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  • This is the first I've seen of the series that didn't end with a hope for peace, just that there is much to be learned from the past. Perhaps that hope was dashed in one case when a reviewer turned a deaf ear to what the narrator had to say.

    I always look for signs of war damage in these British travelogues because most of the American movies set in postwar Britain try to obscure it. In this one a bit of that reality creeps in with the look at York Minster, comparing it to cannon damage by Cromwell's army etc. These old buildings always look so well scrubbed today since they've had some good cleanings and the people don't have coal furnaces and trains don't run on coal. Back then, buildings and clothing got pretty grimy, both in the UK and the US.

    The cottages and flowers are lovely in this short and the music with them soothing and pastoral. I wonder if the curious little daughter of the caretaker ever got to see herself in the short and if she still lives in that area today.

    The lido or Super Swimming Station at Morecambe in the short was built in 1936 to outdo the one in Blackpool. It was demolished in the '70s, partly to due a persistent leak from the very start that let in sea water at high tide and leaked pool water at low tide. But it was a monster lido, and no mistake.

    I couldn't tell online if the other places mentioned were markedly different today from 1950 in traffic or urban renewal projects but I'd suspect they all went through a bad patch of several decades and now people are caring a lot more about saving historic buildings and cutting down on congestion.

    I'm giving this a slightly lower score than I do for most of these because it probably has less archival interest than some, although it still should be preserved for the future.
  • Picturesque "TravelTalk" from James A. FitzPatrick is another mildly interesting look at an England that still embodies much of the past in its ancient landmarks.

    We glimpse a vine covered grammar school which Wordsworth is said to have attended; quaint towns looking much as they did in earlier centuries; old churches with tombstones of famous British figures; the Markham Bay health resort with its huge swimming pool using filtered sea water; the ancient city of York featuring the shell of an ancient castle.

    A pleasing enough documentary with some nice Technicolor images.
  • James A. Fitzpatrick sends the Technicolor cameras under the supervision of Virgil Miller and S.D. Onions to take a look at the Lake District, Wordsworth's home and the city of York in this entry in his Traveltalks series for MGM.

    Fitzpatrick seems to have calmed down a bit in this one. He still speaks loudly, but he does not shout. He's impressed, although not overwhelmed in his usual sesquipedalian blather by the sights. Perhaps this reflected the self-confidence that America felt after the Second World War: nice country you've got here. Glad we could help you save it.

    The print that runs on Turner Classic Movies has a blue cast to it.
  • Touring Northern England (1950)

    ** (out of 4)

    England was a popular stop for the TravelTalks series and this one here takes a look at various Lake Country locations in northern England. We get to see some beautiful lakes, a special pool and of course the grave of William Wordsworth who apparently was influenced by many of the lakes in this area. We then visit the city of York and get to see the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey. I really didn't care too much for anything presented here as it appeared the story was really pushing the bounds in terms of what's entertaining. We get some truly beautiful images but outside of that the film left me rather cold. It seems James A. FitzPatrick is constantly talking about various things but for the most part they went in one ear, didn't register and just flew out the other. The Technicolor is once again the main reason to watch the film and it really brings those lovely blue lakes to life.