Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mumbai, Bombay in the 1950's. First half of film 16210



Mumbai, Bombay, India, in the 1950's in glorious colour. Large passenger ships docked in a harbour, front view of black ship, with red anchor hanging down. Three men dressed in white stand on the harbour side - one of them might be Indian? Passengers are visible standing at the rails on board the ship. Shot of ship's large red funnel, camera pans down the impressive side of the boat, past lots of cabin windows. Passengers begin to disembark - wealthy-looking white people wearing summery clothes - hats and floral frocks and a remarkably large amount of white and yellow-gloved hands holding the handrail as they gingerly step down the gangplank.
View of two Air India planes, small passenger twin engined propeller aeroplanes, one of which reverses across the concrete into its stand. They are unpainted, apart from the logo, and their metallic surfaces gleam brightly in the sun. Good view of the aircraft as it turns away from the camera, showing the rear and tail.
Shot taken from a lofty vantage point of the busy city streets, the main junction for eight roads entering the city showing several different views of the area showing the grand buildings and crowds of pedestrians and large smart cars. There are even red double-decker buses that look like London buses, and big department stores and banks, there are very few women walking in the street - it's almost exclusively Indian men. Several shots of shop windows with swathes of cloth displayed inside, Indian vases and elaborate ornaments, a necklace is taken out of a display cabinet and handed to three Indian women wearing saris who hold it up to admire its intricate, typically Indian design. One woman places it around the neck of another. The salesman holds up a mirror so that she can see what the necklace looks like on her. In another shop/market area a couple of Western women are being shown lengths of white lace cloth by Indian salesmen dressed in white. Two other women have lengths of brightly coloured and sequinned sari cloth draped around their shoulders by salesmen. Outdoors shot of bustling street, then images filmed from a moving vehicle showing a hardware shop with lots of metal pots and pans hanging outside in a busy display, followed by a display of ceramic pots or vases - possibly for water-carrying? 
A market street shows lots of traders and/or beggars squatting down on the ground, Western men dressed in white trousers and shirts walk past them. A man bargains with a trader, who holds up a simple set of balancing scales for weighing goods.
A group of people walk down steps towards a market area. Men at an outdoor food stall prepare food, watched by a little boy, a young Indian man sitting at a stall piled high with green coconuts chops at a coconut with a blunt-ended knife, making a small 'lid' which he flicks open with the knife blade, then hands to another Indian, who holds it up to his mouth and drinks the fresh Close-up of a map showing Bombay, with lots of red lines emanating out from its centre - shipping or flight routes perhaps? There's a shot of two cargo ships moored in the bay, and a tractor pulls a trailer loaded with wood. Another shot of a ship, with a gothic looking clock tower in the background, followed by shots of passenger liners moored in the docks, with people waving their hankies from the sides, and a close-up of a funnel belching black smoke into the blue sky. A shiny metallic BOAC propeller plane taxis along a runway. Indians climb steps emblazoned with 'Air India' insignia up into a waiting aircraft. Western passengers disembark from a BOAC plane. Close-up of Western and Indian passengers climbing up the steps to a TWA flight. Scenes of people standing just outside the airport, a sign painted above them states 'Foreign traffic', the mainly Indian men wave the passengers goodbye. A shiny Air India plane taxis noisily.