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Wonderful London (DVD)

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2012
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007ZQ88LA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,560 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

WONDERFUL LONDON

The BFI presents a unique collection of beautifully restored archival films which offer a fascinating glimpse of life in London during the 1920s. Over two series of short films, Wonderful London captured some of the most evocative images of the capital during the silent era.

These simple travelogues contrast different aspects of city life East End and West End, poor and rich, natives and immigrants often looking beyond the stereotypes to show surprising views of the city. Rapidly produced, but told with wit and flair, the films offer a tourist's guide to both the familiar sites such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London and the unknown nooks and crannies of the London of 1924.

This unique collection includes 12 films from the collection, six of which have been painstakingly restored by the BFI National Archive to reinstate their original tinting and toning

Special Features

  • To be confirmed

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Produced by Graham Wilcox Films, and directed by Harry B Parkinson & Frank Miller, this is a fascinating collection of silent vignettes produced in the 1920's, an interesting historical & informative account of life in London at the time. This collection covers a varied cross-section of London's inhabitants of the era, including the rich & poor as well as the immigrant population. The films also offer a glimpse at the social attitudes of the time, as well as providing a fascinating guided tour around the capital. Over 20 films were produced, and this release features 12 titles (when including the special features) which gives an overall running time approaching two hours.

Here is a list of the titles with brief details....

*BARGING THROUGH LONDON (11 mins)....A journey through the capital via the Regent's Canal. From the docks in Limehouse before finishing in Paddington Basin.

*COSMOPOLITAN LONDON (10 mins)....A look at the various cosmopolitan inhabitants of London.

*LONDON'S SUNDAY (8 mins)....While paying a visit to the Gaiety Theatre & Petticoat Lane's Sunday market, we also see the well-to-do riding in Hyde Park.

*FLOWERS OF LONDON (10 mins)....A look around domestic gardens & florist shops.

*LONDON'S FREE SHOWS (8 mins)....Various free entertainment provided by the likes of pavement artists and Punch & Judy, as well as a fire brigade demonstration.

*LONDON OFF THE TRACK (10 mins)....A look at various views lying behind the more familiar facades of London's streets.

***SPECIAL FEATURES***

*DICKEN'S LONDON (12 mins)....A look at the London locations which provided the setting for a number of the author's works.

*LONDON'S OUTER RING (12 mins)....
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The silent era was well before my time but I can imagine my grandparents watching these films with the piano playing to enhance the story in film. I can see myself getting more of these "British Film Institute" films if they are all like this.
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Wonderful London (DVD)
I recently got this DVD and pleased that I did. Whilst it is far from long enough and should have been a Blu Ray or a Dual format release, it is historically important to any one who loves London and wants to see some of its wonderful past. I saw some great footage of the former London canals and remember seeing an existing canal in the Kentish Town area in the 1970s that had not been covered in.

There is footage of Dicken's London that I had read about and I once worked, briefly, near the Borough where Dickens is said to have written sme of his material in a room or at a table in a local pub. I do recall hearing, many years ago, of a vault in that area being discovered and opened and film was found inside.

More than worth a look and something I will screen often.

Highly recommended!
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I have just watched Wonderful London and if ever money was well spent on a DVD then this is it.Yes I am an old Londoner myself so of course it is more interesting to me.Nevertheless,to see pictures of London from the 1920s is special enough,but to see actual footage of London from the 1920s is special.I was completely enthralled.I never thought I would ever see film of old Chinatown(Limehouse),especially Pennyfields.I saw the tail end of old Chinatown,but was too young to see it in its heyday,like so much of the old East End.I am 71 now so all you Herberts who are still trying to get mileage out of something that has long gone,give it a rest.I also have to mention all other parts of London.To see the Trams going in and out of the tunnel at Southhampton Row brought back memories.I remember standing on the station platform underneath Kingsway.Just to see footage of Bygone London is priceless.Anyone with a feel or a memory of our great city,should buy this great DVD.
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This release will be of great interest to anyone interested in the history of London but it's not quite as good as I thought it might be. It's nicely presented with an interesting booklet and there are 6 restored films in colour tints and 6 in black & white. The films are a wonderful glimpse of bygone times but they are just a glimpse, scenes are very short and before one has a chance to take it all in it's gone and we're off to the next one. The only exception to this are the scenes shot from barge and boat which have a more leisurely pace. Many shots are also repeated over different films and sometimes scenarios are repeated. These are silent films and have a piano accompaniment to all of them which is okay but becomes wearing after a while as it does seem to dominate things. I would much rather have had a narration by a London historian which could have added to our knowledge. Anyway we have what we have and sights that particularly jumped out at me were The Crystal Palace, a huge advertising sign for a Rudolph Valentino film at the London Pavilion and street entertainment outside the Ambassadors and St. Martins Theatres long before the arrival of 'The Mousetrap'! Things I didn't like were the awful re-enactments of Dickens characters and the racist attitudes of the times but the world was different then of course. Overall I'm glad I had this opportunity to see the ghosts of our past going about their business in a busy London which, with few exceptions, has vastly changed.
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