One Potato, Two Potato (1957) extract (Great Britain)

May
23

Posted by BFIfilms
February 13, 2008

Video Summary:
"This film is available to buy as part of the BFI's 'Free Cinema' DVD - http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/...

Filmed over a 12-month period, this study of children's games played in London streets and playgrounds stands out for its freshness and spontaneity; it remains an important companion piece to Peter and Iona Opie's classic studies of children's games and rhymes.

Director Leslie Daiken demonstrates considerable skill and understanding in the way he captures the children, whose games range from the repetitive tongue-twisters chanted by the girls to a small boy trailing a stick along iron railings.

Made over a decade after the end of the war, the film also stands as a record of the bomb sites that pockmarked London and provided many urban children with a place to play. (Robin Baker)

You can watch this and over 1200 other complete films and TV programmes from the BFI National Archive free of charge at the new BFI Mediatheque - http://www.bfi.org.uk/mediatheque "

1 comment

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Selected viewer comments from http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=9DrGijdmBqU

Posted in 2009

muffinisis-i was nine, i do not recognise most of these but lived in manchester, the oleary one i do though

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Sibelius92 -We did some of these 10 years later, still going strong in the late 60s. I can still remember a few others!

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Julian9ehp-And so many of these chants are similar to American versions. I _wish_ I could see the whole movie! I'm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and it's unlikely that I'll come to England any time soon.

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dixieshaz - I too remember doing them in the 60s.. i wonder if they have made a mistake with the date? The hairstyles and clothes look more 60s to me. Having said that the film has brought back some lovely memories

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barbgold -Hi - it was definitely in the 50's. I was in the last part and could not have been older than about 9 which would be 1953.

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barbgold- I am one of the girls in the last scene. I remember making this with some of my friends.

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marvy1118 - barbgold - how in the world did you come across this film? Just lucky?

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barbgold-The girl leading the group I was in was Barbara Freedman (nee Chaplin) and we were friends. Much later after I was married and living in Redbridge, we met up again by chance and were friends for a while there. We lost contact until recently when she contacted me on Friends Reunited and sent me the U-Tube site for the video. Life is strange.

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sewitt60 -The last song they are singing is about the Manchester Ship Canal

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freacls-my mum can do that with the balls and toss it under her legs still she was showing me and my neice that last week lol and singing old songs iv never heard off lol

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muffinisis- i lived in manchester the songs were slightly different, but i recognise the games

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darkangel2347-Such playgroung games, songs and chants are now almost extinct now due to the dumbing down effect of mass media. For future generations to still remember this stuff, we need to record this stuff on either video or in book format.

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churchsinger-in russia the satuation is the very same as you're talking about

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Azizip17 -@darkangel2347 While some playground games, songs, and chants are extinct, others have been modified and new ones have been created. For example, I've collected an example of Blue Bells Cockle Shells in which the girl recites Blue Bells taco shells. I love that folk etymology. To read more (mostly American) examples, google Cocojams handclap, jump rope, and elastic rhymes. [posted in 2010]

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stevgan60 - I was born in London in 1947 and remembered all those rhymes (and playing on bomb sites!) It really took me back, Brilliant!

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annikee59 -Amazing that we sang and played these games in NYC in the 60s. Slightly different lyrics, but exactly the same routines.

Posted in 2010:

kevjkx -@dixieshaz I also grew up in the 60's, I agree the clothes do look very 60's but then things didn't change that much between about 1955 /1965, it was more during the later 60's that fasions, (paritularly childrens fasions) realy changed.

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kevjkx-@barbgold I lived in the Redbridge area, in sth Woodford, I was born in 1959, I remember the girls played those skipping games in the 60's, being boys though we played games such as 3 and in, with a football, we would take shots at goal, (which was painted on a wall) if you beat the goalie 3 times, you would go in goal, then there was foot cricket, with a tennis ball, we used a lamp post as the wicket, we couldn't afford cricket bats so we would kick the ball instead. memories

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freacls -i uded to play some of these games as a little kid at school even the boys joined in and that was 90s nowadays the kids dont play these games its all combat fightin games and pc games i loved skipping games and that

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DEROUGET-Brilliant film. I started school in 1962 and remember most of these games. We used to play French cricket which involved using our legs as the wicket. We played in the road as there was so little traffic that we were rarely interrupted. I remember the bomb sites too.

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alukuhito -At least we don't have to play in groups like that though. Seems a little too much about conformity and society. What if you're the bright kid and always have to play with stupid kids? It's not very fair. At least now you can play video games by yourself and excel as much as you want, whether it be competing against yourself, or playing with others online if you so desire.

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romanbrough- Governments keep telling us how much better we are off now. But I think society is much poorer now than it was then. We have more things, but a lot less freedom.

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