Vittorio Della Valle was a colleague of mine from 1961 to 1972.
He was born in 1917 in Rome. His father was a cinematographer who had accompanied one of the Italian Airship Expeditions to the North Pole. Read more
February 14th 1944 – cameraman Paul Wyand and soundman Martin Gray were still in the region of Cassino. At the beginning of the month the advanced headquarters had moved up to Presenzano which was about a twenty-minute ride from the front line. Here they were based. While on base, they would have slept in tented accommodation and eaten with the officers. The army serviced their camera car and provided its fuel. They had to do their own sewing and ironing, if they could find an iron and an ironing board. While away from the base, they fed themselves from rations provided. Often, they had to forage for food. Read more
He was born in 1898 and was educated first at a preparatory school then to Shrewsbury School, a public school, and finally to Oxford University. Read more
January 1972, we were off again to Monaco for the Monte Carlo Rally. The team consisted of Paul Badin, Julian Botras, Vittorio Della Valle, Jacques Hubinet and his soundman Monsieur Corsi. Pierre Deus was handling the UPITN News coverage, but he was invariably working alongside us during the Rally. He was the great provider. He knew everyone in Monte Carlo and they knew him. He obtained our passes and permissions. He arranged for a police motor-cyclist to take our rushes to Nice Airport for shipment back to England. He is also well remembered for his crew lunches where we could partake of tuna and anchovies that he had caught in the Med the previous year and bottled for the winter. Read more
At the end of each year Movietone would produce a review of the year’s main stories. This served two purposes. The first was to provide its audiences with a reminder of the main events of the year and the second the pre-production of the issue allowed the staff to take extra leave at Christmas. Read more
This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – The Bedouin family.
Back in Abu Dhabi, we were given the chance to get a flight in a helicopter. We took the chance. Early in the morning, we attended the helicopter base where we were introduced to our Pakistani pilot. We had him for three hours and we made the most of it. Read more
When I started to write about Movietone at War I intended to write several separate articles. These were to be around fifteen hundred words each. I started to write and research at the same time. I gathered more and more information. The discovery of events associated with the subject were most interesting. I continued to write realising that what I was writing was more than an article. I soon had a word count over 6,000.
Before long I had reached 25,000. As I write today, the score is 125,000. Read more
This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – A “time bomb” and a Bedouin village
The day after we had filmed the distribution of food rations at Al Kaznah, we followed the rice ration into the desert. We drove about ten miles into the wilderness to a small camp . We got stuck in the sand several times, but now, we knew how to get out of it. (Which is more than our driver did). Read more
Schlachtschiff Bismarck, pride of the Kriegsmarine, was a state-of-the-art warship.
Together with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen the ship was based in Norway. On May 21st 1941, the two warships set off for the Atlantic where they were to attack Allied merchant ships. It was called Operation Rheinubung. The Admiralty, made aware of the Germans’ departure, alerted its squadrons at sea that Bismarck was making for the North Atlantic. Read more
This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – Sheik Khalifa Rest House and Al Ain
We were given the opportunity to film inside an oil refinery in Abu Dhabi. This sequence would be used in the U.A.E. film and I went to film it for director David Rea who had not yet arrived from England. Read more