the newsreel collection
This DVD is remarkable in two ways. Firstly for the content, which gives us a rare insight into George's public and private life, and secondly, for the way Peter Pollard has compiled it. He has applied all his video editing skills to bring us a product to rival anything commercially produced. Transitions are smooth and simple - unmarred by silly special effects - and the incidental music is tastefully included. At two hours it's a bit long and would have benefited from the exclusion of some unedited clips, but for Formby fans, the more you see of George the merrier it is. The newsreel clips can be run continuously or selected individually. This is a neat feature because there will always be some clips that you want to watch more times than the others (such as the blistering solo in Blackpool Rock at the Blackpool Opera House). There are also three slideshows that are accompanied by several of George's best solos. This is a rare chance to study his technique and you have to admire the man for providing such a high standard for our young players to aim for. The content is certainly revealing. In home movies, George and Beryl are seen enjoying private moments with their friends. There is a piece showing George's mum celebrating her 100th birthday, and a bit with Pat Howson and a tongue-tied George. It wouldn't be complete without wartime shots and there are plenty, demonstrating the enormous, positive influence that George (and Beryl too) had on the moral of our fighting men. They open race meetings, charities and judge bathing beauty contests. At these, we see Beryl dragging George away from the girls in a mock show of annoyance. This is an amusing gesture for the crowd but you wonder how well it reflects their real life. They clamber in and out of fabulous cars - George always smoking a cigarette. The ladies will love seeing Beryl's outfits but the big surprise is hearing her speak. Her polished diction is far removed from her Lancashire upbringing in Accrington. But an even bigger surprise is watching George perform. I never saw George sing and play and it comes as a shock to finally see the great man doing his stuff. You suddenly realise that the only time you have seen him in action is in his films. His stage performances are quite a different thing and this is why this DVD is such a treat. We get to see how he regularly changes ukes, how he plays with his thumb when singing, his gestures, his mannerisms and above all his supreme confidence. But I began to notice his habit of giggling during a song and also when he talks to people - a trait I found overdone that soon became irritating. We are brought up-to-date with TV reports on John Walley and Gerry Mawdsley who equip themselves exceedingly well, and a hilarious conclusion from the Two Ronnies. This DVD is a tour de force - goodness knows how long it took Peter to make it. Above all else, it shows that whatever gift George had, it was one his fans loved to receive. Tony Thornton, editor of The Vellum. The DVD contains 35 items featuring or closely associated with George Formby. The programme runs for one hour 57 minutes but any one clip can be accessed by negotiating the various menus contained within the disc. Some of the clips are not 1st generation quality but all are interesting and I have used the best items that I could find or borrow from friends. George Formby was filmed and photographed so many times but the filmed clips are rarely shown. Also on the disc, has an extra item, are three slide shows containing photos of George together with his music. The DVD is available only from our society shop and the price is £10 plus postage. The DVD is only available from The GFS Shop
A review of the Formby newsreel DVD
the newsreel collection
This DVD is remarkable in two ways. Firstly for the content, which gives us a rare insight into George's public and private life, and secondly, for the way Peter Pollard has compiled it. He has applied all his video editing skills to bring us a product to rival anything commercially produced. Transitions are smooth and simple - unmarred by silly special effects - and the incidental music is tastefully included. At two hours it's a bit long and would have benefited from the exclusion of some unedited clips, but for Formby fans, the more you see of George the merrier it is. The newsreel clips can be run continuously or selected individually. This is a neat feature because there will always be some clips that you want to watch more times than the others (such as the blistering solo in Blackpool Rock at the Blackpool Opera House). There are also three slideshows that are accompanied by several of George's best solos. This is a rare chance to study his technique and you have to admire the man for providing such a high standard for our young players to aim for. The content is certainly revealing. In home movies, George and Beryl are seen enjoying private moments with their friends. There is a piece showing George's mum celebrating her 100th birthday, and a bit with Pat Howson and a tongue-tied George. It wouldn't be complete without wartime shots and there are plenty, demonstrating the enormous, positive influence that George (and Beryl too) had on the moral of our fighting men. They open race meetings, charities and judge bathing beauty contests. At these, we see Beryl dragging George away from the girls in a mock show of annoyance. This is an amusing gesture for the crowd but you wonder how well it reflects their real life. They clamber in and out of fabulous cars - George always smoking a cigarette. The ladies will love seeing Beryl's outfits but the big surprise is hearing her speak. Her polished diction is far removed from her Lancashire upbringing in Accrington. But an even bigger surprise is watching George perform. I never saw George sing and play and it comes as a shock to finally see the great man doing his stuff. You suddenly realise that the only time you have seen him in action is in his films. His stage performances are quite a different thing and this is why this DVD is such a treat. We get to see how he regularly changes ukes, how he plays with his thumb when singing, his gestures, his mannerisms and above all his supreme confidence. But I began to notice his habit of giggling during a song and also when he talks to people - a trait I found overdone that soon became irritating. We are brought up-to-date with TV reports on John Walley and Gerry Mawdsley who equip themselves exceedingly well, and a hilarious conclusion from the Two Ronnies. This DVD is a tour de force - goodness knows how long it took Peter to make it. Above all else, it shows that whatever gift George had, it was one his fans loved to receive. Tony Thornton, editor of The Vellum. The DVD contains 35 items featuring or closely associated with George Formby. The programme runs for one hour 57 minutes but any one clip can be accessed by negotiating the various menus contained within the disc. Some of the clips are not 1st generation quality but all are interesting and I have used the best items that I could find or borrow from friends. George Formby was filmed and photographed so many times but the filmed clips are rarely shown. Also on the disc, has an extra item, are three slide shows containing photos of George together with his music. The DVD is available only from our society shop and the price is £10 plus postage. The DVD is only available from The GFS Shop
A review of the Formby newsreel DVD