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  • Short Summary

    Cavalcade of car stunts featuring the Reg Kavanagh Crash Squad.

  • Description

    2 reels featuring various stunts from the '20s and '30s. Reel 1 i) Night shots. Car inscribed: "Reg Kavanagh Crash Squad" drives through several wooden structures, some of which are on fire. It crashes into another car. Several men in boiler suits lift the car up as it has crashed onto its side.

    ii) "Charity Gymkhana." A Reg Kavanagh car is driven through a wooden structure. This car is inscribed with the phrase: "Film Crash Squad" Shots of audience watching car crash stunts at a show ground. Woman and man do balancing stunts on the back of a motorbike. Kavanagh stunt car drives through a ring of fire. C/U of smiling driver. A greyhound is put into a trap and runs along beside a racing car. Man runs along in front of the greyhound with a lure. Greyhound is allowed to munch on the lure (a fake rabbit) at the end of the race. A group of girls lie on the ground behind a sloping stunt board. A Reg Kavanagh car drives up the slope and jumps over the girls. A car skids past the camera and turns over.

    iii) "Stunt Men's Gymkhana." Cars perform various stunts - including jumping over another car and turning over. A biplane is flown very low and through a flimsily constructed building. Pilot emerges victorious and waving from the wreckage. A man crouches on the bonnet of a car as it is driven through a wall made from wood. A doctor takes his crash helmet off to examine his head for damage.

    iv) Pathetone item "Defying death!" Monsieur Ringen is a stunt man whose speciality is diving from height of 120 feet into a small tank, only 6 feet deep. A crowd watch M. Ringen climb a very high ladder above a tank of water. Shot from the top of the ladder shows the tank below. He leans backwards and dives off into the tank. We see the dive in reverse motion and in slow motion. We also see his entry into the tank in slow motion. He climbs out of the tank and takes a bow.

    v) "The Leaper" - intertitle reads: "Lots of big strong men would think twice about trying this stunt - but a girl has dared it and survived!" A man and a woman are strapped into cars at the top of a very steep slope after walking up a ladder. The cars shoot down the slope, the car that the man is in does a somersault at the bottom and narrowly misses crashing into the woman's car which follows. We see the stunt again and again in slow motion. Ends with shot of the man and the woman smiling and laughing after their successful stunt. (Was originally an item in Eve's Film Review issue number 525 - see also EP214 - The Leaper).

    Reel 2 i) "The Uplift Movement" - Two women stand on the upper wing of a biplane as it takes off. Inter-title reads: "Only yesterday Adam was the stunt specialist in mid-air, but Eve plays the 'plane-changing game equally as well today." Three planes fly very close to each other. Air to air shots of one of the women climbing on to the wing of one plane from another. The other woman performs the same stunt. The stunt is repeated. The women stand on the lower wing of the plane as it lands. (Was EFR 524 - also in Can EP214).

    ii) Pathe Gazette item. American stunts in Miami. A large number of planes fly in formation. U.S. Navy airship flies above a showground. One of the aeroplanes flies very close to the underneath of the airship. Planes do somersaults or "loop-the-loops." Men jump from the planes on parachutes. Bombs (?) dropped from the plane cause explosions on the showground.

    iii) "The Looper" - Man stands on the top wing of a biplane as it "loops-the-loop." The man then hangs upside down from the bottom of the plane. He drops from the plane by parachute, casts off the chute as he is about to reach the ground and falls into a river or lake.

    iv) "Aerial Stunt Artists" - Pathe Gazette item. High shot of an airfield or showground - Miami. Biplane loops-the-loop. Other aircraft perform stunts making smoke patterns in the sky.

    v) "Miami Air Show Thrills" - Same showground as the previous item. Aeroplanes make smoke patterns in the sky. Shot of the crowd. Man jumps with a parachute - still attached to the plane. Plane overturns on the runway - it seems to be pulled over by the parachutist.

    vi) Woman (?) climbs onto top wing of a biplane. It takes off. Air to air shot of the woman flying over dock area. The plane flies over skyscrapers. Could be San Francisco. The plane flies under a bridge (Golden Gate?)

    Two men have a boxing match on top of the plane in flight. One man climbs on the back of the other.

    vi) "Transfers" - Woman stands up in the back of a motor car and waves. Biplane flies overhead with the car travelling along behind. Woman grabs hold of the ladder that is hanging down from the plane. Woman climbs the ladder as the plane flies very low over houses. Plane lands with woman sitting in the body of the plane (we do not see her full climb.) Woman - Gene Lavock (?) - shakes hands with the pilot. Note: see EP218 "Transfers" - This film was originally an item in Eve's Film Review issue 534.

    vii) Pathetone item - "Aeromania! Jazzing about Cloudland." A cameraman lies on the tail of a biplane looking through his camera lens. Two pilots climb into the "Daugherty" plane and it takes off. We then see the view from our cameraman's position as the plane flies over a city. There is some film reversal. Stunts are performed by a man who hangs down from the front of the plane. It loops-the-loop. "Gotham" district of New York is seen as the plane does a somersault. Strange views of the city as the camera is turned upside down. the Woolworth's building is featured. An intertitle asks: "Is there a Doctor handy?" as the views from the turning plane are quite dizzying.

    Note: alternative search term for Woolworth's is Woolworths without an apostrophe.

    Note: setting looks to be Coney Island. Length quoted is for whole reel of stunts.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1920 - 1939
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:14:35:00 / 01:32:20:00

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