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The London Nobody Knows (1969)

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Title: The London Nobody Knows (1969)

The London Nobody Knows (1969) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Release Date:

26 May 1969 (West Germany)  »

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The London Nobody Knows  »

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Should be seen by anyone interested in the Britain of the past
14 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In stark contrast to the colourful, "swinging" imagery of 1960's London we are all too familiar with, The London Nobody Knows, displays the dying, decaying underbelly of old Victorian values, practices and architecture. We are shown proto-delboy's hawking goods in now-dead street markets. Bizarre buskers and street performers act out their defunct acts to grey, bewildered onlookers. Old forgotten men pay 6 shillings a week for bed and breakfast in Salvation Army hostels, the memories of the war lingering in their haggard faces.

Written by Bolton-born artist and art critic, Geoffrey Fletcher, based on his own book of the same name, he illustrates a world that is fundamentally changing. A mournful tome to the decrepit, and disappearing 19th century city. James Mason narrates; he informs of historical anecdotes, and guides us through the multitude of eccentrics, losers, and hopeless characters cluttering the streets, and displays their almost archaic interests and habits.

The London Nobody Knows is a perfect artifact of a Britain before the almost complete Americanisation of its streets, industries and culture, that as to come in the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's. Like the Free Cinema movement of the '50's (headed by the likes of Lindsay Anderson), and the British transport film, and GPO documentaries, this represents a view of a very different, almost alien Britain to the one we live in now. Beautiful, horrifying, insightful, strange, and even emotional. A film that should be seen by anyone interested in the Britain of the past.

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