Holiday (1957)
18 minutes - Colour

In a series of vivid sequences, this film catches all the atmosphere of a traditional holiday by the sea, together with the zest and good humour of ordinary people released from their everyday routine. The action moves at a rhythmic pace to the accompaniment of traditional jazz tunes played by Chris Barber and his band, and the rich variety of candid camera shots captures the behaviour and reactions of people having fun on holiday.

Director: John Taylor
Cameraman: David Watkin
Narrator: Robert Shaw
Editor: Ralph Sheldon
Assistants: Edward Scott, Hugh Raggett
Music: Duke Ellington, Clarence Williams, Armand Piron, Spencer Williams, Kerry Mills, Fats Waller, Big Bill Broonzy, Porter Steele played by the Chris Barber Jazz Band with Ottilie Patterson, Pat Halcox, Monty Sunshine, Chris Barber, Eddie Smith, Dick Smith, Ron Bowden. Recorded by Ken Scrivener
Producer: Ian Ferguson
Executive Producer: Edgar Anstey
Distributor: New Realm

An extract from this film may be viewed online at YouTube courtesy of the BFI:-

16mm & 35mm

Review in Monthly Film Bulletin - March 1958 (spotted by Robin Carmody)

The success of this film must, one supposes, be credited largely to Ralph Sheldon, whose imaginative and creative editing are responsible for most of its very considerable zest and wit. 'Holiday' is a candid camera view of some aspects of holiday life in Blackpool, and sets out for a more intimate and humble view than that of, say, a Butlin commercial. There is little written dialogue, the sound track being mostly provided by the Chris Barber band. Music and action are integrated with an affectionate sense of the comic and ludicrous, so that the Bathing Beauties parade to a jazz march, a sunburnt woman soothes her frizzled shoulders to the strains of the blues and divers hit the water of the swimming pool coincidentally with the breaks in 'High Society'. Such a light, unpretentious, warm view of frolicking humanity does considerable credit to British Transport Films, who are often associated with a less informal kind of glossy travelogue.

Review (from The Reel Image website):

The Derann packaging describes this release thus: "All the excitement and fun of a holiday by the sea is captured in this gem of a film which concentrates on the popular resort, Blackpool".

Whilst most of the footage is the usual sort of stuff associated with holiday resorts, there are minor flashes of inspiration and ingenuity - both in the cutting and use of music most of which is jazz of the period. No outright visible clue is given to the age of this release but a wild guess would be late 'Fifties, possibly early 'Sixties.

This is the sort of release popular with some collectors, like the excellent Southern issued last year. The print here is not so good as that particular release, but it's certainly not bad having reasonable definition and colour, though with some wear on the master. Recommended for lovers of Blackpool and a reminder of those distant days of seaside holidays.

This review refers to an 8mm print.

Actual screen shots reproduced by kind permission
of the British Film Institute.

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