The Lost World of Friese-Greene

Presenter Dan Cruickshank traces the route taken by pioneering filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene in a series of remarkable films from the mid-1920s.

In the mid-1920s, pioneering film-maker Claude Friese-Greene made a series of films during an intrepid drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the early days of the motor car. Claude’s remarkable films were shot in pioneering early colour using a process he’d invented himself at a time when the world was filmed in black and white.

In this three part series, The Lost World of Friese-Greene, presenter Dan Cruickshank traces the original route in a vintage car, tracking relatives of the people who appear in the films. Dan also shows footage to people who appeared in the films as children and are seeing themselves on film for the first time 80 years later.

Film one starts in the West Country as Dan Cruickshank uncovers radical changes in rural traditions from cider-making to stag hunting and takes a look back at holiday fun at the seaside. Film two picks up his journey in Cirencester, travels onwards to Wales through the Midlands and North to Lancashire and the Lakes. In the final episode, he journeys through Scotland, meeting local experts and descendants of people in the films, with breathtaking scenery all the way.

This unique archive of Friese-Greene’s footage, preserved and restored by the BFI, reveals many things in the UK that have changed in 80 years, as well as, surprisingly, what has remained.

A BBC/BFI co-production.

Special features

  • Extended interviews with some of the people Dan Cruickshank encounters on his journey.
  • Interview with cinematographer Jack Cardiff (DOP for The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and A Matter of Life and Death).

Product information

    • Certificate

      Exempt

    • Colour

      Colour

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      177mins

    • Original aspect ratio

      16:09

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD727

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