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West of England

The Stroud valleys of Gloucestershire in glorious Technicolor - and with a Laurie Lee script.

Industry sponsored film 1951 10 mins

Overview

Glorious Technicolor casts a dreamlike spell over Gloucesterhire's Stroud valleys in this rather gorgeous short film. Author Laurie Lee, whose 1960 book Cider with Rosie drew on childhood memories of the area, contributes the script for a narration which accompanies painterly images of evergreen scenery, people and industry. At heart a Board of Trade promo for Gloucestershire cloth-making, it's a deliberately soft sell, wrapped up in a gentle, romantic, small 'c' conservative vision of rural idyll.

Beautifully relaxing, this film is also a fascinating study in the branding of UK plc: it was intended especially for overseas distribution, but was also shown in some cinemas at home. Greenpark Productions, who made the film for the Central Office of Information, led the market in 'prestige' sponsored films with slightly arty pretensions. A higher than average budget enabled shooting in Technicolor to show off not just painterly landscape compositions but also richly-coloured cloth. Lee responds accordingly, dyeing his prose a deep purple.