Friday 10 April 2009

Easter Again

Blackpool. 55 years ago I was on a rugby club tour of the area for Easter. If you were there then you could not remember. Then TV was still new, and something only them with a bit of spare could afford. So to the cinema and variety halls we had to go. The films we wanted were big time colour Hollywood star epics and musicals, and there were some to be had. But there were State quotas to protect the British Film Industry. So we often had to accept and pay to see under rehearsed, low production value, badly scripted, condescending stuff, and for the masses it was deemed enough to rip off the variety turns, clean up their acts a bit, make sure they were sober, and the cinemas would be full. The variety halls were still there but only just.

George Formby was one of the most popular turns on the Halls, and even allowed on TV on the rare occasions that ordinary variety strayed onto the screen. Normally, programmes involving singing etc. were done in cocktail and posh night club sets, despite the ugly fact that most of the real ones were run by gangsters. Well, it was the BBC. At least his films had a few laughs, if only the lady starlets he was paired with did not have such crystal accents.

On this youtube of one of Formby's best, is archive film of Blackpool made in the first decade of the 2oth Century. More or less filming it as it was in those years of innocence before 1914. What is sobering is that it is now longer since I was in Blackpool than it was between then and this film being shot. Indeed there might be some people on the film who I knew, or who were moaning about the younger generation they encountered in the 1950's.

And they had much to complain about, but that is another story...............

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