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

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

Price: £7.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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  • London Nobody Knows / Les Bicyclettes De Belsize [DVD] [1967]
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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 (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z63ZNS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,982 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve VINE VOICE on 3 April 2008
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD 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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Format: DVD
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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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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