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  • Description

    Compilation of quirky stories, probably for younger audiences (stories all originally from New Pictorials).

    "Ten minutes around the world non-stop for smiles." says the voiceover. C/U of traffic lights then of the front of a highly polished Wolsley (?) car. A chimp in a striped blazer and hat emerges from behind the car riding a bicycle. Closer shot of the chimp pedalling furiously. A man on a tall ladder who is fixing a piece of glass on to a street light looks scared as he spots the chimp and drops the piece of glass. "Just a roadhog, that's Marquis"- presumably the name of the chimp. The narrator makes jokes about the probability that the chimp is rushing off for a date. Shot of a statue of a woman standing on some rocks and shielding her eyes from the sun. C/U of the chimp's feet - he is wearing white plimsolls. He carries on cycling furiously and a man on a bicycle scratches his head in surprise then falls off his bike and runs off, jumping over a fence as if scared of the monkey. C/U of the chimp. He stops cycling and jumps off the bike. He then climbs up a tree.

    01:41:08 Second story is set in America - was originally featured in Pathe newsreel 48/104. A lighthearted look at the "Perils of Pauline" type serial. A woman struggles as a group of villains tie "Little Nell" to the railway track and set light to a fuse. C/U of the woman's head as the fuse smokes. Behind her head is a large barrel with the word "Powder" painted on. Shot of a steam train pulling a cargo of large timber coming around a corner on a bridge. C/U of front of locomotive as it approaches. Villains peek out from behind a rock. C/U of the smoking fuse. L/S of an explosion on the bridge. "The Devil's Ride" music is playing on the soundtrack. The train carries on regardless and crashes down the hillside (a model). L/S of another steam train travelling through the countryside. Narrator tells us that it is a team of amateur movie-makers making an "old style melodrama" in their spare time. The camera pulls back to show the film crew including sound man and cameraman. Another shot of the crew in a different location. Top shot of the train travelling along tracks. Another accident is staged. We see the train fall down a hillside.

    01:42:04 Paris street scene. Flower seller in the foreground. Chas Chase buys a bunch of flowers, shakes salt or sugar over them then starts munching on them. Chas buys some bus tickets and eats those. A Frenchman looks on and smiles. Chas goes to a news stand, buys a newspaper and looks shocked at the news. He tears it in half and scoffs pieces. Chas sits at an outside table of a cafe and the waiter brings him a bowl of matchbooks. Chas lights matches and eats them. He eats the book as well: "Is this a man or an incinerator?"

    01:43:25 Baby chimps at the zoo. Four chimps have their arms around each other in two couples. They walk along together. Penguins in their enclosure, a young penguin jumps around in a comical fashion - he is called "Little Willy." Chimps tea party - Susan, Sally, Compo and So-So sit around a table on small chairs. Their names are painted on the back of the chairs - we see So-So and Sally's names. A keeper gives them bowls and spoons. People stand around watching and taking photographs. C/U of Little Willy jumping along. C/U of So-So whose manners are so-so. So-So climbs on the table to eat: "It's back to the laws of the jungle." Shots of the chimps eating. Close shot of some of the people watching. Twin girls look bemused as they are held up to the camera by their parents. The keeper clears up after So-So. Sally eats with "no-hands". Compo and Susan wear silly hats. C/U of the smiling keeper. Susan puts a dishcloth over her head - she "refuses to do the washing up." A cameraman is visible in the background.

    01:44:40 Spain. "The craziest sport of all time - blindfold boxing." C/U of a boxer being blindfolded. Four blindfolded boxers in a ring punch into thin air. A metal post is hit to start the match. A girl walks around the edge of the ring with a boxing glove on the end of a stick which she uses to wack boxers so they think an opponent is near them. It is quite amusing once they get going. Swings into mid-air, spectacular misses and general fancy footwork. C/U of girl laughing with her boxing glove stick. "Now,wasn't it just like this trying to kiss a girl in the blackout?" says the narrator. C/U of one of the boxers punching into the air then taking his blindfold off.

    01:45:30 Paris. A group of people are crowded around something we cannot see. C/U of a sign in French: "J'achete les piece 10 francs." It is a flea circus. Group of people crowded around a table. A film cameraman records events. C/U of a man's arm. He is placing very small items on the inside of his arm which is resting on the table. The items are tiny cars, bikes and other vehicles. A man pulls an enormous magnifying glass from inside his coat and looks through it - his face is highly magnified. C/U of the tiny vehicles through the magnifying glass. Fleas attached to the vehicles move around pulling the cars, bikes etc. behind them. They are moving around a "circus ring." Extreme C/U of fleas pulling a tricycle and a coach. Shot of a cameraman moving a large camera as if performing a panning shot. He looks directly into the camera with a strange scowl on his face. Another shot of the coach being pulled along. (The fleas look very big.) Shot of man's face magnified by the magnifying glass. "The jitterbug ball"- fleas move around attached to little paper people models. The models look like they are dancing as the fleas move around. C/U of one of the "dancers". Shot of the cameraman grimacing and scratching his neck: " That's Prince Charming gone west" says the voiceover. Flea jumps around - reaction shot from the crowd as they recoil from the table. Man uses a wooden back scratcher. Flea is suspended from a pin and is in turn attached to something which looks like a miniature handbag (hard to tell what this is supposed to be.) C/U of a man scratching his wrist. Two men roll up their trouser legs to have a scratch.

    01:46:30 Monkeys ride around a small circus ring on the backs of greyhounds. A ringmaster stands in the middle of the ring with a whip - Albert Bodey (?) C/U of monkey who jumps off the back of the dog and rolls on the ground. He then jumps back on its back and shakes hands with the ringmaster. C/U of the monkey "chattering". Monkey does a handstand on the back of the dog (not very well.) The monkey is called Henry. C/U of monkey and trainer "talking to each other". Monkey does a somersault from the dog's back but doesn't land on his feet. The narrator expresses the view that he needs a holiday. Jokes about the monkey making a complaint to his union.

    C/U of the monkey saluting. Another somersault and C/Us of the monkey. He doesn't look happy. He stands on his head on the dog's back. More C/Us of the monkey. Dog runs around the ring and jumps over hurdles with the monkey on his back. The dog then jumps along with the monkey on his back.

    01:47:57 Alps of Southern Germany. Harry Davies walks across a tightrope which spans a ravine. He holds a long balancing pole and carries a table and chair. A group of people watch the stunt from a high rock. Top shot of four people watching (two look through binoculars) on a snowy mountainside. Harry sits on his chair at the table and takes tea with a sheer drop of a mile below. C/U of backs of spectators heads. Harry brushes crumbs off the table with the scrunched up tablecloth. M/S of Harry as he begins a walk across the tightrope. He then lies down on the rope and does the "dying fly". Man takes his photograph. He then runs along the rope at some speed. Spectators applaud.

    Note: a silent version of "Chimps, Champs & Chumps" exists. This has titles for each story as follows: "Monkey Business", "Train Wreck", "Chaz Chase Goes on a Diet", "Chimp Champs are no Chumps", "Blind Boxers Buff", "Fun with Fleas", "More Monkey Business" and "High Tea on the Tight-Rope." Some shots are missing from the silent version - it is slightly shorter.

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  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1948 - 1949
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:39:56:00 / 01:48:57:00
    Sort Number:
  • Appears in...

    Entertainment & Humour Science & Technology
    Magicians of the past BBC Bitesize Picette Extreme Sports Music For Film Comic images The Ones Angeleye - PG tips Chimps Circus Doc group Documentaries (1976) Documentary warning Long documentary A detailed look
  • Stills

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

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