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Mining Review 1/7: Coal on Ice (1948)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

The commentary also doubles as a synopsis, and is therefore reproduced in full:

Blairhall Colliery, Scotland. Among these men is Tom Syme, miner. This was his last shift at the pit before leaving for St Moritz. Tom was picked for the British ice hockey team at this year's Olympic Games.

At Dunfermline station, Tom's parents and friends see him off on the first stage of his journey to Switzerland. Tom's father and his brother are there - they work in the same pit.

Tom wasn't to know what we know now - that because the Americans weren't sure what team to play, there was practically an international incident. Ice hockey had to be taken out of the games proper and moved into a friendly competition. Then, on top of that, the thaw set in and the ice began to disappear. But anyway, Tom Syme had plenty of bruises to show for his trip, and he put up a good show for us.

This is Dunfermline ice rink, where Tom trained for two and a half years. Who wouldn't, in this company?

And this was Tom's last practice game with the Dunfermline Senior team, playing against the Juniors. Tom is only eighteen, by the way. Watch for number 12 - that's Tom. The man making the run is Tom's brother Tiny. Tiny?

Ice hockey is a fast game, and the players are changed every few minutes. It's Tom's turn to watch now. This is a game that calls for real enthusiasm as well as skill - strenuous work after a day in the pits!