The London Nobody Knows

A Tour of London Past

Thanks to the reader who got in touch about an old post on the short musical film, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize. Did I know that it was available on a DVD box set called The London Collection? No, I didn't.

The London Collection [Amazon], released by StudioCanal UK, is a five-DVD set of films with a London backdrop. As well as Bicyclettes, there's the terrific The Small World of Sammy Lee starring Anthony Newley, which is set in sleazy Soho; and the earliest of the bunch, a lesser-known Ealing film called Pool of London.

Take a tour of 1950s and 1960s London with The London Collection:

Pool of London (1951)
The Yellow Balloon (1953)
The Small World of Sammy Lee (1963)
Sparrows Can't Sing (1963)
The London Nobody Knows (1967)
Les Bicyclettes De Belsize (1969)

The London Nobody Knows

Here's a clip from The London Nobody Knows. My new favourite from the collection. It's a fascinating documentary showing life in London's least salubrious corners. Some of the scenes seem to vary little from the street life of Victorian London described in London Characters and Crooks.

The documentary is presented by James Mason, oddly. His mellifluous voice contrasts sharply with the decaying backdrops. It's a sort of juxtaposition piece against the more romantic view of London given in the TV programme, Elizabeth Taylor in London, which was broadcast a few years earlier.


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