Film ID:
YFA 5670



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Charming film by Yorkshire filmmaker Eric Hall, following the life of an Oxford undergraduate student from matriculation to graduation.

Title – J Eric Hall presents

Title – The Oxford Story

Traffic crosses a bridge and the spires of various buildings are seen, followed by the Radcliffe Camera. A craftsman is busy carving a relief into a stone wall. Various stone ornaments are stacked around him waiting to be used.

The gates and coats of arms of Balliol and Brasenose Colleges are seen, followed by trunks and suitcases piled in a college stairwell. A young man in a tweed jacket and black academic robe, probably David Hall, exits a door and walks around garden, smiling and talking to the camera. An older woman, probably his mother Mary, stands with him.

A milk float drives past and a grocer’s delivery van unloads goods to the back entrance of a building. Bicycles are piled against the walls and students come and go.

In the centre of a lawn, a student lies in a deckchair in the sun. In a college room, the young man from earlier sits at his desk with a cup of tea, making notes from a card index. On the lawn of Merton College, two men play croquet.

The young man leaves a house door, wearing white tie evening dress and a mortar board, and gets into a car.

On a different occasion, he stands in sports gear in a field, holding a large silver cup. At Iffley Road running track, young men practice hurdles, long jump and running. The commentary notes that for David Hall, running here has been an ambition since his public school days, when he was All England champion in the 440 and 880 metre events.

On the River Isis, groups of people are out for a punt. The Oxford Eights practice, both for ‘thumps’, or intercollege races, and for the annual boat race against rivals Cambridge University. They fetch their boats out of the river and into Oriel College boathouse, where an older man files down the end of an oar.

On graduation day, the young man wears the traditional black mortar board and a black gown with white fur trim, which he gives a twirl for the camera. A group of young men in the same dress proceed into a chapel. Other academics in red gowns lead ahead and in the courtyard outside men help graduands into their gowns.

The young man and two women, presumably his mother and sister, look out over the river.

An academic in red robes leads a small group of male students up Catte Street, through gates where they line up to enter a ceremony. The young man is seen again, this time in different robes with a red hood, and stands with a group of young men wearing the same.

The film ends with the young graduate kissing his sister and mother, and posing for the camera, followed by a view of the college.

Title – The End