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  • Description

    Film record of a performance of the Noel Coward play "Bitter-Sweet". Unedited material, no soundtrack. Shot from a stationary camera position showing the whole stage set.

    Reel 1. Medium L/S of stage which is full of dancing couples. The men wear black suits, the women floaty chiffon dresses (1920s contemporary fashions). They applaud the end of the song. Most couples leave the dance floor then two principles enact a romance scene - a passionate embrace. They are observed by a stern looking older woman with a cane who castigates them. The other couples come back into the room and are told of the embrace by the older woman. There is a "scene"! Cast move around the stage taking up various poses as the older woman speaks (or sings).

    Different scene with the cast dressed in costumes of an earlier period - Victorian? It is a "drawing room scene" perhaps a genteel evening party. The women stroll around cooling themselves with large fans. Some of the cast move to the front of the stage and perform a song.

    Slightly closer view of the stage (although it is still obvious that we are watching a stage performance) with a passionate kissing scene. Ladies in crinolines look shocked. Loving couple embrace whilst women look on. The couple and the onlookers have to hide behind some curtains when four footmen walk onto the stage. Once the men have left they all emerge from their hiding places. The couple come to the front of the stage and sing a love song. The gentleman puts on his jacket, the ladies their capes and hats. The man leaves,the ladies wave, the girlfriend looks distraught. A song follows - ladies on one side of the stage, men on the other. Presumably a flirtation song.

    Different set - presumably represents a cafe in Vienna. A band plays in the background whilst a drama unfolds. Man draws his sword to challenge another to a duel. A fencing match ensues. One of the men is mortally wounded. High angle shot of the almost empty cafe. A woman sits alone in a corner singing a song. She does a little dance, kicking up her heels. Other characters enter the cafe, two women appear to be having an argument. A couple bill and coo in the cafe. The man kisses his girlfriend's hand. They sing a love song and kiss. They dance around the cafe then sit at a table together having a drink.

    Dancing in the cafe - a Viennese Waltz perhaps? Drawing room scene. Four men sing. More dancing - this time in a ballroom setting. Various scenes in the ballroom - the ladies point their fans at each other a lot! Some of the women join hands and dance in a circle "ring-a-ring-a-roses" style. One of the women is blindfolded. She runs around after her friends then eventually falls into the arms of a man. They kiss. She takes off her blindfold and recoils, their heated debate ends in another embrace.

    Another scene - men in uniform stroll onto the stage. Women join them.

    Note: Play also referred to as Bitter Sweet (without the hyphen) for text search purposes.

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  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:02:00 / 01:26:21:00
    Sort Number:
  • Appears in...

    Fashion & Music Entertainment & Humour
    Deborah Noel Coward Prince George, Duke of Kent Noel Coward Duke of Kent Crash group Documentaries A rather (1976) Documentary warning Long documentary A detailed look
  • Stills

    0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04

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