The B.A.R.C Midnight Matinees

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This year these popular nocturnal film-shows of the British Automobile Racing Club were shown not only at the Curzon Cinema, W.1, where there was an “overflow” meeting, but also in Winchester, Eastbourne and Leicester. Attendance, at a conservative estimate, exceeded 4,000. The programme included a short but sweet B.A.R.C. 1957 film, which included shots of the Annual Dinner and the River Cruise as well as racing at Goodwood, “shorts” from British Movietone News (which covered races like the Mille Miglia as well as British events and included some pre-war Brooklands film) and a splendid Hollywood cartoon, “Little Johnnie Jet.” The excellent Shell-Mex film of the G.P. d’Europe at Aintree was included; this is one of the few films that really tell the story of the race, backed by first-rate photography. In contrast, the Castrol film of the Monaco G.P., on a small screen area, is too long and the colour is poor, although there are interesting shots of the race and of Monte Carlo. Some prodigious colour films of airscrew-propelled swamp boats and stock-car racing on sand naturally hailed from the U.S. and made the best possible use of the panoramic screen—the versatility of the former and the crashes survived by the latter are unbelievable—and there were good non-motoring supporting films, including one in colour of a traction-engine rally put on as a speciality of Winchester’s Theatre Royal. Nor had Secretary Morgan forgotten a bathing-beauty parade… — W. B.