Title ID 8180Collection ID1093
TitleThis is Magic
Date[ca. 1930s]
CollectionBognor Regis Film Society / Guermonprez
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionAlbum/Journal
ThemeFamily life Cine Club Film-making
KeywordsAnimals Beaches Family Leisure Time Activities Parks Seaside Resorts Zoological Gardens
LocalBognor Regis Southsea Camden Hampstead
RegionalWest Sussex Hampshire Greater London
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionHarry Guermonprez [?]
CameraHarry Guermonprez (?)
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration11min 6sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


An edited amateur film from the 1930s consisting of material relating to the family of Harry Guermonprez, co-founder of the the Bognor Regis Film Society. Harry Guermonprez and his family appear throughout the film. The film includes a short section of 'magic tricks', (created using film editing techniques) and a visit to London Zoo.


“This is Magic” & "Artists: Win, Nora, Tukie, Richey".

The film opens with shots of a woman in garden doing a trick with a handkerchief. As she shakes the handkerchief another woman appears beside her, as if by magic. The woman waves her hands and she disappears. Title: "Now whats next -"; the woman folds the handkerchief into a shape and this time a small Terrier dog appears and disappears. Two more women join her and together they walk across the garden towards the camera. Harry Guermonprez appears from the edge of the shot and shakes the hands of the two women, walking arm in arm with another [his wife Tukie?].

"At Southsea"

Two women walk through public gardens followed by views of a seaplane on the water with boats moored around it. A couple walk through a garden with a small terrier dog, the woman holds the dog up to the camera. whilst another feeds a treat to the dog. The next shots show the same women lining up to jump over a wooden box placed on the lawn. Several men also join in [in slow motion]. Followed by shots of two women dancing in the garden and people offering treats to a pet dog and cat. The film cuts to a group of people walking along a road with the terrier and a series of close-up shots of the men and then the women talking to each other in small groups.

On Bognor Regis or Southsea beach, a girl (Harry Guermonprez daughter ?) is seen riding on a donkey. Afterwards, the same girl plays with her mother and father on the beach; Harry Guermonprez gives the girl a piggyback. This is followed by close-up shots of the girl, the girl with her mother and the girl with her father building a sandcastle.

Street sign: "Antrim Road. NW3". In London a street in Camden is seen with snow laying on the ground; a group of people have a snowball fight. They set off on foot walking through Regent's Park (?), one of the group is dragged along on a sledge. At nearby Hampstead Heath the group join in with a large group of people who have assembled on the heath to sledge down the hillside. There follows some general street scenes, with a group of people, this time with children, walking through an urban area and Hampstead Heath - there is a brief shot of the frontage of Kenwood House and a view of a snow covered railway track [possibly a London underground line ?]. The family stop near a pond and the children pose for the camera, making silly faces, after which their parents join in.

The film cuts to scenes of a tennis match, followed by the title: "Sunday at the zoo" with a brief shot of a large cat followed by a compilation of shots with intertitles of several animal enclosures, that includes: Intertitle: "Our friend with a hump" a woman next to several Batrian camels in an enclosure. Intertitle: "Mr Brown Bear" view of the bear enclosure. Intertitle: "Miss Tiger" Bengal tiger enclosure. Intertitle: "Sam & Simba" Lion and a Bengal tiger in the same enclosure walking around in circles. A portrait of a Lynx in an enclosure. Intertitle: "Tea Time sea lions", views of the sea lion enclosure. Intertitle: "Soueaks sister penguim" [sic] a penguin is seen. Intertitle: "Polar Bear", a polar bear is sat on a rock, with folded arms, in the enclosure. Intertitle: "Brown Bear begs" a brown bear sat on a rock holding its paws out in front and later lying on its back on the enclosure floor.