Rarely Seen Sid - Laughter and Life
In addition to the many newsreels for which they are most famous, the British Pathe collection contains a number of often fascinating documentaries designed to be screened before the main features in cinemas across the country. As the fifties were drawing to a close, Sid James was one of the most recognisable and indeed beloved figures in the British entertainment industry. His engaging, warm personality and relaxed, natural style made him the perfect choice to host some of these unique looks at British life.
Sid's earthy, worldly-wise vocals were used to wonderful effect on the narration for the Look at Life episode The Marketplace in 1959. You can view that little treasure on Sid's Place here Rarely Seen Sid - Look at Life: The Marketplace Sid's role on Look at Life was as narrator only. In 1961, he would be our on-screen host for a documentary on the power of laughter, appropriately entitled Laughter and Life.
Laughter and Life
With our host Sid looking as relaxed as ever, his trademark laugh at the ready, this really is a joy to watch. As soon as he utters the opening line "Hang on, I'm just rewriting a diabolical gag!" you know you are in for a treat.The fact that Laughter and Life was never actually screened anywhere makes it all the more fascinating to view today.
Part two includes some vintage Mack Sennett-produced slapstick and the police chase scene from The Lavender Hill Mob.