By Pat Jackson
This memoir is an strange contribution to the heritage of movie and cinema. At its centre is the tale of the making of the British movie vintage Western ways, the 1st tale documentary in Technicolor, absolutely enacted by means of amateurs. It used to be nominated for the simplest movie from any resource Oscar.
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Additional resources for A Retake Please!: Night Mail to Western Approaches
I was not quite nineteen and realised how lucky I was to have these experiences and see at ﬁrst hand how the other man lived with all the hardships involved; to meet these wonderful characters who were the backbone of England. I was very privileged, I realise now, but obviously not suﬃciently then. But, alas, the shooting of Night Mail was coming to an end and the ﬁnal editing took place. My sections, the apparatus van and the sorting oﬃce were simple enough. It was R. Q. McNaughton who had the tough part, the second half, for the ﬁlm seemed to peter out.
Mercifully the pound was uniquely 46 ‘In loco parentis’ strong against the franc, something to do with Leon Blum and the Front Populaire. 0 a week I was able to pay my pension and university and ‘High Life’ cigarettes, aptly named. I bought a ‘bike’ for a pound which took me to and from my lodgings with a wonderful Buscarlet family of Avenue D’Eybens on the Route Napole´on, to the University. Trying to play the role of a student had its humiliations. Grammatical terminology was Greek to me. Indirect objects, subordinate clauses meant nothing.
Whilst Harry was hard at it with North Sea, I was allowed, on my return from Grenoble, to make my ﬁrst faltering steps as a director. I was to complete a ﬁlm that Harry had started but had had to lay aside for the more important subject of North Sea. However, as 49 A Retake Please! money had been spent on a ﬁlm attempting to show how the Accountant General’s Department worked, it had to be ﬁnished. D. It was completed and went out under the title of Big Money. Harry is credited with having made it.