Jesus, part of which has been worn shiny by people touching it. An exterior shot of one of the large arch-shaped stained glass windows of the church completes this section.

Title: Milan Reconstruction

Scaffolding and protective cloth cover a building under restoration. A uniformed man leads a goat cart through the park. Children are riding in the cart and a child walks beside it.

Title: Milan Petrol Shortage

General view of a busy Milan street. A white-uniformed traffic policeman stands in the centre of a busy intersection.

Title: Milan. Morning Coffee.

Kate Brown enters a café through a metal chain curtain.

Title: Veils Are The Latest

A local man leads two oxen down a street. The oxen are wearing a kind of string headdress over their faces. On the side of a tour bus, the sign reads 'Blue Cars, London Continental.' A shot of the streamlined metal coach follows. Two men unload luggage from the roof rack.

A hand drawn map and arrow indicate the destination as Pisa.

Title: Pisa. Siesta.

The driver of a horse-drawn carriage is asleep in his seat.

Title: Pisa. Leaning Tower 1350. 13ft. Out of Straight.

Next, there are various shots of the leaning Pisa Tower.

Title: Pisa. The Baptistery, 1278.

Shots of the exterior of the Baptistry of the Cathedral of Pisa follow.

Title: Pisa. The Cathedral Consecrated 1118. Restored 1596.

There are various shots of the exterior of Pisa Cathedral from the east. Two nuns emerge from the church. A boy and girl on a scooter ride up to the cathedral door. Groups of Roman Catholic priests and other religious figures walk by.

Title: Communism.

Young people march by carrying red communist flags. The film cuts to shots of concrete and brick walls bearing graffiti, including the hammer and sickle symbol of communism, and graffiti in support of the Christian Democracy political party and the PCI (Italian Communist Party.)

A sign reads 'Simoncelli Clotilde Osterica.'

A hand drawn map and arrow indicate the destination Rome. Still of the cover of a Rome guidebook.

Title: Rome. From The Pincio Gardens.

From the terrace of the Pincio Gardens there is a panoramic view of the city, with the dome of St Peter’s Basilica seen in the background.

Title: Rome. The Speaking Obelisk

General view of the tall thin obelisk, possibly the Roman obelisk in the centre of the Pincio Gardens, followed by a closer shot of St Peter’s dome in the cityscape and of a palace with colonnades.

Title: Rome. House Where Keats Died In 1821.

High angle shot of the pink painted Roman house on the Piazza Di Spagna where Keats died.

Title: Rome. St Peter’s Square Colonnade By Bernini.

General view of the Tuscan colonnades in St Peter’s Square with Bernini’s fountain in the foreground. Only a few people are walking in the monumental square.

Title: Rome. The Vatican Swiss Guard.

The film now focuses on the ceremonial Papal Swiss Guards at the Vatican, in distinctive blue, red, orange and yellow dress uniforms, with neck ruffs, black berets and long swords. A reproduction of the Creation of Adam from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling mural is shown. Next, a group of religious figures wearing long red coats and black hats are seen from a distance across St Peter’s Square.

Title: Rome. The Inevitable Hawker.

An opportunistic hawker opens his portable wooden chest of drawers to display some small items he is selling on the street.

Title: Rome. 10 Miles of Passages.

A sign points to the San Callisto Catacombs. Shot from inside an underground passage, people emerge into the light through an entrance.

Title: Rome. Appian Way. Tomb of Cecilia Metella.

A cylindrical tomb and crenellated tower stand in the mid distance from some fields where people are working, mountains in the background.

Title: Rome. St Paul’s-Outside-The-Walls.

View of the exterior façade of the Basilica of St Paul Outside The Walls, decorated with mosaic and columns.

Title: St Luke and The Jubilee Door.

A statue of St. Luke stands outside the church. There are various shots of a door, possibly the Holy Door to the Basilica, which show golden bronze sculpted relief work depicting the crucifixion of St. Peter

Title: The Cloisters

Kate Brown walks through the medieval cloisters of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside The Walls, where we see the multi-shaped forms of the columns. Kate strokes one of the columns, which we see is inlaid with glass mosaic. General view of the cloisters as a group of tourists walk through.

Title: Rome. The Forum.

There is a shot of the ruins of the Roman Forum, a little out of focus.

Title: Rome. Temple of Castor and Pollux, Restored By Tiberius in A.D.6

General view of the Forum ruins that includes the podium, columns and piece of entablature. Close-up of a marble headstone inscribed 'VIA SACRA,' followed by a shot of the ancient Roman paved road, an arch over the road, and of the temple ruins.

Title: Rome. Tomb of Julius Caesar.

At the tomb of Julius Caesar, Kate Brown jokingly mimes the famous 'Lend me your ears' speech. She bows after her performance.

Title: Rome. The Colosseum, Built By Vespasian and Titus, Opened In A.D.80.

A man sits down to read in a shady arch at the Colosseum. Kate Brown walks through the shaded interior of the Colosseum. There is a close-up of a metal bracket or brace holding the walls together. The camera pans around the amphitheatre of the Colosseum. Kate stands beside a carved stone pedestal or urn. A selection of shots shows the interior areas of the Colosseum. An exterior shot of the Colloseum with surrounding road closes this sequence.

Title: On The Way To Naples.

A man sleeps in a deckchair on a windy balcony of a luxury hotel, probably the Miramare in Naples. There is a view towards islands in the Bay of Naples. Tom Brown, looking dapper in a cream linen suit and white homburg, walks towards the tour bus. A sign for the Miramare Hotel can be seen in the background.

End Title: End of Part 1. Part 2 Follows.