Physical training display, with races, rifle drills and some amazing sword tricks using potatoes!
Physical training display during World War One.
Location of events unknown.
Opens w/ rows of soldiers in football field; practising movements w/ rifles; bayonets - lunging etc.; spectators in BG. British soldier walking about w/ large clouds of smoke in BG - from smoke bombs set to provide camouflage from troop advance - some of this is quite dreamlike and bizarre.
Sword trick display / entertainment. Man in white T-shirt & trousers slices a stick or candle on a stool in half with his sword. Next; he chops a pole held by 2 other men. Then uses sword to cut paper held up by another guy. CU Bashing some thing on top of a stool (pack of cards?); causing wood pieces to fly apart. More stunts like this continue. Two young girls stand before him leaning over; heads bent down; with a pole across their shoulders; man aims carefully and whacks it in half with his sword!
Then the man cuts small potatoes in half that are sitting on the outstretched palms of young girls and men. The same trick, only the potatoes are balanced on the necks of soldiers bending over - they knew how to entertain in those days! - SL. Another one; a few stunts later; involves knocking something off the neck of a guy doing a headstand (think it is another small potato - SL).
Pan on crowd in stands; lots of soldiers among them. Runners. 3 runners come through the finish line. CU Winner shakes hands w/ sailor. Elderly man comes through finish line! CU the old man, breathing hard.
Pan on row of officers standing on field. Group of men w/ rifles; in T-shirts & dark trousers, drill. 1 young boy w/ them. They build a human tower; as in gymnastics stunt; boy climbs to top. More drilling; running back & forth w/ rifles; etc. A bit of another race.