Part of James A. Fitzpatrick's People on Parade series, this MGM short takes the viewer to Alexandria, Egypt. With emphasis on the modern nature of the city, the band of the University of ...
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Part of James A. Fitzpatrick's People on Parade series, this MGM short takes the viewer to Alexandria, Egypt. With emphasis on the modern nature of the city, the band of the University of Alexandria is showcased while people sit in the courtyard of a new hotel. Soccer is the most popular sport and the two major universities have a total of 20,000 students, including women. The film concludes with songs from the police marching band and the many British traditions held over from an earlier time. Written by
This is kind of a weirdo. Certain internal and external evidence gave me the impression that this was a pre-WW2 variation of a Fitzpatrick travelogue. It's in a hereto unknown series called "People on Parade". FitzPatrick's name has been rendered without the capital 'P' in the patronymic. The hard and fast M-G-M rule against sync sound in shorts has been flouted. What a surprise to learn that it was made in 1950. The actual speaking parts are laughingly stilted and brief in the extreme. Most of the sound has been employed to record an Egyptian orchestra playing an imitation of a tune from a pre-war fifth rate British dance band. Of course the hideous truth of imperial hubris expressed by an (unjustified) sense of cultural superiority is exposed. In 1950 Egyptian pop music was entering its Golden Age. All right, its a FitzPatrick trademark to always revert to the convenient cliché with "Egyptian" music (as opposed to Egyptian music) in the background but at least he could have been aware of something fine going on amongst the natives besides how slavishly they aped the "mother country". In the rest of the short the series title, People on Parade, is taken oh so literally occupied as it is by (British trained) military marching bands playing Welsh, Scottish (with bagpipes blaring!) and Irish tunes. I mean give me a break. So what we see in Alexandria, circa 1950, is a fancy dress version of "US". They dance to a rumba beat so they're catching on and will, one day, be just like us. You know, respectable. Inshallah.
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