Back to the Collection

Cricket

About the film

As England battles it out against Australia at Lord’s cricket ground, skills both on and off the field are focused on, revisiting some of the greats of the sport’s history along the way.

Details

Release year
1950
Director
Grahame Tharp
Production company
Pathé Documentary Unit
Producer
Peter Baylis
Screenplay
Jack Howells
Cinematographer
George Stevens
Narration
John Arlott, Ralph Richardson
Editor
A. Milner-Gardner
Sound recording
W.S. Bland, George Newberry
Running time (minutes)
17 mins 20 secs

Original Description

'Through the pattern of this film a ‘Test’ at Lord’s runs like a thread and a broadcast commentary on the match is imposed on the background of cricket as a game, a craft, an interest of a people, a piece of history. The craftsmen are shown who make the ball and the bat–that ‘fourth straight stick’ with which the batsmen defend ‘the other three’. The craftsmen are shown who play the game, from W. G. Grace in the ‘nets’ to D. G. Bradman and Denis Compton in the thread of the ‘Test’. The history of the game is epitomized in the Long Room shots at Lord’s and from there the camera moves to the village green; to the London side- street where the urchins play on a ‘bumping pitch’; to South Africa, and India, where in the ‘blinding light’ there is often ‘an hour to play and the last man in’.
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50)

Trivia

  • The two narrators are none other than actor Sir Ralph Richardson and cricket commentator John Arlott.
  • Rather than script the film, the decision was taken to film the game and then build the film around the recorded events.
  • At around the 18-second mark, during the opening credits, you can hear the tapping of a microphone - the sound of the narrators testing the microphone that was turned on. This sound was accidentally left in the finished film.

Themes