on 23 November 2012
For those familiar with any of the previous releases in the "Look at Life" series, you'll have a fair idea of what to expect - yet another colourful collection of short features with running times of around 10 minutes each, a bright and breezy photo-album of snapshots of life in Britain, which were produced in the 1960's by The Rank Organisation for screening in their Odeon & Gaumont cinemas - a nostalgic collection with warm and cosy commentaries provided by Tim Turner, Michael Ingrams, John Witty, Bob Willcox, Antony Bilbow, Tom Naisby, Rowland Hill, Duncan Carse, Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, Vernon Greaves, John Westbrook, Stephen Potter & Paul Rogers.
The sixty-four films certainly cover a wide spectrum of cultural heritage themes, which is why I have included a full list of the titles below. The picture and sound quality is generally good (although the film "Garden of Tomorrow" is badly faded compared to the rest). There are no extras or subtitles. Please note that while currently advertised as a 3-disc set by Amazon, this is in fact a FOUR disc collection, with the discs stored in a single-size DVD case.
here is a list of the titles, with details taken from the included info....
*A DOG'S LIFE.... A film looking at London from a dog's point of view.
*DOWN LONDON RIVER.... A leisurely journey through London along the Thames.
*COFFEE BAR.... A film that examines the cult world of the coffee bar and its habits.
*GARDEN OF TOMORROW.... A film for everyone who loves a garden, for everyone who loves a gadget, and for those who have never had the chance to see the Chelsea Flower Show in all its glory.
*HARVEST OF HOPS.... A look at a typical London family on their annual hop-picking holiday.
*ISLAND OF MEN.... Fair Isle, famous for its distinctive woollens, faces a problem: more than two thirds of its inhabitants are men. But the island is still a very happy place to live.
*TOP PEOPLE.... A look at a new generation in the City of London, from the crane drivers helping rebuild it to the flat-dwellers overlooking this throbbing heart of commerce.
*REBIRTH OF A CITY.... A film that documents the first steps in the rebuilding of Coventry after the devastation of the Second World War.
*SHOPPING BY THE TON.... A film showing London's main markets at their busiest time and capturing all the energy and bustle of the three old markets, the market men and their generations-old traditions.
*TOWNS BY DESIGN.... A look at some of the 'New Towns' being built around the country.
*FAIRS PLEASE.... A film that looks at contemporary fairs, and explores their popularity.
*RINGING THE CHANGES.... From small hand-bells to the great bell of Westminster, this is a film full of music, bringing into focus the fascination of an ancient craft.
*HYDE PARK CORNER.... A look at the changes being made at Hyde Park Corner, in particular the Underpass.
*THE BIG BLOW.... This film puts the spotlight on the human and mechanical components that make up the brass band - from a flourishing band in Wiltshire to the world-famous Black Dyke Mills band in Yorkshire.
*WOMAN-POWER... Author and broadcaster Stephen Potter shows why no man should ever underestimate the spending power - and influence - of women in modern Britain.
*ART IS A BUSINESS.... A look at the contemporary British art world, and the increasing interest in all its aspects.
*COUNTING HEADS.... An account of the ten-yearly census - the first record in colour of the entire operation.
*LOOKING FOR NOTHING.... A look at various sights, including the Manchester Whitweek walks, liners, pet-shop windows, and holes!
*THE DANCE OF LIFE.... A exploration of English folk dancing, including the Hobby Horse dance and the Furry Dance.
*WHY ALL THE RUSH?.... August Bank Holiday is traditionally the date around which most Britons fix their holidays, but those who think they will get away from it all are almost certainly in for a shock...
*ON THE MAP.... The story of the Ordnance Survey and the maps it has been producing for over two centuries, told in fascinating detail.
*CHICKENS IN THE MILL.... Over ten years, Lancashire saw a new industrial revolution: from 1950, more than 55 cotton mills were converted for light industries. This film examines the process of change for Lancashire's workers.
*TREASURE HOUSES.... A film capturing the appeal of the four hundred castles, halls and mansions in Britain that are now open to the public.
*STATE OCCASIONS.... Behind every state ceremonial is the Earl Marshal of England. And behind the Earl Marshal is the College of Arms. This film documents its fascinating, little-known work.
*DOWN IN THE FOREST.... A look at the work of the Forestry Commission.
*MEET THE MAYOR.... A look at the office of Mayor in Britain, and the Lord Mayor's Show in London.
*UNDER YOUR FEET.... Beneath our feet is a little-known world: this film reveals the labyrinth of London's sewers, an Aladdin's cave of silver, and the GPO's unique tube railway.
*THE SILENT CHANGE.... A film capturing the 800 years of pageantry and ceremonial that attends the induction of a new Lord Mayor of London.
*SIGNPOSTS OF THE SEA.... A fascinating look at the lighthouses and light-ships around Britain's coast.
*THE CITY'S BUILT FOR SHOOTING... A look at the cities that are constructed for the world of cinema, featuring trips to Pinewood and Shepperton.
*NEW UNIVERSITIES.... A look at seven new universities at the time of the biggest expansion in the history of university training in Britain.
*RAG TIME.... Look at life explores the world of students' rags in Manchester, Hull, Sheffield and Leeds.
*MARKET DAY.... Taking a look at the British country market, and the problems it is facing.
*THEY LEARN AS THEY SEE.... Schoolchildren in Britain learn by going to see things for themselves, not simply by classroom instruction. Foreign trips, geography from the air and visits to historical sights all play their part.
*JAZZ ALL THE WAY.... The Look at Life cameras visit the outdoor festival at Cleethorpes to see 12 top jazz bands.
*ISLAND REFUGE.... The island of Skomer off the Pembrokeshire coast is one of Britain's many wildlife havens. This film details the work of warder David Saunders and his family.
*HOLIDAY CAMPS.... The holday camp is a social phenomenon that has spread far beyond the British Isles. Look at Life explores the range of amenities on offer.
*SOUND OF A CITY.... Against the background of the Swinging Blue Jeans, this film looks at how the Merseybeat groups revolutionised pop music in Britain and beyond.
*SAVING A HERITAGE.... A report on the National Trust and what it is doing to save our national heritage.
*THE WAY OF RECKONING.... A film detailing the change-over from the Imperial to the Metric system of weights and measures.
*LADY BY THE SEA.... A look at the world of one of our most venerable institutions: the seaside landlady.
*EARLY STARTERS.... A film that tells the story of Britain's nursery schools.
*BUT NOT ON A SUNDAY.... A look at a typical Sunday in England - and the changes that are taking place.
*THE THINGS THEY SELL.... An intriguing look at the many and varied types of British exports.
*BOYS WITHOUT GIRLS.... Boys' clubs have served Britain for more than a hundred years. Rich men helped establish them: today they are state-aided. This film looks at their history and speculates on their future.
*MEMBERS ONLY.... A visit to London's Clubland - from the smoky rooms of Soho, to the traditional clubs in St Jame's.
*CITY OF SAILORS.... Portsmouth is no longer the sea-faring city it once was: this film looks at its changing face.
*WHY DROWN YOURSELF?.... Just how safe are Britain's beaches? From the swimmer's - and non-swimmer's - angle, not safe enough: nor are the inland waterways, in which so many tragedies occur.
*IN THE LIVERY.... In the Middle Ages, merchants and craftsmen of the City of London formed guilds and companies, many of which still exist. But what role do they play in the modern world?
*THE NEEDLES POINT THE WAY.... To millions of people the Isle of Wight is a holiday destination with a famous yachting event - but it is an island full of surprises.
*CRISIS IN THE CATHEDRAL.... A look at the crisis facing Britain's cathedrals, with massive repairs demanding the investment of vast sums of money.
*THE TOWER OF BABBLE.... A fascinating look at the network of Post Office towers in some of Britain's major cities.
*ON TAPE FOR TOMORROW.... A look at the recording on tape of Welsh and Irish folk songs and stories.
*THE ABBEY BACKSTAGE.... Westminster Abbey is not only a treasure house and tourist attraction - it's also a business run by a community who, like the monks of old, spend their lives in its precincts.
*THE SHAPE OF THINGS.... A look at the Ministry of Public Building and Works and its status as one of the biggest patrons of the arts in Britain.
*THE CHURCHILL PILGRIMAGE.... From one of England's greatest stately homes to a grave in a little Oxfordshire churchyard, this film makes a journey that has become known as the Churchill Pilgrimage.
*HIGH AND DRY.... This film shows what is happening in the Cinque Ports. Only one of the seven - Dover - remains a port: shingle brought in by the tides has silted up the coastline of the other six towns.
*IN GEAR.... A look at high fashion in Sixties Britain, exploring the exhuberant styles on offer in the boutiques of our cities, and their colourful clientele.
*HIDDEN TREASURE.... An intriguing look at the three-fold job of the British Museum, which also probes the reasons why so many of its treasures remain hidden.
*GOODBYE, PICCADILLY.... A film about Piccadilly, made as the area is about to be dramatically redeveloped to make way for modern precincts and a traffic underpass.
*CHANGE AT THE TOWER.... A behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes on in the Tower of London.
*THE SPOILERS.... As the number of visitors to Britain's countryside increase, so too do the threats to the very things they have come to enjoy...
*QUEUE FOR GARDENS.... A trip to Kew Gardens and also to Syon Park, on the opposite side of the river.
*IN THE HONOURS LIST.... A look at the peerages, knighthoods and memberships of the various grades of the Orders of Chivalry rewarded to men and women who have deserved well of their country.