Film ID: NEFA 21208 Video of NEFA 21208 Out of the Drum (1939) OUT OF THE DRUM 1939 Visitor TabsDescription This amateur drama charts the fortunes of a group of everyman characters - two building labourers, a secretary, and a family - who enter the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstake, a public charitable lottery set up to finance hospitals in Ireland. The film is something of a cautionary morality tale, which follows the influence of the windfall on the lives of the lucky winners. Includes a location shoot at Georges (Gowns), based in Northumberland Street, Newcastle, where expensive outfits are modelled for a secretary. This fiction film was a Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) production. Title: Out of the Drum Title: Mannequin Gowns and Shop Location by Georges. Northumberland Street. Newcastle on Tyne. A labourer at a building site looks at an Irish Sweepstake lottery ticket while on a break with his mate. He counts out some coins for his colleague (buying a black market ticket from him?). Title: “We’ll Have a House Like This If I Win” He gestures to the half built house they are working on. After a lunch break, he picks up some planks and his colleague pushes off a wheelbarrow and they head back to work. A young man (one of the labourers?) is idling on the street outside a hotel bar and smoking a cigarette, when a young woman carrying a young child (his wife?) approaches him for some money. Title: “You Must Give Me Money for Food” He smirks and looks at a few coins in his hand and walks into the bar to buy a drink. He emerges later, lights a cigarette, and continues leaning against the wall outside the bar. He is joined by a man who shows him his winning lottery ticket. The two head back into the bar. Meanwhile, in an office, two women secretaries are typing away, one younger and more fashionable and the other rather frumpy with glasses. The fashionable secretary pops to the other’s desk for a chat and offers to sell her an Irish Sweep lottery ticket. Title: “Be a Sport – Be Reckless for Once!” At first, she refuses but then relents. The boss emerges from his office, and the frumpy secretary hides the ticket in her handbag. The two immediately get back to work. The boss dictates a letter to the secretary. A boy sells the daily newspaper out on the street with news of the Irish Sweepstake winners. Title: “Irish Sweep Winners” A father lights his pipe and reads his newspaper whilst his son does his homework. A friend of the family turns up on the doorstep with her newspaper and points out the winning numbers of the Irish Sweep to her friend. It seems the family has the winning ticket. Title: “John! You’ve Won the Irish Sweep.” The family huddle together in the living room and check the numbers. The boy jumps up and down on the armchair behind his mum and dad with delight. Their numbers have come up in the lottery. Title: “Dad, What About A Motor Cycle For Me?” The father checks his wallet for the ticket and can’t find it. He searches through his pockets. The wife scolds him. “Why Don’t You Let Me Put Your Things Away?” The father continues to check his pockets. The whole family begins a search for the missing lottery ticket, turning out the drawers, cupboards and tipping the old rubbish on the floor. The father even checks inside the back of the mantel piece clock and all the ornamental trinket boxes. His wife continues to search but shakes her head in despair. The son looks under the carpet and his father threatens to hit him. Title: “I expect you’ve been interfering with my things again.” The husband and wife argue. Title: Have You looked In Your Work Coat Pocket?” She sends him off to check his suit and coat. He finds the missing ticket. All are happy again. Two men (seen outside the pub?) read the newspaper and check for the winning numbers. One seems to have a winner. There is a shot of the hungry young woman previously begging with her child, making her way down a street. The two men come out of the bar after a celebratory drink and shake hands. The drunken young man walks shakily up the street and heads into another bar. The young woman and child look longingly into a bakery window, filled with pies and cakes. The young man walks unsteadily out of another bar, becoming more and more drunk. The young woman comforts her hungry child. The man walks out of yet another bar and can barely stand. He walks into the road and is knocked down by a car. A woman in a fur coat runs from the car to the accident victim lying in the road. Two passers-by roll him over but there is no sign of life. Back in the offices, the dowdy secretary is typing away. The younger woman hands her a letter, which she rips open to discover she has won the Irish Sweepstake. Title: What Will You Do With Your Winnings?” Title: “First I’m Going To Cut Off This Hair and Buy Some New Clothes!” She rushes off in haste, pushing aside her colleague, grabs her hat and coat and heads off. The boss emerges and sees that Miss Brown is missing. Title: “Where Is Miss Brown?” Her colleague explains about the win. Title: “She Should Have Asked If She Could Go.” He hands the young secretary some work to type up. Miss Brown marches up a street and spots a mannequin in a department store, window shopping. Shoppers move in and out of the stores. Then, Miss Brown comes across Georges in Northumberland Street, Newcastle, and enters the shop. Inside, an elegant shop assistant serves her. The camera tilts from her scuffed shoes and eccentric socks up to her very unfashionable glasses. She is seated by the assistant in the couture showroom where a succession of models present the shop’s latest fashions, from pencil skirt suits to ankle-length evening dress. One woman models a long, striped halter neck dress, which Miss Brown finds far too risqué. She falls for a flouncy long dress with matching bonnet. Title: “May I Try Some On?” She takes off her hat, glasses and cardigan, and tries on a long lacy dress and bonnet (not very suitable for work.) She returns to the office wearing her new purchases, new look make-up and haircut and her colleague admires them. Title: “The Old Man’s Furious About Your Walking Out.” Miss Brown heads into the boss’s office. The boss is on the phone and looks up. He starts to smile at the change in his secretary’s appearance. He shakes her hand. She sits down, smiling. Title: The End Context 10 shillings worth of dreams on the Sweeps Lady Luck smiles on a reckless secretary who takes a punt on the Irish Sweepstake … but not everyone’s a winner. A prim secretary takes a punt on the Irish Sweep and blows her winnings on a chic gown from Georges in Newcastle. This morality tale is an amateur gem, which doesn’t shirk from showing the seedy side of gambling in the 30s. The original Irish Free State Hospitals’ Sweepstake promotional draws were held in Dublin three times a year from 1939 and were grand extravaganzas on a Busby Berkeley scale, often promoted in newsreels. The Irish Sweepstake was a horse-racing based lottery founded in the Irish Free State in 1930 to build and equip new hospitals. Tickets were smuggled in and sold illegally in Britain, Canada and the United States, where gambling was illegal. Corruption was endemic and was exposed by a journalist in 1973, but the Sweeps limped on until 1987. References to the Sweep in popular culture abound, including a mention in Orson Welles’ film ‘Forces of Evil’. This film was produced by talented members of the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association, one of the earliest British cine clubs, formed in 1927 by James Cameron.