Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.
A lot of the documents have been sent to me or have come from other web sites. The name of the web site is given where known. If I have unintentionally included an image or document that is copyrighted or that I shouldn't have done then please email me and I'll remove it.
I make no money from this site, it's purely for the love of the films.
[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]
A Page for Motorists
There are many wheeled vehicles in P&P films. This isn't meant to be so much a list of all of them as a few comments on oddities spotted in the vehicles used.
- The Spy in Black (1939)
Capt. Hardt takes a bike ashore from the submarine. We never get a very clear look at it, not enough for me to identify it by make, model and year. So I was wondering ...
Mark Fuller identified it as a Triumph, could be anything from 1912 to about 1916.
Here is a nice example of a 1914 example; note in particular the spring system for the front forks; a massive pineapple-shaped spring that allows the forks to rock backwards and forwards more than up and down; in those days absorbing roughness of the roads was deemed more important. These only appeared on Triumphs, no other make, and before the end of the war they were replaced with a more conventional design where springs either side of the fork allowed the fork to travel more vertically, in line with the steering head. But this prominent Triumph spring, from earlier, is very visible in this famous still......
- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
The Despatch Riders at the beginning, could they be the Royal Corps of Signals motorcycle display team, the White Helmets? The precision riding is very good.
The front pair, and possibly others, are riding Rudges.
* Thanks Andrew
- A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
Dr Reeves (Roger Livesey) is riding an Ariel square four as he races around the country lanes.
Was that the square four that they showed crashed and burning? Or did they substitute another bike?
- Ill Met by Moonlight (1957)
- Nick Dando observes:
All the German lorries are actually Bedfords (MW or OX/OY and OB's) - although to be fair, the Germans did use a lot of captured Bedfords and thought very highly of them, in the same way that the Allies thought very highly of some captured Axis vehicles. The Volkswagen (Kuebelwagen) isn't a Volkswagen, but it's difficult to figure out what it might be.
There appear to be two Mercedes' in use, as one, in the night time scenes in "Heraklion", appears to have a canvas boot lid, but in later shots in the hills it has a metal one. The registration number of the car looks a little suspect; it's white on black and looks distinctly French to me - the Germans used black on a white background and it should read WH or WL and some numbers. And the scene of the car negotiating a left-hand hairpin bend appears twice.
Steve Crook adds:
It would make sense if they are French numberplates on the car(s). It wasn't filmed on Crete (in a delicate political position in 1956/7) but in the French Alpes-Maritimes.
Can anyone think of any other oddities to do with wheeled vehicles in the films? Or identify any of the cars or other vehicles used? Please email me.