Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.
This film is part of Free
Billy Smart’s Circus
Brighton's crowds thrill to the sight of Billy Smart's Circus parading through their town in this film from the 1950s
Amateur film 1950 2 mins Silent
From the collection of:
This unique amateur film captures a circus parade passing through Brighton's town centre. It features many circus performers, both human and animal, including elephants, llamas, camels, clowns, dancers, cowboys on horseback, acrobats and trapeze artistes. Cigarette adverts adorn many of the wagons and one even appears on an elephant!
This film, made by Sydney Horton, captures a time when circuses that featured performing animals were much more popular with the public than they are today - as the crowds lining the streets of Brighton to watch the parade demonstrate. However, what was acceptable in the 1950s is very different from what would be tolerated today, particularly with regards to animal welfare and the environment. Even the final shots of the film show zebras confined in pens and polar bears locked in cages.
Animals on Film
Documentary 1940 12 mins
Fun mixture of natural history and wartime public information.
Comedy 2004 4 mins
Sweet and funny short about a potty-mouthed dog who loves his owner
Non-Fiction 1959 3 mins
Six legged competitors take to the starting blocks as a Midlands pub brings the sport of beetle racing to the world.
News 1971 5 mins Location: St Keverne
Daisy the pet alligator living on the Lizard in Cornwall
Children's 1972 52 mins Director: David Eady
Fun-packed comedy for kids, in which a boy befriends a baby elephant – then teams up with his friends to stop it being sold
Amateur film 1967 14 mins Location: Thompson Common
Should you look hard enough, you’ll be amazed at the antics that creatures get up to, says Dorothy Maxey, amateur filmmaker and naturalist.
1955 17 mins Location: Brighton
Kids face the closure of their Brighton playground but fight back to reclaim it, with a little help from the iconic Volks Railway
Travelogue 1935 15 mins Silent Location: Bournemouth
Anyone for a trip to the seaside? From Bournemouth to Margate via Brighton and Folkestone – sunny delights in abundance.
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent Location: Brighton
An accidental fashion parade as holiday promenaders pass before the camera on Brighton Pier
Amateur film 1961 5 mins Silent Location: Heathrow Airport London
At a time when flying still had a touch of glamour, Heathrow's Queens Building could provide the perfect venue for a pleasant afternoon's plane spotting
Brighton Seaside - Airshow & Silver Jubilee in Bromley Brighton Seaside - Airshow & Silver Jubilee in Bromley
Amateur film 1977 11 mins Silent Location: Brighton
Tony Mitchell captures a variety of events during Jubilee year - including day trips to Brighton and a bunting covered London as well as an accident at an airshow
Non-Fiction 1913 2 mins Silent Location: Brighton
Brighton's children are recruited for the fight against the 'demon drink' in this revealing 1913 film featuring the Temperance Movement
Documentary 1922 68 mins Silent
Potent record of the 1921 Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic expedition, marked by the death of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
1930 62 mins
Unreleased footage of an expedition in Bolivia, filmed by British explorer and naturalist JC Bee-Mason.
Travelogue 1926 1 mins
The Court Treatt expedition arrives in Luxor in this fragment from the film record of their journey across Africa.
1926 40 mins Silent
Compelling travel feature edited from footage of the 1925-26 Worsley Algarsson Arctic expedition.
Inside Film 2021 41 mins
In this illustrated discussion, BFI programmer-at-large Geoff Andrew and Catherine Wheatley, the author of two books on Michael Haneke’s work, examine what makes him such a distinctive, important and often controversial cinematic artist.
Inside Film 2021 41 mins
Film critic Carmen Gray and film writer Ela Bittencourt discuss three films by trailblazing Czech filmmaker Věra Chytilová.