Film ID:
NEFA 21386

SANCTUARY

1930

Visitor Tabs

Description

This costume drama was produced by Arthur G. Greaves and the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA). It tells the story of the tragic romance of Lady Olga Rivers and Paul Beverley, friends since childhood. In the 16th century, during the reign of Henry VIII, Lady Olga’s father is executed and an evil Duke seizes her home and land, and demands that she marries his son. Lady Olga instead seeks refuge in a convent with her lady companion and sends word to Paul who has taken up his post as Admiral in the King’s fleet. Paul Beverley returns to rescue his lover. Locations used in the film include Durham Castle and Cathedral.

Title: Newcastle & District ACA Presents

Shot of the sanctuary knocker on the north door of Durham Cathedral.

Title: Sanctuary

Shot of a small cross.

Title: Let us take you back awhile to the troublous days of early 16th century, and for the sake of our own story, allow destiny to play her part in bringing together in childish friendship the Lady Olga Rivers and Paul Beverley, so that through a brief portrayal of their lives we may resuscitate a memory.

As young children, Lady Olga Rivers and Paul Beverley are friends. She walks her two dogs into the gardens of her father’s manor and waves over to Paul who has arrived by carriage.  He waves back and rushes over to meet her.  He strokes the two dogs and they stroll to the gardens.

Title: “My uncle in London will make me an Admiral!”

She salutes him jokily. She shakes his hand, then kneels down and he kisses her hand. He puts his arm around her shoulder and they walk together.

Back at the carriage, he waves goodbye, and she waves back.

Title:  1530

Title:  Insurrections

Title:  Anne Boleyn

Title:  Jane Seymour

Title: Katherine Howard

Title:  Catherine Parr

Title: 1544

In the castle, Lady Olga Rivers and her trusted female companion stand before a high-ranking Duke in Tudor garb of ruff collar, attended by four other gentlemen. He explains that he has been gifted her home by King Henry VIII since the execution of her father.

Title: Lord Rivers is Dead! An idle threat, spoken foolishly, branded him a rebel. His only child Lady Olga, learns that her home is forfeit to the Crown.

Title: “By the King’s Grace, I am the law to do with this place as I please.”

Title: “To retain it, you must marry my son, proud Lady.”

Lady Olga is comforted by her companion, Martha. But she stands proud and defiant. The unattractive and childish son of the Duke grins. Lady Olga refuses to marry him. But the Duke insists and presents his son. The son grins and takes her chin in his hand. She slaps him. Martha wraps a shawl around her and the two walk away.

Back in her chamber, the lady weeps and is comforted by Martha.

The Duke’s son is comforted by the rest of his entourage.

Martha comforts her despairing lady.

Title: “Paul will find a way out, My Lady.”

Title: “Oh Paul! – why doesn’t he come?”

She turns around and stares at the small wooden cross on the wooden panelling above a fireplace.

Title: Refuge, Martha – the Convent of St Hilda.”

Martha and Lady Olga consider their options. Lady Olga stands before the cross dramatically. Martha clutches her around the waist, weeping, kneeling on the floor. The camera zooms in on the cross.

Title: On the good ship Great Elizabeth, Paul receives the tragic news of Olga.

Paul is on his ship reading the letter from Lady Olga. A sailor is polishing the huge ship’s wheel at the helm, engraved with the words: ‘Honour the King’. Hot and thirsty work, another sailor hands him a tankard to drink. Paul walks through and then stands on deck contemplating what to do.

Title: ‘The Convent of St Hilda’

Nuns are reading in the gardens of a convent and stroll together. Lady Olga and her friend have taken refuge at the convent, and talk to the nuns.

Suddenly, Paul strides across the lawn. The Abbess speaks to Lady Olga.

Title: “Save thyself, my child – take the veil.”

Lady Olga shakes her head but looks quite despairing of an alternative to her dilemma. A bell tolls in the convent tower, calling the nuns to prayer. The two look up.

Title: “Still hoping for news of Paul?”

The Abbess comforts Lady Olga. The community of nuns walk through the gardens to prayer, with a brief curtsy before the Abbess and Olga. The Abbess leaves for the chapel. Martha returns and asks if she needs anything, then leaves. Lady Olga walks off in the opposite direction on her own. The nuns enter the chapel for prayer.

Lady Olga walks through the gardens alone. Paul is creeping through the trees and bushes bordering the convent. He spots her and calls out. He rushes over. She is overjoyed. They embrace. She hugs him. He strokes her hair and they embrace again, walking off into the shade of the trees. They talk.

Title: “I received your message a week ago and left at once.”

Title: “I’ll go to the castle – look for me at noon tomorrow.”

They talk and embrace some more. He kneels before her. He rushes off, but returns to kiss her again. She waves him off, and looks to the skies.

Title: “Blessed creator – keep him safe.”

Paul walks to the castle. He sneaks around the perimeter of the castle walls. Another man is also lurking around the wall.

Title: “Pedro!”

Paul sees his old friend. Pedro rushes over to him.

Title: “If you value your life, Master Paul, do not go to the castle.”

Paul puts his arm around Pedro and they walk together outside the castle.

Title: “I’ll take the risk – eat your fill and wait for me.”

Paul hands him food and walks away.

Back at the convent, Lady Olga is praying for Paul at a chapel alter.

General view of a castle. Paul walks through a stone archway cautiously. He hammers on a huge arched doorway. Then pushes in the door, checking he isn’t seen, and goes inside.

In the castle, the Duke is lighting candles at his table. He hears something and crouches down. Suddenly, Paul is standing before him. The Duke demands that he leaves. His entourage arrive in the chamber to back him up.

Title: “My name is Beverly, Your Grace, I plead for Lady Olga.”

Title: “You surely cannot take that which is not freely given.”

The Duke instructs one of his men to strike Paul with a handkerchief. Paul hands over his sword and is marched into the dungeons of the castle, where he is stripped of his fine clothes by a guard and put in chains. The chains are hammered shut. Paul grabs the hammer and attempts to fight off the guard. Paul is hit on the head. The manacle and chain are secured.

Pedro is wandering around the castle walls looking for Paul. But Paul is firmly imprisoned in the dungeons. Pedro sneaks around the castle to a small doorway, which leads from the dungeon. The guard appears. Pedro quizzes him.

Title: “Beverley? – you will not see him again – the duke has seen to that.”

The two swap jokes. Pedro, however, is wondering what to do. He bids farewell to the gaoler, now resting outside the doorway.

Back at the convent, Lady Olga and Martha are reading and sewing together, passing time.

Pedro is heading for the convent. He approaches a nun outside the convent and pleads with her to see Lady Olga. Pedro follows her inside the convent. The nun kneels before the Abbess. Pedro paces outside the room, and tries to listen outside the door. The nun explains to the Abbess about Paul’s capture by the Duke. Pedro is allowed to speak to the Abbess. He kneels before and pleads. The nun fetches the lady Olga and Martha. Pedro paces while he waits. Lady Olga and Martha enter and he kneels before her.

Title: “I learn from the guard that he met his death, fair Lady, attempting to escape.”

Pedro has misunderstood the guard and believes Paul is dead. Close-up of Pedro as he relays his news. He kisses the hem of her sleeve, pleadingly. Lady Olga touches his head lightly. She weeps onto Martha’s shoulder. The Abbess tries to comfort her. Pedro leaves the room and waits outside the door. Back in the room with the Abbess, Lady Olga has made a decision.

Title: “Good Mother, nothing remains but to take the veil.”

Lady Olga kneels before the Abbess.

Pedro meanders back through the gardens, glancing back to the convent. He puts his scarf back on, and slaps his thighs in frustration. He leaves.

Sand trickles down in an hourglass to a fade out.

Paul is shackled in the dungeon, struggling with his chains. He tries to get the manacle off and then begins to strain at the chain bound to the stone wall.

Title: Wearily he tugged – hour by hour.

Close-up of his tired face. He collapses on the floor, exhausted.

The guard is stepping towards the dungeon. Paul, his head in his hands, hears the footsteps on the stone floor. He crouches near the pillar, alert. The guard is back with a drink on a tray, which he slides cautiously over to Paul using his sword. He gets too close and Paul attacks him. 

In the next scene, Paul has escaped and taken the guard’s sword. He encounters another guard on the stairs and they fight. Paul finds a way out of the castle and climbs from a window.

Pedro is laying in a field in the countryside outside the castle. Paul races through the fields, escaping from the castle. Pedro spots him and runs to his friend. They sit together in a field, the chain and manacle still dangling from Paul’s wrist. One of the Duke’s men has been dispatched from the castle to find him and rides through a corn field scanning the land. Paul and Pedro spot him. 

Title: “One of the guards – The monastery – Pedro.”

The two race across countryside, then split up to fool the Duke’s man. The guard is in pursuit. Pedro runs out as a decoy and is stopped and quizzed by the guard.

Title: “White tucker? – Chain at wrist?”

He sends the guard off in the wrong direction. The guard trots his horse across a field of bracken, looking this way and that.

Title: DUNELM

General view of Durham Cathedral shot from an outlying field. Inside, the abbot is writing in a manuscript. Another monk arrives and passes a message to him. Two monks talk and stroll through the cloisters of the cathedral.

Paul runs for his life to the safety of the cathedral. He raps on the northern door of the cathedral using the “Sanctuary Knocker”, exhausted, and not knowing where to turn. The monk and Abbot inside hear the knock and understand that it is a sanctuary seeker. The monk speaks through a small door (obviously not the same door on which Paul is seen rapping). He lets Paul in, the escapee collapsing on the floor in front of the Abbot. Paul hands over his sword to the monks.

Title: “Good Abbot, I crave rest and advice.”

He holds out his manacled hand. The monk helps him to walk. The three walk through the cloisters of the cathedral. Close-ups of the manacle on Paul’s wrist being examined by a monk. The monk tries to break into the iron manacle with pliers. He wrenches the lock apart and frees Paul, who throws down the manacle and rubs his wrist.

Title: “I will devise a document to ensure your safety if you can induce Gaston to sign.”

The Abbot begins to write out a document with a quill pen.

Title: “I also grant to Lady Olga Rivers unmolested freedom.”

Paul watches as the manuscript is written. The monk dictates.

Title: “In the King’s Name I further solemnly undertake – “

The monk reads out the document to Paul. Paul nods. The monks hand back Paul’s sword. Back at the door, the monk checks outside and beckons to Paul that it is safe to leave. He bids them farewell and leaves the safety of the cathedral monastery. The two monks walk back through the cloisters.

Pedro is waiting for Paul beside the castle walls. The two greet each other and Paul shows him the document. The two ponder how to get a signature from the Duke.

Title: “I can make Gaston sign.”

The two discuss the plan.

The two monks are seated at a window, keeping a watch for sanctuary seekers.

Paul and Pedro retrace their steps across along a moorland path, heading for the castle and Gaston, the Duke. Standing waist deep in ferns, they finalise their plan. Paul rolls up the document and puts it back inside his shirt.

Title: “Wait for the signal from me.”

General view of the castle. Paul and Pedro cautiously approach. Paul gives Pedro a leg up to a door in the castle battlements.

The Duke and his band of men are at his table, looking over a map of the land they have seized from Lady Olga Rivers.

Paul and Pedro have secretly entered one of the towers. Pedro sneaks up some castle stairs. Paul is listening in at the door of the Duke’s quarters, where he laughs with his band of men.

Title: “This young Beverly, I doubt if he will be alone.”

The Duke glares towards the door.

At one of the windows overlooking the chamber, Pedro draws his bow and arrow.

Paul is now inside the Duke’s chamber.

Title: “On your lives hold your swords.”

The Duke’s men continue to hold their sword hilts but do not draw them. Paul threatens them with an army – although none exists.

Title: “Many trusty bowmen are concealed and they boast whose arrow will be the swiftest!”

The Duke and his men laugh at him in disbelief. Paul, undeterred, takes out his document, places it in front of the Duke, demanding he sign. The men huddle around to read the document. They laugh again. Paul raises his hand, a signal to Pedro. An arrow lands in the table in front of the Duke. The men reach for their swords. But one of his men brings a candle and prepares the Duke’s seal, stamping the document and handing the quill to the Duke, who signs under duress.  Paul takes the signed document and backs away to the door.

Meanwhile, back at the convent, Lady Olga is being prepared for the ceremony where she will take her vows and become a nun. The Abbess and her friend Martha help her to dress.

Paul and Pedro are now hurrying along the path to the convent. The bell is tolling for the start of the ceremony. Lady Olga is comforted by Martha, her trusty companion.

Title: “Goodbye Martha.”

Martha is left alone, immensely sad. Paul and Pedro arrive in the gardens of St Hilda’s convent, hearing the tolling of the bell. Pedro suddenly realises why.

Title: “Merciful heavens! – I told them you were dead.”

Paul and Pedro hastily run to the door of the convent and start pounding on the door. Inside, the ceremony is already underway. Lady Olga receives a blessing and kneels before the nuns to take her vows. Paul continues to bang desperately on the door.

A nun removes Lady Olga’s headdress. They begin to pray.

A nun emerges at the door of the chapel and speaks to Paul and Pedro.

Title: “You cannot see my Lady, she is taking the veil.”

She goes back into the convent. Paul covers his face in his hands in despair. Pedro kneels and crosses himself. Paul collapses by the door, distraught. They are too late. The bell tolls.

Title: The End

Note: Arthur G. Greaves ARPS was Chairman of Montagu Pictures, an amateur Newcastle film production unit, which has won international and national awards. He also joined the committee of Tyneside Film Society. His film won the Scottish Amateur Film Festival Victor Savill Cup for the most outstanding film with 'The Day Thou Gavest' in 1937. He was also an F.R.P.S. and a member of Newcastle & District ACA in the early days.

Amateur Cine World, November 1947, reported the death of A. G. Greaves.