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  • Short Summary

    Cuts for documentary tracing an extraordinary road trip between Leeds and India in 1924.

  • Description

    Four reels of cuts exist for the documentary "Lure of the East" which traces an expedition by car from Leeds to India in 1924. It is very difficult to identify the locations featured in this material. Shots do not seem to be in any kind of order and some are linked by intertitles so were presumably part of the finished film. Further research will be undertaken.

    Reel 3 of cuts. Titles as per start of actual film - "Pathe presents: "The Lure of the East -The film-record of the Forbes-Leith ...." (Rest of title obscured by timecode. To be checked.).

    Intertitle reads: "Our next stage lay across 1,300 miles of inhospitable salt land and desert, with very few desirable friends to expect en route. (The first village we passes consisted of isolated fortified round-houses - an ominous sign.)". L/S of Felix parked beside a stone tower or fortress in a barren region, mountains in background. Intertitle refers to Lake Niriz (Iran) as being 6,000 feet above sea level, 65 miles long and no life in its intensely salt water. We see Felix parked in barren land, with several small huts dotted about. Forbes-Leith (?) looks at the salt bed of the lake with a local. The explorers travel through the dangerous Niriz Pass. Intertitle says the group helped a Persian here who had been beaten and robbed.

    01:02:20 Felix and crew travel over the great Salt Swamp, "hard-baked at this time of year". Here, Felix was "able to purr along at 50 miles an hour". Intertitle informs that 5 days after leaving a tribal camp (at Niriz?) the team reached the last big city in Persia, Kerman (shot seems to be missing). Local farmer with sheep by side of road.

    01:03:28 Flashframe intertitle mentions arriving at Belgrade; top shot panning over city of Belgrade. Relatively modern concrete buildings and houses and river on one side. Street scenes in main street of Belgrade (flashframe intertitle says it "contained the only decent piece of road in Belgrade"). Two young boys walk along in tracking shot.

    Women examine eggs closely in a marketplace. Cattle pull a cart along beside tram. Explorers chat outside a large palace or building. Flashframe intertitle says the group were privileged in obtaining a picture of the famous Royal staircase (location not specified - Belgrade?). We see the ornate and ancient oak stairway. Flashframe intertitle says "There is no speed limit in Belgrade..." - explorers' car travels along a bumpy cobbled street. Title reads "End of Part 1.

    01:06:05 Point of view shot as we travel along streets in a town. Horse drawn tram goes by, man leads donkey along. Location unidentified. An old man with a long beard gibbers away then puts his foot behind his head while standing up. Forbes-Leith (?) shows a still camera to a local man. People walk through a gate - at a frontier?

    01:06:58 Unidentified woman plays tennis with two of the explorers. Local woman cooks flatbread over a fire in the street. Farmers and cattle plough field. Quick shot of map showing route from London to Brussels. Intertitles instruct: "Insert Library shot of Brussels / Frankfurt". Shots of men and women in swimwear larking about in a lake. Intertitle tells of the journey through the Asadabad Pass; L/Ss of Felix travelling up the steep incline and reaching the top. Intertitle reads "End of Part 5".

    01:08:54 Panning shot showing group of western men and women sitting in a garden at tables. Servants in white stand around - could be India? Men look at a large aeroplane starting up and taxiing. Soldiers line up at an aerodrome.

    Intertitle talks of reaching the Turkish capital. Animated map shows the route from Constantinople through Turkey to Damascus in Syria, to Baghdad in Iraq, on to Tehran, Shiraz and Kerman in Persia (Iran), then to Quetta in India.

    01:10:20 Intertitle talks of the difficulty in getting necessary papers and permits in Turkey, then setting off over the Bosporus. Misty L/S of boats in the harbour. Travelling shot moving through the Bosporus strait, past villages around Istanbul (Constantinople). Felix and crew disembark from the ferry at Scutari, "striking the ancient Road to Baghdad near Iskmid". Felix is driven through flooded road. Intertitle refers to bad quality of the road and the mosquitoes the crew tried "unavailingly to smoke out". Explorers poke a fire at their camp. Locals with horses pass Felix parked on a narrow mountain road.

    End of Reel 3 of cuts.

    Note: On actual film of reel 3, there follows seven newsreel stories from the 1920s / 1930s that have been tacked on the end of these cuts. These have been catalogued separately - see records for details.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:04:00 / 01:18:23:00

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