Film Reviews, December 1953

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“Mille Miglia 1953.”  Documentary. Running time 28 min.

“The Moving Spirit.”  Colour cartoon. Running time 18 min.

(Shell Film Unit. Both require sound projector and are normally 16 mm.)

With its film of the 1952 Le Mans Race the Shell Film Unit, under Bill Mason, set a standard of motor-racing film production which remains unsurpassed. Indeed, this great film has never had so much as a near rival until recently, when the Shell film of this year’s Mille Miglia was released. This is a shorter film, but the same clever approach to a very difficult subject has been adopted, there are the same splendid shots of drivers and cars, inert and in action, the same excellent, well-balanced commentary (spoken mainly by Nevil Lloyd). Altogether a great film – and a great achievement.

“The Moving Spirit.” another Shell film, is one of the cleverest cartoons ever, pulling no punches as it traces motor-car development from the 1880s to the present day. Many famous cars, from Benz Ideal to G.N. and Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, figure in this film in caricature and painting, and there is but a shadow of advertising in this film; none whatsoever in the Mile Miglia film. Once again Shell has produced the best motoring and motor-racing films we have seen this year. Club secretaries should book them without delay – in the case of London clubs from Shell-Mex House or No. 1, Kingsway, W.C.2 (respective telephone numbers: Temple Bar 1234 and 8456 – W.B.

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