Stunning colour film of 1920s London...

This wonderful film was made in 1927 by Claude Friese-Greene. Colour film from the 1920s is exceptionally rare, and this is a very powerful example.

It shows scenes of London Bridge, the Thames, the Tower of London, Greenwich Observatory, the London docks, Whitehall, the Cenotaph, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Petticoat Lane, the Oval, the Changing of the Guard, Rotten Row, and the Houses of Parliament.

The Cenotaph sequence from around 3:37 to 3:54 is very poignant. This was filmed only nine years after the end of the Great War. The women and looking at the wreaths would very likely be wives and mothers of the men killed, and the Second World War was, at that time, inconceivable.

Claude Friese-Greene was the son of pioneering cinematographer William Friese-Greene, and devoted himself to developing commercially his father’s colour process - Biocolour - but without great success. It was soon overtaken by Technicolor and Claude abandoned the process. His role as a pioneer of colour film has now been recognised.

The footage is part of London’s Screen Archives and the British Film Archive.

8 comments to Stunning colour film of 1920s London…

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    What a fantastic movie film.

  • Niall

    Incredible! Makes you realise we’re all just passing through really…

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    Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  • Nigel Walsh

    Lovely to see London as it once was…

  • kamira

    hi! find this through twitter! it´s awesome! congratulations for your work!

  • Original Sin

    Incredible to see how *little* has changed over almost 100 years.

  • Skeilak

    (6:52) The little peanut girl is so adorable. What a cute lil’ pumpkin. She’s so serious about keeping that little paper bag open. I’m sure they told, “Don’t look at the camera.”, but you’ll notice, when she takes the boy’s penny, she can’t help but look, and smile.

    (9:28) Mr. Friese-Greene left us a nice image to remember him by. Seems like he might have been a nice fellow.

  • Jim Diamond

    Interesting but the film was mostly of things which have not changed. A pity there were not local shopping streets full of people and ordinary houses (inside and out) of the time.

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