One Family (1930)

Article 3512 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-2-2011
Posting Date: 3-27-2011
Directed by Walter Creighton
Featuring Douglas Beaumont, Sam Livesey, Michael Hogan
Country: UK
What it is: Bizarre British propaganda

A little boy dreams he takes a tour of Buckingham palace, where he is tasked with the job of making the King’s Christmas pudding. He must visit the various part of the British Empire to gather the ingredients.

This movie ended up on my “Ones that Got Away” list, but an online version became available from the British Film Institute; unfortunately, the print is in bad shape, and the viewing was extremely buggy. I had to restart the movie several times and jump ahead to various points to catch most of what was left of the movie, and this made for a difficult watching experience. The movie is essentially a travelogue for the British Empire, and was the first movie to be filmed in Buckingham Palace. It was produced by British Instructional Films in the hope it would get a commercial release, but the movie (which started production as a silent) was plagued with problems, and then had to have dialogue post-dubbed because of the demand for talkies. Rather than making a bundle for BIF, the movie was a commercial disaster. Even given the fact that my viewing experience was very far from ideal, I suspect that the movie wouldn’t make much sense even in a complete state. As it is, it’s one of the most bizarre movie-viewing experiences I’ve ever undergone. Still, I suspect this is the only chance I’ll have to see this one, and I’m glad to check it off my list. The fantastic content seems to consist of the bizarre fantastical ways the child has of traveling to the various parts of the world.


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