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Matinee: Pathe News Christmas 1950 Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

20 December 2014

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the sixty-fourth in our series of Saturday matinees today: Pathe News Christmas 1950.

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to walk off a lox, bagels and prosecco brunch with a hike up Twin Peaks. There at the top of the world, we can see the city at our feet to the east and the ocean to the west.

But the real fun is walking around the viewing area catching a little bit of conversation in the different languages of the world. Nothing else quite gives us that "peace on earth to men of good will" feeling.

We may not be able to take you up Twin Peaks with us this week but we did find this 1950 Warner Pathe News newsreel of the company's cameramen all over the world (including San Francisco) wishing the audience a Merry Christmas in their local language with an English translation thrown in for a few more seconds on screen.

It takes just about five minutes to hear from them all. We broke into a smile almost two minutes in with the Washington, D.C. crew's segment and really didn't stop after that.

The second time we watched it, we paid more attention to the gear than the words. The cameramen pose with a surprisingly wide variety of gear (including some audio gear) that we couldn't help trying to identify.

Sixty-five years ago the world was a different place. It's hard to imagine a children's chorus today like the enormous Australian one that starts and ends the clip. We were amused to think those children would be in their 70s this week.

Wherever you are, whichever holiday you celebrate, let these old pros carry our hopes for the happiest holidays to you this year.

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