Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Pathe News’

Bias in the newsreels – part two

For part one of “Bias in the newsreels” click here.

In July 1945, the Cinema Exhibitors Association adopted a report from its Legal, Finance and Parliamentary Committee which stated that “The Committee was satisfied that the adoption by the newsreel companies of the same system as the BBC in connection with General Elections in an attempt to ensure impartiality for all political parties by taking all party politicians in turn was a mistake.  In future General Elections the newsreels should only give topical news”. Read more

Podcast: The Movietone Years – episode forty two

“Movietone cameraman Paul Wyand” – part one

Paul Wyand was a legendary newsreel cameraman for British Movietone News, he was the author of the book, “Useless if Delayed” published in 1959.  Part one of the podcast recalls his career up to the end of the Second World War.

Read more

Colleagues: Tommy Scales – Movietone

Thomas F. Scales was a legend in his lifetime.  In middle age, he was somewhat overweight, rotund with a double chin.   He was a testy gentleman and was known to “Hate the guts of Sir E. Gordon Craig”, Movietone’s Managing Director.  The reason for this has never been revealed.

He was born in 1887.  In 1905 he started working with Warwick Trading Company where he quickly became a cameraman and filmed the Derby of 1906. Read more

Strange claims about the newsreels

From time to time, while researching information for articles, I have come across written material that I find impossible to believe.

It seems that the authors of these articles have no experience of film making or newsreel production, so that they are unable to even acknowledge that there is something wrong with what they have written. Read more

Criticism of the Newsreels

The newsreels have been criticised from the day they started until the present day. Over the years, they have been accused of being flippant, incompetent and right wing biased, among other things.

The following is not a chronology of all the complaints, but a selection of the most notable. Read more

Scoops, pirates and pinching in the newsreels

For some years after I joined British Movietone News in October 1945, I heard stories from older members of the staff about the “Scoops” that had taken place in the early twenties to the mid thirties.

I found a lot of the stories unbelievable but it seems that a number of those stories that I did not believe were, in fact, true.  The big mystery to me is why did they do it ? Read more

The National News: The forgotten newsreel

In the summer of 1937, there must have been some considerable discontent with the newsreels.  A group of people with backgrounds within the film industry in general and the newsreels in particular decided that, with high ambition, they could produce the perfect newsreel. Read more

Censorship in the newsreels

Throughout their fifty-year operating period, Movietonews was never censored.  In fact, no newsreel was censored from the time of their introduction in the early years of the twentieth century.

This did not mean that they were not subject to criticism for the contents of the reels. The newsreels seemed to have had a dissenting voice against them and almost anything they did. Read more

The Story Of Movietone

Last night was the first episode of a four part series on BBC4 of “The Story Of British Pathe“. It was a story worth telling, and worth watching but of course it’s not the only story.

There’s the story to be told of the British newsreel itself: British Movietone News, Pathe News, Topical Budget, Gaumont British News, Warwick Bioscope Chronicle, Universal Talking News, Paramount News, MGM News of the Day and many others.

The programme mentioned a lot of the above newsreel companies, but didn’t mention their great rival, British Movietone News once. Read more

“This is a movie that ends in the middle…”

In the thirties, forties and fifties, there was always visual entertainment available in the cinemas.  In Tottenham and Edmonton in London, we had a number of cinemas at our disposal.

There was the Tottenham Palace, which was almost opposite Chestnut Road, Tottenham, which had, originally, been a theatre from 1908 and a cinema from 1926. Read more