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London Nobody Knows / Les Bicyclettes De Belsize [DVD] [1967]

Judy Huxtable , Anthony May , Norman Cohen , Douglas Hickox    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
Price: 10.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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London Nobody Knows / Les Bicyclettes De Belsize [DVD] [1967] + The London Nobody Knows
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Product details

  • Actors: Judy Huxtable, Anthony May, James Mason
  • Directors: Norman Cohen, Douglas Hickox
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z63ZNS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,642 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Double-bill of short films showing aspects of a bygone London. In 'The London Nobody Knows' (1967), James Mason narrates as the viewer is taken on a tour round a side of London the tourists don't see. Documenting the street vendors and local characters, and giving a fascinating glimpse of a culture soon to disappear, the film contrasts starkly with the 'swinging sixties' vision of London at the time. In the short musical 'Les Bicyclettes De Belsize' (1969), a young man falls in love with a fashion model after seeing her photograph. Most of the film involves following the characters, on bicycle, around the Hampstead area of London, to the accompaniment of a musical soundtrack.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Short Film, SYNOPSIS: A pairing of fascinating sixties London-based films. The London Nobody Knows (Norman Cohen, 1967) is a tour of London, narrated by James Mason. Based on the book by Geoffrey Fletcher ('the great forgotten London writer'), it is a 45 minute snapshot of late 1960s London and is a fascinating time capsule of the remnants of a bygone age before the capital's extensive redevelopment in the late 1960s and 70s. Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (Douglas Hickox, 1969) is a charmingly whimsical musical short filmed around Hampstead Village one summer, in which a man sees his ideal woman on a billboard poster and falls in love. ...The London Nobody Knows / Les Bicyclettes de Belsize

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture of London. 3 April 2008
This DVD consists of two films, 'The London Nobody Knows' and 'Les Bicyclettes De Belsize'. There are similarities in both films: both are short, the first 45 minutes, the second 30. Both were filmed in London, in colour, in the 1960's. And both are collector's items.

'The London Nobody Knows' is, as the title suggests, a look at some lesser known sights of London and is narrated by James Mason. We begin in an old music hall in Camden which is almost literally falling down. There is a sense of eery seediness here; one of the singers who performed here was the wife of the notorious Dr. Crippen. It was clearly a beautiful hall in its heyday, but was caught on film just before the very final curtain fell. We move through some street markets, and to an extraordinary sight in Holborn. Here we see a gas-lit gent's toilet, with, above the urinals, a fish tank- complete with living fish! Apparently some goldfish suffered the indignity of being moved into this tank (which really did house fish once) for the cameras, and were then safely taken back to a better place afterwards. Another old gents' toilet is shown down an alleyway, and it's in the style of the classic French pissoir- completely unexpected in London. We see an ornate gas lamp near the Savoy theatre which acts as a ventilation system for the sewer underneath. Is that still there I wonder? But this film is about people more than things, and we see a number of, mostly, men who are down on their luck. The Salvation Army Hostel provides a home for many, and Mason is seen chatting with a number of the men, all of whom seem quietly resigned to their lot. But this is not a film where the presenter intercedes too often; most of the time the director allows the camera itself to tell the tale.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Short Nostalgic Visit Into 1960s London 8 Mar 2009
Verified Purchase
This DVD captures perfectly a nostalgic feeling of the 1960s.
The 45 minute documentary "THE LONDON NOBODY KNOWS" has James Mason as your guide through streets of 1960s London showing you buildings and ways of life which even then were being lost forever - such as street performers including a "strong man", and a once vibrant, but now derelict theatre - as they are replaced by the modern era, itself now a chapter in history. It is a fascinating visit into 1960s London which brings the past to life better than any reconstruction or fictionalised film setting could manage.
"Les Bicyclettes de Belsize" is an enchanting short musical film. The melodies, beginning with the romantic french style title song, complement the cinematography warmly evoking the fashion, charm and innocence of a bygone era as the main character, a young man played by Anthony May, cycles round a pretty Hampstead village (not Belsize) in 1968 London in search of a beautiful model played by Judy Huxtable.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia can be bitter sweet 24 Mar 2010
By Brian
Verified Purchase
In my late 40s, and born and bred in Islington, "The London Nobody Knows" has been one of the best purchases I have made for a long time. Naturally, the scenes shot in Chapel Market brought back many a memory, some wonderful and some not quite so good.

Being a child when this was made (1967), my views of the era are somewhat halcyon: playing outside, in the park, a simple life. What struck me more than anything about this superb documentary was the grinding poverty and squalor in which so many people still lived in the 1960s. Whilst this era went around the world as "the swinging 60s", fuelled by imagery of Carnaby Street and Kings Road, and Britain's dominance in the pop world, the reality for the overwhelming majority could not have been any different.

Scenes of meths drinkers brought memories flooding back of seeing these poor down and outs on the street, and made me wince when viewing them. Especially heartbreaking is the scene where James Mason interviews people in the Salvation Army hostel: 6 shillings for accomodation was a fortune in those days even for those at work.

Coupling this film with 'Les Bicyclettes de Belsize' is not at all incongruous, but a stroke of genius. In an instant, it contrasts the 'soft-focus' world view that many may have had about 'Swinging London' in the 1960s, with the reality that you have just witnessed in 'The London That Nobody Knows'.

This utter gem of a DVD should be in everyone's collection and, importantly, should be made mandatory viewing as part of the National Curriculum.

I would give this 10 stars if I could!!!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic short film from the 60's 22 Nov 2008
I write as a fan of 'Les Bicyclettes de Belsize' since I first saw it on Channel 4 in the UK during the 80's. I was too young to have seen it when first released in the cinemas, where it ran before 'The Collector' and 'The Twisted Nerve'. This is a sweet simple story of how a boy and girl get together one sunny afternoon in 60's London. Filmed in only 7 days, it brought together the future wife of Peter Cook (half of Derek and clive) Judy Huxtable, and successful stage actor Anthony May. I recommend this film to all incureable romantics, anyone who loves musicals, and everyone who loves a happy ending; a real family treat. As the DVD has no extras, I have filmed a short interview with Anthony May which can be seen on 'Youtube'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The London Nobody Knows is a hidden gem of a ...
The London Nobody Knows is a hidden gem of a film in which Londoners speak about their lives, narrated by James Mason in his inimitable style.
Published 5 days ago by Janice Brent
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best historic snapshot of London with great presentation from James Mason.
Published 20 days ago by Joseph O'malley
5.0 out of 5 stars Two great films
Two very different but brilliant films. TLNK is a fascinating look around the decaying remains of another era which, since this film was made, are no longer there. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Freddie Valentine
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, old, nostalgia.
I remember seeing London Nobody Knows as a B film at the cinema back in the Sixties. At the time, it was a bit boring for a fourteen-year-old, waiting to see the main movie, but... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars The Past is a Foreign Country, They Do Things Differently There
'London' benefits from the sardonic presence of James Mason ambling around the backwaters of the city like a favourite uncle meeting down and outs and street entertainers and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mario
4.0 out of 5 stars Underneath the surface
I first read a critique of this in a magazine and wasn't particularly flattering but did admit to the unusual subjects dealt with and I found it interesting to see and hear of the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by DT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Genre Film - bought with the book
Great item and a view into the past, this was a present for my Mother and she loved it, along with the book as well
Published 14 months ago by Philip Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine pair of disparate vintage films
The London nobody knows:The first film is about 46 minutes long and features legendary thespian James Mason lamenting the oncoming end of traditional European London as old... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ken Raus
5.0 out of 5 stars London Nobody Knows
This is an Excellent period piece describing some aspects of a London that no longer exists and some historic anomalies of interest
Published 17 months ago by Jean Griffiths
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The main film London Nobody Knows is interesting, showing the other side of London rather than the swinging 60s, however it was quite a grimy depressing place in reality. Read more
Published 18 months ago by mrs J A Underwood / mr s underwood
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