Promotional film for P.J. Carroll and Company Ltd, an Irish cigarette manufacturer. Film begins with a shot of a tapestry which depicts it is hanging in the foyer of Carrolls in Dublin. The narrator introduces himself as Charlie Curran. He speaks to Don Carroll. The company headquarters is at Dundalk - shots of the foyer and of the exterior of the offices. Various shots of Charlie fishing in a lovely Irish river, driving through the beautiful countryside, playing golf, etc. Charlie is a tobacco buyer for Carrolls.
Exterior of the factory with a delivery van driving towards the camera - painted on the side is "Sweet Afton - Virginia Cigarettes." A Rover drives in and other delivery vans drive out. Charlie talks of the pride he has working for Carrolls. He speaks to another worker in front of the factory and looks at his watch. Cut to C/U of a watch and we meet Bill McGee who is a tobacco grower in South Carolina. C/U of Bill. Panning shot of the tobacco crop. Bill talks about Broadleaf tobacco which is tricky to grow and mature but - he says - the best tobacco. C/U of one of the leaves as Bill and a fellow worker check their crop. High angle long shot of workers picking the crop. C/Us of the crop pickers. (Interestingly, these are the same workers as in the Rothmans promotional film "From Green to Gold" - presumably some are the same shots.) C/Us of the leaves being piled on a tractor. Shots of African American women and a young child stringing the tobacco on poles. Small burners are lit to dry out the leaves, pan up to the leaves hanging from the ceiling. A young girl helps to untie the leaves from a pole (10 or 11 years old) and workers sort and check the leaves. Bill spreads out one of the leaves. A worker ties the leaves into bundles. The bundles are put into the back of a truck - the young girl and a women (possibly Bill's wife and daughter) help out.
Shot of an Aer Lingus plane in the air. Interior of the plane. A stewardess is bringing meals on trays to the passengers (china tea cups!). Charlie is on the plane smoking. He doesn't want a meal. Charlie talks about the ties between Ireland and America. Shots of the Virginia swamp lands. Panning shots of the James river.
A sequence about the history of tobacco growing in the Jamestown region follows. As the narrator speaks of the discovery of tobacco we see men in Elizabethan military uniform marching past, a "red Indian" picking tobacco leaves, an old fashioned horse and cart, various colonial type buildings. Williamsburg (sp?) - the inn named after Sir Walter Raleigh, quiet streets, Potomak (?) river in Virginia. Mount Vernon - George Washington's plantation. Narrator speaks of how Raleigh brought the potato to Ireland as well as tobacco.
Washington - narrator talks of Charles Carroll who signed the declaration of independence and wonders aloud if he was a relative of Carroll who founded the cigarette company. Then speaks of the civil war. C/U of the American Southern Cross flag. Sequence about Patrick James Carroll. Old photographs and drawings depicting the early days of the company.
American street scenes. Shot from inside a car. Large locomotive passes through a level crossing. A banner across the street reads: "Welcome farmers." Large sign reads "Co-operative Warehouse, Inc. Lumberton N.C. Tobacco Auction Warehouse, Pecan Market - Shelling." Other warehouse signs. C/U of Charlie Curran driving a convertible. Voiceover states: "We buy Broadleaf, don't want anything else." Shot from over his shoulder as he drives - lots of nice American cars are seen. Charlie drives into the parking area of one of the warehouses and Bill McGee and another man see him and go over to shake his hand.
Shots inside one of the auction houses. Very fast auction speak, men shouting prices, men walking along picking up and shaking bundles of tobacco, smelling it, signalling how much they want to pay etc. Manic. C/U of Charlie smelling a bundle of leaves and nodding his approval. C/U of a piece of paper being placed on one of the piles of tobacco: "Reserved for Carrolls." Bill McGee looks pleased - must be his crop. Tobacco is piled up and moved off.
Leaves are "oven treated" in the processing plant. Bundles are packed into "Hogsheads". Shot of a lorry with a long trailer transporting the barrels.
Bill McGee visits Dublin. Street scenes in Dublin. Bill and Charlie walk across a bridge on O'Connell Street. C/U of the two men looking over the bridge. C/U of some of the Hogsheads. Bill and Charlie look at the leaves. Layers of tobacco are removed and put into vacuumiser cabinets. Montage of processes involved in making cigarettes. Steaming, conveyor belts, women at work in yellow overalls, threshing machine, quality control inspectors taking samples for analysis, cutting machine, C/U of the "golden river" of shredded tobacco, C/U of Bill pulling apart a handful of the shreds.
The laboratory of Carrolls. Various tests take place, tobacco is weighed, women turn dials, checking filters, looking through microscopes, testing strength of the cigarette paper, women stacking cigarettes in a box, machine which puts the tobacco in the paper, thousands of cigarettes coming off the line, loads of cigarettes are weighed, woman checks the seams, C/Us of the machines, completed cigarettes roll off the machine.
Cigarettes being put in individual packets edited to American country and western style music. Lots of lovely shots of automated processes of packing. Woman opens a packet to check it C/U of the ends of hundreds of cigarettes, C/Us of packets of "Carroll's Number 1" and "Sweet Afton" cigarettes.
L/S of exterior of the factory, delivery lorry, Bill McGee says goodbye to one of the workers at the Dublin factory. Carroll's headquarters at night. M/S Charlie walking up the stairs of the headquarters with the tapestry in the background. He is smoking - natch!
Director of Photography - Reginald Cavender. Film Editor - Ronald Glenister. Sound - George Newberry and Trevor Pyke. Sound Editor - Roger Voss. Written by Roger Dunton. Associate Producer - Lionel Hoare. Directed by Eric Fullilove. Produced by Terry Ashwood.
See also "From Green to Gold" which shares some footage.