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Customer Review

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful nostalgia treat from the days when we really had a British film industry!, 29 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Look at Life: Volume One - Transport [DVD] (DVD)
Well, I received this on Saturday and have just finished watching it. The verdict: Brilliant! The 56 films (averaging nine minutes each in running time) on this 4-disc set are only approximately one tenth of the 500 "Look at Life" films made by The Rank Organisation in the ten years between 1959 and 1969 and which average out at around nine minutes each. But they are all of equal high quality in both image and sound and, of course, interest value, so that if you like one of them, you will like them all. Originally filmed in Eastman Colour, they have all been carefully restored and remastered for the highest picture and sound quality and look brand new.

The films here all have a common theme of air; rail and road transport and maybe it would have been a better idea to have them all varied subjects instead, but no matter. They are great film documents of social history and are very interesting indeed. The fact stated on the back of the DVD cover that they were made to be shown in Rank's Odeon and Gaumont cinemas is true, but only half true, for they were also shown in most other cinemas around the country, including the Essoldo circuit and other cinema chains and independent cinemas...although I don't think that the ABC circuit ever screened them. I certainly ran them regularly at the Plaza, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, during my years there as a projectionist. Despite the high price of the set (originally priced at £50), which is justified in this case, I highly recommend it. Well done, Network. Now here's hoping we have a volume two on the way featuring "For The Record" from 1961, with Helen Shapiro recording "Walking Back To Happiness" under the direction of Norrie Paramor in Studio 2 at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Dec 2011 12:37:44 GMT
R. A. Caton says:
I used to have "On The Record" on Super 8mm... I think it was a Derann Films release.

Posted on 22 Mar 2013 23:40:51 GMT
No doubt Odeon and Gaumont were specifically mentioned as the combined circuits belonged to the series' maker, the Rank Organisation and these were the cinemas most associated with Look at Life. Rank were, naturally, not averse to renting the documentaries to independents and small circuits where they were equally useful as programme-fillers. ABC were Rank's main opposition and had their own substitute for the discontinued newsreel in the form of Pathe Pictorial, a short magazine style of film which, perhaps, never achieved the same documentary status as Look at Life and never ran to as many editions.
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Location: STOKE-ON-TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 26,831