The Railway Man

“The Railway Man” is a new feature film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. It follows the true story of Eric Lomax, a POW forced to build the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. British Pathé has coverage of that railway and of other events from the life of Firth’s character.

There is a film from 1945 of the railway itself, known as the “Railway of Death”, which was not used in any newsreels, and is sadly silent, but is nevertheless interesting to watch (the film can be viewed here). Lomax was forced to build the railway after leaving Changi Prison, for which there is also footage in the archive. The reel, from the liberation of the prison in 1945, can be found in this collection.

Also included is coverage of the war in Singapore during 1942, for it was after that country’s surrender that Lomax was captured by the Japanese.

“The Railway Man”, based on Lomax’s autobiographical account, is released in the UK today.

Click here for British Pathé’s collection of films related to “The Railway Man”.

BURMA_DEATH_RAILWAY_2072_22_139

www.britishpathe.com

Advertisements

The King’s Speech Oscar Scoop and James Franco as Marilyn Monroe

We’re thrilled that The King’s Speech scooped four Oscars at last night’s ceremony: Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper) and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler). For those of you who are yet to see British Pathé’s online archive footage of King George VI see below:

This is the archive’s most popular video clip of King George VI speaking, at the Opening of the Empire Exhibition in Scotland (1938)

Here is the audio clip of the famous Coronation Speech (1937)

And for those of you still wanting more then check out our George VI Collection which contains 26 clips in which King George VI speaks, and has some great contextual material such as footage of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (The Queen Mother) who was played by (Oscar-nominee) Helena Bonham-Carter in the film.

The King’s Speech was nominated for twelve awards at the 83rd Academy Awards:

BEST PICTURE (WON)

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – COLIN FIRTH (WON)

BEST DIRECTOR – TOM HOOPER (WON)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – GEOFFREY RUSH

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – HELENA BONHAM CARTER

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (WON)

ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE

ART DIRECTION

COSTUME DESIGN

CINEMATOGRAPHY

FILM EDITING

SOUND MIXING

James Franco in Drag as Marilyn Monroe!

The other memorable moment for us from last night’s bizarre ceremony was James Franco, who came out on stage in drag as Marilyn Monroe. In some ways the stunt builds upon the Hollywood connection between James Franco and Heath Ledger, for Ledger’s widow Michelle Williams will play Marilyn Monroe in the forthcoming film ‘My Week With Marilyn’. Not only does James Franco resemble Heath Ledger but he has been tipped to take on his role as the Joker in Batman. Both actors found critical success in playing gay characters on the big screen too – Heath Ledger as the fictional Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, and James Franco as firstly Harvey Milk’s boyfriend Scott Smith alongside Sean Penn in Milk, and secondly as a young Alan Ginsberg in Howl.

Here is British Pathé’s video of Marilyn Monroe meeting The Queen in 1956, in Leicester Square.

Colin Firth Moved To Tears by British Pathé Film of King George

Last month we announced the fact that Colin Firth’s new movie ‘The King’s Speech’ was to use British Pathé footage. Well last week the New York Times revealed that the British Pathé clips actually moved Firth, and his director Tom Hooper to tears:

“The filmmakers were helped by a rich trove of recordings and footage of George VI. One, of an address that he gave at the opening of an exhibition in Glasgow in 1938, was so poignant, and the king looked so distressed and so sad, that it made Mr. Firth and Mr. Hooper cry.”

The clip of King George VI that Colin Firth watched can be seen for free in the Pathé News archive here:

The King’s Speech: The Real Thing!

Read the New York Times piece here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/movies/31lyal.html