Documentary detailing Gagarin's training and flight into space. c. 1961
See also "Gargarin to the Stars - version 1" for Russian commentary and some different footage.
"Spoken by Bob Danvers Walker." "Produced by the Moscow Studio of Popular Science Films and the Central Studio of Documentary Films in the Soviet Union. Using data from the Institute of Space Medicine." Dupe neg from the title onwards.
Montage of shots of the sky - clouds, an aircraft crosses the sky. Narrator speaks of the dream of conquering space. Speaks of how man has now entered space. Russian flag flies above a building. Shot of Moscow seen from a high balcony. Low angle shot of aircraft flying in formation. Shot from inside an aircraft of Yuri Gagarin walking down steps. Reverse shot of him walking down the steps onto a red carpet on the runway. Narrator states that "The truly great thing about him is that he is an ordinary man." Camera follows Gagarin as he approaches a podium. He approaches Kruschev, salutes and states that he has carried out his assignment. He makes a long speech whilst saluting. He is embraced by Kruschev who then has to wipe the tears from his eyes with a handkerchief. The crowd applauds, C/U of a smiling woman. Shots of the crowd. Gagarin embraces his wife or mother. Low angle shot of the world's press photographers and cameraman squeezed onto a platform. Various shots of Kruschev, Gagarin and the cheering crowds. Crowd lined streets seen from a moving vehicle. C/U of Gagarin, wife and Kruschev driving through the streets in an open topped car. Crowds wave small red flags. Man runs alongside the car and gives a bouquet of flowers to Gagarin's wife. M/S of group of smiling boys in uniform. High angle shot of the cortege. Travelling shots of the crowds and the cortege. Kruschev and Gagarin stand on a balcony (probably in Red Square). Good C/Us of cheering Russians.
Kruschev makes a speech to vast crowds in Red Square - proudly announces that for the first time a human being has made a flight into space. Various shots of proud Russian faces, aerial shots of the crowds, C/U of Kruschev. Panning shot of dignitaries on the balcony. Kruschev's speech continues, drawing on Russian history.
He speaks of Russian scientist Tibalshish (sp?) who lived at the end of the 19th century. He was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg. Shot of a prison cell then of a facsimile of a drawing he made on the cell wall of a spaceship as he visualised it. Dissolve into a drawing of a primitive spaceship. Shots of the cell and an artist impression of Tibalshish. Pigeons settle on the ledge of the cell window. Shot of a church spire with an aircraft flying overhead.
Panning shot of houses in a Russian village - Kaluga (sp?). Interior of one of the homes. Another scientist is shown working on a model spaceship. We see his statue but are not told his name (bizarrely!)
Spaceship Vostok is spoken of by Krushchev. He speaks of how the work will go on and the astronauts will "continue probing the mysteries of nature." Crowds applaud. Still photograph of Lenin as the voiceover speaks of pioneer pilots. Shot of an airship passing over Red Square as Russians watch it through binoculars. Various shots of early airships and hot air balloons. Early film of aircraft. Exploration of the North Pole made possible by air travel. Low angle shot of Russian aircraft flying overhead. Montage of shots showing early Russian aviation, tickertape parade for a Russian pilot, cannons being fired to welcome Russian pilots to the United States, planes taking off etc. "Only natural then that the first man in space should be a pilot."
High angle shot of parade in Red Square, cheering faces, flag waving etc. Krushchev and Gagarin hold hands and wave them in the air - a kind of victory gesture. A child on an adults shoulders cheers. Lots of shots of Russians gesturing to the balcony and reaction shots of Gagarin clasping his hands and waving. Majestic music on the soundtrack.
C/U of Gagarin as he makes a speech to camera. His words are translated. He states that he is an "ordinary person." He tells his life history, this is illustrated by footage of the countryside around the place he was born - Smolensk (sp?) Narrator speaks of the war and we see ruins caused by the war. C/U of a soldier's helmet. M/S of a statue possibly commemorating the lives lost in the war. Landscape shots.
Gagarin's educational history is described, accompanied by shots of his old schools. M/S of a Russian woman pruning a tree. Russian children in a playground. The girls skip rope, the boys play football. Gagarin joined a flying club when at school. M/S of group of boys who are in a flying club. Still photograph of young Gagarin. He then attended the Air Force school at Orienburg (sp?) Shots of the school and of young trainee pilots. Montage of shots of aircraft and budding pilots. Aircraft loops the loop. Aerial shots.
M/S of men in uniform marching through city street. Probably Air Force. A man lectures flying students using a model plane. Good C/U. Interior of the flying school. C/U of his name and photograph on the Roll of Honour at the school. Gagarin graduated with honours. We see him speak again and he states that after the launch of the first Sputnik he dreamed of being a space pilot.
Note: sound is slightly out of synch during natural sound speeches.
End of reel 1. Reel 2 is on *PM1287*; reel 3 is also on *PM1349*.