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London's Contrasts (1924)


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 titles are played over shots of Piccadilly Circus, a bas-relief and the Liberty department store. Horses and pedestrians at Hyde Park and a troop ceremony are contrasted with scenes at an East End street market. West End traffic of trams, cars and horse-drawn vehicles is compared to a quiet narrow street near St Paul's. An old milliner's shop is shown with hats in the window, followed by a new building in Trafalgar Square.

A coachman leaves the Queen Elizabeth Inn and acts as the guide for the rest of the film, for his two horse-bus passengers and the film audience. He points out an old merchant house and compares it to views of Selfridges. A roof garden with a fountain on Duke Street is shown. A line of parked motorcars is shown before a shot of a similar line of parked horse and donkey carts. The Old Vic Theatre, a street market, York Gate, and skull-ornamented gate at St. Olave's Church are pointed out in succession. Views of department stores, including the Galeries Lafayette on Regent Street, are contrasted with Berwick Street Market and Caledonian Market, with shots of some of the merchandise available. Scenes above and below Hammersmith Bridge end the film, with a look at the fishing boats on the banks of the Thames beneath the bridge.