Categories
This Film Is 100 Years Old

Hawick Ba’ (1923)

Hawick Ba’ is one of those fabled folk versions of football, where an entire town rampage around after the ball in a frenzy, actually caught on camera here in 1923 (in the town of Hawick in Scotland) in this fairly wonderful minute or so of newsreel footage.

If this film had a soundtrack it would be schoolchildren shouting “FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!” on a loop, forever.

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Notes

1. I watched this on the BFI Player.

2. Having watched this several times now, I still do not quite grasp the rules.

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Film Information

Title: Hawick Ba’
Year: 1923
Duration: 1 minute
Watch: BFI Player

Categories
This Film Is 100 Years Old

Various Bits Of Football News (1923)

A round-up of up to the minute football news, live from 1923.

First, in a news piece entitled £6,000 Paid For A Centre Forward, we discover Chelsea have broken the transfer record to sign some randomised player who, from the wonderful 30 second portrait of him at the start (see above), already seems to be deeply regretting his life choices.

Then, in They Call It Football, we discover that Spurs are no better than a bunch of clowns (see below). Poor old Spurs.

More live football news as and when I receive it.

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Notes

1. I watched all these on the BFI Player.

2. I watched some 100 year old football on here a couple of years ago too, which you can read about here.

3. When Spurs weren’t clowns, due to the year ending in 1.

4. Not that that numerical trick works these days anymore

5. That Spurs charity match footage also features a nice bit of “Ceremonial kick-off” footage.

6. Which seems to have been retired ever since Diana Ross brought shame upon such antics at the 1994 World Cup.

7. But which in 1923 was still all the rage.

8. There’s a particularly fine example of it here.

9. In which the Lord Mayor of Manchester looks spectacularly pleased with himself for managing to kick a football of its spot without messing the task up at all.

10. “Look at his face! Just look at his face!” etc etc

11. (Also there’s a few minutes of extra bonus early 1923 football footage here)

12. (Which I completely forgot to add)

13. (Or grab any screenshots from)

14. (But I’ve mentioned it now so it’s okay)

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Film Information

Title: £6,000 Paid For A Centre Forward
Year: 1923
Duration: 1 minute
Watch: BFI Player

Title: They Call It Football
Year: 1923
Duration: 1 minute
Watch: BFI Player

Title: Million Spectators Welcome Return of Football
Year: 1923
Duration: 2 minuts
Watch: BFI Player

Title: 4th Round Of The Cup 1923
Year: 1923
Duration: 2 minutes
Watch: BFI Player

Categories
This Film Is 100 Years Old

Merry-Go-Round (1923)

Merry-Go-Round is a 1923 film directed by Erich von Stroheim and Rupert Julian, starring Norman Kerry as the marvellously named Count Hohenegg, who falls in love with Mary Philbin’s beautiful organ grinder at the local fair.

This was intended to be Erich von Stroheim’s follow up to the magnificent Foolish Wives, and indeed shares a lot in terms of themes and plot, but after a troubled start to production, von Stroheim was fired, as described in this pretty amazing sentence from the article on wikipedia:

“After a number of delays in filming, including the derailment of a prop streetcar, the overloading of the studio electrical system due to excessive night shooting, an inebriated lead man, the general disaffection of the extras, and delays caused by a search for an appropriate orangutan, the upper echelon at Universal mobilized against von Strohiem, and Thalberg was authorized to terminate von Stroheim as director.”

After that he was replaced with Rupert Julian (who later directed the Lon Chaney version of The Phantom of The Opera in 1925), and whether that’s the cause or not, Merry-Go-Round’s kind of limp and lifeless, and fairly disappointing, especially in comparison to Foolish Wives.

Although as much of the strength of that is in Erich von Stroheim’s performance, maybe it wasn’t his sacking as director which was the problem but their refusal to hire him as an actor. His replacement here, Norman Kerry, is hilariously inert as a leading man, which kind of undermines the romance angle entirely here.

Anyway, having said that, it’s not all bad. Mary Philbin has a wonderfully expressive face (which is just as well, as about tow thirds of the film seems to be close ups of her as she suffers through just aboute every emotion possible), there’s some nice scenes at the funfair, and they did indeed find a suitable orangutan.

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Notes

1. I watched this on Mubi. I took the screenshots from this identical (but lower quality) copy on youtube.

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Film Information

Title: Merry-Go-Round
Directors: Erich von Stroheim, Rupert Julian
Year: 1923
Duration: 1 hour 53 minutes
Watch: youtube

Categories
This Film Is 100 Years Old

‘If Winter Comes’ – It Has! (1923)

A full minute of winter from 1923, including horse drawn snow ploughs and some people sledging down a hill in Buxton, Derbyshire.

That’s a lot of snow. And a lot of horses. (Yet not many sledgers).

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Notes

1. I watched this on the BFI Player

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Film Information

Title: ‘If Winter Comes’ – It Has!
Year: 1923
Duration: 1 minute
Watch: BFI Player

Categories
This Film Isn't 100 Years Old At All

The Balloonatic (1923) / The Love Nest (1923)

These films aren’t 100 years old at all! But I watched them anyway and nobody can stop me.

The final two Buster Keaton shorts, in The Balloonatic, Buster Keaton gets bored harassing girls at the park and becomes a stowaway on a hot air balloon, while in The Love Nest, Buster gets dumped by his girlfriend, so he sails out to sea in a sulk and becomes a whaler.

The Balloonatic is a bit disappointing really (not least because there’s less than a minute of balloon action, but upwards of 20 minutes of Buster pissing around slightly tediously by the river), and although The Love Nest is better, it’s definitely not one of Buster’s best (while still being pretty good fun).

And that’s all the Buster Keaton.

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Notes

1. I watched these on my trusty blu-ray set once again. I shall never see its like again.

2. These are the last two films on there.

3. And so I have broken my rules to watch them now rather than wait another ten months or so.

4. But I might actually review them properly next year.

5. Along with whatever else Buster got up to in 1923.

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Film Information

Title: The Balloonatic
Directors: Buster Keaton and Edward F. Cline
Year: 1923
Duration: 25 minutes
Watch: youtube

Title: The Love Nest
Director: Buster Keaton
Year: 1923
Duration: 22 minutes
Watch: youtube