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on 18 July 2017
Wonderful to look back at a gentler, happy time.
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on 30 April 2010
Look at Life' - Swingin' London is not a gritty critical appraisal of contemporary London in the late 1960's, but a glimpse of the capital at the height of its power as a worldwide cultural force. The fourteen short films are a thoroughly engaging view of the optimism for the future that characterised that decade. This is epitomised in the film, 'Rising to High Office' which depicts a new corporate high-rise HQ which seems to offer it's employees a Utopian working environment where they can take advantage of free food, sports activities and even hairdressing all under the same roof.

Shopping by the ton looks at the old Covent Garden market before it was colonised by chic shops and street performers and for those who are interested in meat, Smithfield Market and its cast of characters comes under the scrutiny of the Rank Organisation cameras.

Anyone who wants to understand what makes the 1960's so different from 2010 should view 'In Gear' about the King's Road and Carnaby Street and listen to the mocking tone of the commentary which is both condescending to young people yet cynical enough to recognise the economic value of the British fashion industry.

A word here about the quality of the the transition of the 35mm film to DVD which is superb in sharpness, contrast, clarity and colour, nouns which coincidentally can equally be applied to the world of 1960's Swingin' London.
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on 15 May 2008
This is a selection of Rank documentaries that were made to be shown at British cinemas before the main feature came on. Every Brit aged over 55 will recognise the stuff immediately. However, the title Swinging London is a con. Only one of the films is about London in the mid-sixties, and it's a collectors' gem, a Quant-um leap into that era. The rest are about London in the late 50s (including the coffee bar scene, another gem) and early 60s. Buy this to see Britain just before it swung and you'll be happy; buy it for Swinging London and you'll be sorely disappointed.
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on 16 October 2007
What a captivating collection of short films these are.
I don't think there is a dull one. almost like purchasing an album by your favourite band and enjoying all the tracks.
Interesting, enjoyable and thoroughly engrossing...more please.
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on 13 July 2011
An absolute must for anyone who remembers the days before so-called 'Swinging London'. Superbly filmed, this really is a gem and the next best thing to one's own personal Tardis!

There's so much packed into these films that you'll want to watch them again and again - activity in the backgound is often as interesting as the main action.

A must for any contemporary historian - and how it all was before Kengestion Zones, red-braced City boys, Boris bikes and the like.

Thank you, Rank - more please!
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on 17 September 2007
A fantastic DVD compiled of fourteen of the Rank film organization's "Look at Life" feature-et films that were shown in the cinema in-between and before the main feature film, all the films are about ten minuets long and are filmed no later (I'd say) than 1969, a fantastic look at London in the late 60's, recommended by Danny Baker
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on 2 May 2013
The Look at Life series is excellent and I enjoyed these films even though I didn't think I'd find them particularly interesting. However, if you're thinking of collecting the whole series then don't buy this DVD because many of the films are included on the Volume 5 - Cultural Heritage set issued by Network. This DVD is from a different producer and not part of that series.
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on 26 November 2009
This is great......several short films covering 60s life,plus two extra short films.
My favourite is the one about Shellmex House in London and all the perks the staff get....excellent!
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on 26 November 2012
What a great collection of shorts. I remember seeing these at the Odeon in Southend in my youth. Each one is a little gem. A slice of the London that used to be. I will be buying the others in the collection. If you are an old cinema fan try the Scales Of Justice set ther also great fun.
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on 23 November 2013
These are all great five star films. For 'baby boomer' nostalgists, this whole series is just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, it contains duplications from another 'Look at Life' set. I first purchased 'Look at Life: Swinging London'. Inspired by this, I then bought 'Look at Life: Volume 5 Cultural heritage'. Imagine my surprise when I found that at least EIGHT of the films in 'Volume 5' also appear in 'Swinging London' (I stopped counting at eight). It's about time that consumer laws were changed to enforce producers to clearly label products like these, 'contains duplications from other works'.
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