This film is held by the BFI (ID: 468453).


DOCUMENTARY/PROPAGANDA. Rushes for an unreleased and unfinished production documenting various talented members of the black community in Britain.

207306A Scene 5 Take 1: Black man and white man at a night club join in applause. The black man speaks to his companion in verse on the balance created by their two races (157). Scene 1 Take 5: Closer shot as a waiter brings them drinks (219). Scene 5 Take 3: CU black poet reciting, speaks too loud (272). Scene 5 Take 4: Same as before, poet recites on how the same affectations dwell in both black and white, then he and his companion drink (358). Scene 5 Take 5: CS the two men at their table (378). Scene 4 Take 1: Night club band of bongos, shaker, guitar and drum, with name displayed of 'Roy Fraser and his Calypsonians [?with the] Three Just Men'. Woman dancer dressed in black-striped African dress dances to percussive music (439). Scene 4 Take 2: CS dancer (510). Scene 4 Take 4: Different shot of band and dancer. She crouches down and a black male dancer in loincloth and beads jumps over her then dances round her, crouches low and the music stops (652). Closer shot of the two dancers with applause, pan left to poet and his companion at their table (692). Two dancers on floor again, pan left, then back, then left again to the applause (726).

207305A Scene 1 Take 4: Adelaide Hall and white bespectacled pianist (Stan) at piano discussing which spiritual to sing (78). Scene 1 Take 5: Hall starts singing 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' (192). Scene 1 Take ?: Repeat of their discussion of which song to sing, Hall sings, with cut in mid-song (384). Scene 2 Take 8: In the corner of a room filled with paintings the Indian artist N.R. Rao invites a white women, Miss Sinclair to sit down. His two children ?Sally and Jack are introduced (438). Scene 2 Take 9: The children re-enter with their governess, Florence (501). Scene 2 Take 10: CS Rao, Sinclair and Sally (514). Scene 2 Take 11: CS Rao, Sinclair and both children, who leave. Rao talks nervously about his children's British education, his studies at the Royal Academy, and the opportunities for artists in Britain (653). Scene 2 Take 12: Closer shot of Sinclair and Rao, who repeats his previous speech in garbled form (771). Scene 2 Take 4: Rao points out a painting of a beggar (815). Scene 2 Take 6: Same action (868). Scene 2 Take 7: Same action (921).

204131A Scene 6 Take 3: Unidentified black female sits at piano then performs 'The Old Music Master' (by Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael) (180). Scene 6 Take 6: She performs `Stormy Weather' (by Ted Koehler, Harold Arlen) (397). Scene in the Nightingale Club, Berkeley Square with the Felix King Orchestra, conductor introduces Adelaide Hall (428). Mute shot of audience clapping (435). Hall singing 'Gospel Train' (490). Closer shot of this (557). Return to main shot (626). She bows to the audience and leaves (657). Steeple of St Martin-in- the-Fields Church, London, tilt down (685). Inside church with large Christmas tree, black minister and black congregation, 'While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night' is sung (773). Minister in pulpit reads from the Gospel concerning the shepherds (821). Closer shot as he continues the reading (851).

207307A Scene 1 Take 1 ('Hospital'): Scenes in mock-up of operating theatre with a white surgeon and a black surgeon leading an operation (97). Scene 1 Take 2: Close shot of the two surgeons at work (148). Scene 1 Take 5: View of the operation from an different angle (183). Scene 1 Take 6: Same action (232). Clapperboard fills screen; CU patient, who is the black poet's white companion from the night club scene (332). Scene 2 Take 2: Black surgeon asks the patient how he feels (364). Scene 2 Take 2: Same action (411). Anaesthetic equipment (434). Further shot of this (442). Scene 3 Take 1: The two surgeons shake hands in corridor, exchange words and depart (483). Scene 3 Take 2: Same action (529). CU black surgeon, focus adjusted occasionally (633). CS hands performing surgery [soundtrack missing from here to end of reel] (646). CS looking up at the two surgeons operating (677). Surgical equipment on table (692).

207304A Dark, blurred images of succeeding shot (26). Scene 1 Take 1: Adelaide Hall and pianist Stan in same scene as above, discussing choice of spirituals. Hall sings 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot', but the soundtrack wobbles and the pitch rises considerably (205). Scene 1 Take 6 CS Hall singing the final section of 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' (331). Scene 2 Take 2: Painter N.R. Rao in his studio, painting a portrait of Gandhi; Miss Sinclair enters (368). Scene 2 Take 2: Sinclair introduces herself (422). Scene 3 Take 3: Closer shot of Rao and Sinclair; he states that he has a portrait of Gandhi at India House, and points out paintings of Lady Grant MP and a beggar (504).

Note: No details of release for this production have been traced, which was intended to document contributions to British public life made by members of the black community. The camera slates give the director as G.L. Norman and the cameraman as Bernard Hayward. From the slates, filming took place January to March 1948, but further filming in June is mentioned in a Melody Maker article. In The British Film Yearbook 1949-50 p. 429 Robert Adams is credited as having appeared in and being associate director of THE WORLD IS TURNING [sic], produced by Norman's, 1948-49. Robert Adams, however, does not appear in these rushes. G.L. Norman ran the Norman's Film Service, which provided a stock shot service and produced short interest films (see extract from letter below). In Sam Edwards, 'New Zealand Film 1912-1996' (1997), p. 11, it is mentioned that New Zealand director and cameraman Rudall Hayward worked on a documentary, THE WORLD IS TURNING (TOWARDS THE COLOURED PEOPLE) for 20th Century-Fox. Presumably he is the same person as Bernard Hayward.

Melody Maker reference: "Felix King and his orchestra, from the Nightingale niterie in Berkeley Square, recently took part in a short propaganda film, the object of the production being the cementing of better relations between coloured peoples and white. Star of the film is Adelaide Hall and the Felix King boys are heard in a vocal accompaniment to her song 'Gospel Train', the special vocal arrangement being by George Mitchell. The film was actually made at the Nightingale". (26 June 1948, p. 5)

Letter in NFTVA Norman's file from Mrs I.J. Norman, 9 October 1975: "...We were going to make a film on the negro population, filming such persons as MacDonald Bailey, Turpin Bros, Adelaide Hall, Winifred Atwell, etc. My husband's long illness put a stop to all this developing, but all this material is incorporated in the library".




Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
35mm Film

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain