London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
This film is part of Free
Stars In A Ring, Olympia
Illuminated carriages, exotic acrobats and boxing clowns all feature in this extended film of highlights from the Bertram Mills Circus at Olympia.
Promotional 1935 15 mins Silent
From the collection of:
The huge scale and international flavour of the Christmas circus at Olympia neatly captured in this film, which features credits introducing acts and footage of the programme. Highlights include an impressively choreographed fight routine, a beautifully lit carriage – the film is subtitled “Highlights of Olympia’s league of illuminations” – and a troupe of Chinese contortionists. Dancing horses, performing dogs and elephants also appear - with the acrobats climbing on the elephants displaying a rather outdated attitude to animal welfare.
Animals on Film
Documentary 1940 12 mins
Fun mixture of natural history and wartime public information.
Comedy 2004 4 mins
Sweet and funny short about a potty-mouthed dog who loves his owner
Non-Fiction 1959 3 mins
Six legged competitors take to the starting blocks as a Midlands pub brings the sport of beetle racing to the world.
News 1971 5 mins Location: St Keverne
Daisy the pet alligator living on the Lizard in Cornwall
Children's 1972 52 mins Director: David Eady
Fun-packed comedy for kids, in which a boy befriends a baby elephant – then teams up with his friends to stop it being sold
Amateur film 1967 14 mins Location: Thompson Common
Should you look hard enough, you’ll be amazed at the antics that creatures get up to, says Dorothy Maxey, amateur filmmaker and naturalist.
Amateur film 1932 2 mins Silent Location: Olympia
Travel back in time to the National Wireless & Radio Exhibition at Olympia London to view the technology of yesteryear.
Amateur film 1962 10 mins Silent Location: Olympia
Heads up, tails up, ears brushed? Furry frolics from London's Olympia, and a starring role for man's best friend.
Promotional 1935 4 mins Silent Location: Olympia
Elephants, acrobats, clowns and cowboys all feature in this highlights reel from the annual Bertram Mills Circus at Olympia.
Promotional 1955 15 mins Silent Location: Olympia
Bears, tigers and elephants perform for the crowds in this compelling colour footage from the Christmas circus at Olympia.
Promotional 1959 5 mins Silent Location: Olympia
Swoon at the costumes, laugh at the clowns and wonder at the elephants as the cast of the Bertram Mills Circus enter the ring for another stellar performance.
Post-War Backstage Stables and Ring Scenes, Ascot & Olympia Post-War Backstage Stables and Ring Scenes, Ascot & Olympia
Amateur film 1955 4 mins Silent Location: Olympia
Hair-combing chimps, performing elephants and a toothsome cheetah feature in this film of the Bertram Mills Circus.
Travelogue 1907 9 mins Silent
A grand tour of Japan’s major cities, offering scenic views of the streets and daily life.
Interest film 1913 3 mins Silent
This ethnographic film offers a brief overview of the traditional culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in Japan.
Documentary 1905 4 mins
The performance of a masked dancer is followed by a scene from a kendo match, contrasting grace and ferocity.
Non-Fiction 1904 2 mins Silent
In a school gymnastic festival, boys and girls demonstrate their physical rigour through exercise and dance.
Interest film 1909 5 mins Silent
A vibrant festival with parades of fishermen and geisha celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port.
1912 5 mins Silent
Pathécolor’s mechanical stencil colouring is put to good use illustrating a festival at an ancient shrine.