Crime of the Century

It is 80 years since the arrest of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the “Crime of the Century” – the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindberg’s baby son. Pathé News covered the story from beginning to end, and key films from the archive are presented below. The crime remains shocking even eight decades later.

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BABY ‘LINDY’ KIDNAPPED (1932)

Views of Charles Lindbergh’s home – just after his baby son was kidnapped – from a British Pathé newsreel released in cinemas on 14 March 1932. Unfortunately, the film ends abruptly and it appears the ending is lost.

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INTERVIEW WITH POLICE CHIEF (1932)

“Hopewell Police Chief First on Scene Tells of Lindy Kidnapping. Charles E Williamson declares note was found on window sill of baby’s nursery.” Interview.

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HOME MOVIE SHOTS OF BABY LINDY (1932)

“Surely the most detestable crime in history! Twenty months-old little ‘Charles Augustus’ Lindbergh, found murdered near his home – 2 months after his kidnapping.” Newsreel from 16 May 1932.

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WHERE BABY LINDBERGH WAS FOUND (1932)

Shots of the woodland where the body of the kidnapped child was discovered. Newsreel released in cinemas on 23 May 1932.

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LINDBERGH TRIAL SCENES (1935)

Colonel Charles Lindbergh arrives at court and witness Betty Gow avoids photographers at the trial of Bruno Hauptmann. This short item was part of British Pathé’s News in a Nutshell series and was released in cinemas on 7 January 1935.

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THE LINDBERGH BABY CASE (1935)

Scenes at Hauptmann’s trial at Flemington. N.J. for the murder and kidnapping, from a newsreel released in British cinemas on 14 January 1935.

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HAUPTMANN FOUND GUILTY (1935)

“Closing scenes of America’s most thrilling trial” from a 18 February 1935 edition of Pathé Gazette. Richard Bruno Hauptmann is found guilty for abduction and murder of aviator Colonel Charles Lindbergh’s baby. Dramatic examination of the witness in court.

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HAUPTMANN’S NEW LAWYER (1936)

Interview with Mr Samuel Liebowitz, new lawyer of the convicted murderer Bruno Hauptmann, in New York. The lawyer makes clear that Hauptmann could not have done the crime alone. Newsreel from 16 March 1936. Hauptmann was executed on 3 April.

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ADDITIONAL ARCHIVE

Even more footage of the case, including a brief interview with Hauptmann’s wife, is held in the archive than can be presented here. To watch this footage on the British Pathé main website, click this link.

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75 years since WW2 began

September 2014 marks 75 years since the beginning of the Second World War, triggered by the invasion of the sovereign territory of Poland by the forces of Nazi Germany, in collaboration with the Soviet Union and Slovakia. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany in response.

This episode of the series A Day That Shook the World, a BBC / British Pathé co-production narrated by John Humphrys, briefly summarises the invasion.

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The Liberation of Paris

70 years ago this month: On 25th August 1944, the Battle for Paris was over and the city was free of its German occupiers. There are some excellent films in the archive showing the victory celebrations, the Allied advance through France, and life in Paris during the occupation, including footage of the French resistance.

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IT HAPPENED IN PARIS (1944)

 

Pathé Gazette cameraman Gaston Madru conceals a camera and films the streets of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1942. The footage he captured was shown to the public after the liberation of the city in this newsreel, released in cinemas on 18th September 1944.

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MEN OF THE MAQUIS (1944)

 

The story of the underground army of France with an exclusive personal narrative by the French actress Francoise Rosay. Released in cinemas on 10th April 1944.

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THE MAQUIS STRIKE (1944)

 

This film shows the French resistance uprising against a crumbling German occupation.

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FRENCH DOCTOR SPEAKS (1944)

 

A French doctor talks abut role of doctors during the German occupation. He talks about the treatment of Germans, problems with the Gestapo and medical progress in England and America. He speaks in English.

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GESTAPO TORTURE CHAMBER (1944)

 

French officials examine a Gestapo torture chamber and find chilling evidence of past tortures.

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PARIS DELIVERED (1944)

 

Dramatic scenes as allied troops liberate the city of Paris. The cameraman was Kenneth Gordon and the newsreel features an official broadcaster of the French delegation in London who gives his personal viewpoint of the liberation. Released in cinemas on 31st August 1944.

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COLLABORATOR’S HAIR CUT (1945)

 

This silent footage shows what was in store for Nazi collaborators after the liberation of France. French women have their heads shaved by the Maquis as punishment for cooperating with the German occupiers.

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WW1: How It All Began

In this YouTube video, historian and broadcaster Dan Snow was challenged to answer the question “How did WW1 start?” – and to do so in only two minutes. See how he got on…

Today, 4 August 2014, marks the centenary of Britain’s entry into the First World War and the escalation of a horrific conflict which would last more than four years and cost the lives of millions worldwide.

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The Munich Pact – 75 Years

September 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the Munich Agreement attempted to halt Europe’s march to war. British Pathé has a great deal of footage relevant to this anniversary. Click the links below to take a look.

Chamberlain at Berchtesgaden 

Two films are included in this WorkSpace featuring Chamberlain heading off to Berchtesgaden to meet with Hitler to discuss the fate of Czechoslovakia.

Chamberlain’s Second Trip to Meet Hitler

Chamberlain returns from his second visit to Germany.

Munich Agreement

These six vintage newsreels cover the Sudeten crisis as it was at the end of September, Chamberlain leaving for Munich, the Munich conference itself, and the signing of the Agreement by Germany, Italy, France and Britain. There’s also a brief biography of Neville Chamberlain from October 1938, celebrating him as “Man of the Hour”.

Chamberlain signs the Munich Agreement.
Chamberlain signs the Munich Agreement.

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The Mallard – 75 Years

3rd July 2013 marks 75 years since the famous steam locomotive “Mallard” broke the world speed record. British Pathé has some interesting films of this great engine. This collection holds all five films, or you can view the individual clips via the links below.

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DRIVER JOSEPH DUDDINGTON

Duddington drove the Mallard during its record-breaking run. In this film from 1944, Duddington drives the famous train one last time before his retirement.

MALLARD AT DONCASTER WORKS

This 1964 newsreel features some nice close-ups of the train and we get a glimpse inside the driver’s cabin.

ROLLING STOCK EXHIBITION FILM 1 & FILM 2

The Duke of Edinburgh pays a visit to the Rolling Stock Exhibition in Marylebone in 1961 and takes a look at the Mallard on show in these two films from the archive.

MALLARD STEAMS AWAY

The “Mallard”, pulls out of a station before travelling at high speed down the line in this montage of steam power from the 1970s.

Mallard

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The Royal Yacht Britannia – Launched 60 Years Ago

Queen Elizabeth II’s beloved yacht Britannia was launched on 16th April 1953. British Pathé has a wealth of material featuring Britannia and her various expeditions around the world. Crucially, the archive has coverage of the launching, which can be viewed here.

Queen steps forward and names the ship "Britannia", wishing success to all who sail in her.
Queen steps forward and names the ship “Britannia”, wishing success to all who sail in her.
Britannia slides into the water at the launch.
Britannia slides into the water at the launch.
Britannia carries the Queen on one of her many tours. In this film, the yacht steams up the St Lawrence River in 1964. Click the still to view the film.
Britannia carries the Queen on one of her many tours. In this film, the yacht steams up the St Lawrence River in 1964. Click the still to view the film.

For British Pathé’s complete collection of Britannia footage, click here.

In other old news…

Today also marks the anniversary of the Great Train Robbers being sentenced in 1964. British Pathé covered aspects of the events and filmed the prison in which they served their time a couple of years later. View this collection.

The hideout of the Great Train Robbers at Leatherslade Farm, who were sentenced on 16th April 1964.
The hideout of the Great Train Robbers at Leatherslade Farm, who were sentenced on 16th April 1964.

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