Fantastic film educating Americans on the bizarre customs, etiquette and traditions of the British! c. 1974
Fabulous documentary made to educate American businessmen on the peculiar ways, customs, etiquette and traditions of the British. "Do they mean us?!"
C/U of one of Her Majesty's Horse Guards sitting astride his horse. Camera pulls back. Various shots of London landmarks and street scenes. Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, Policemen, traffic warden, fruit and vegetable market stall, girl riding a bicycle through London traffic, Rolls Royce, Tower Bridge, kids sitting on one of the Lions in Trafalgar Square, girl feeding pigeons in the Square, Post Office Tower, Nelson's column, London bus etc.
American voiceover speaks of Britain's former Empire. Empire marked in red on a map. Fast moving shot across the sea towards White Cliffs of Dover - shot from an aircraft. Aerial shot moves across the fields. Other aerial shots of large stately homes. Voiceover speaks of how Britain was the home of the inventor of the steam engine, the hovercraft and of the discoverer of electricity and of the pioneers in the field of atomic research. Narrator advises that "if you want to do business there remember that it was the seed bed of the 19th Century Industrial Revolution, one of the most important financial centres and one of the worlds major manufacturing and trading nations." Victorian engraving and contemporary shot of Bank of England. Business men on their way to work. London traffic. Brewers dray. Women walking to work.
Voiceover: "We shall tell you who the Britons are, where they are and how to treat them socially, commercially." L/S of Post Office (BT) Tower; pull back and pan across rooftops of London and River Thames to Tower Bridge. Narrator gives facts and figures about London then describes how the United Kingdom is not just London but made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Geographic facts are given. "If you are not absolutely certain do not call anyone an Englishman - he may be from Scotland..." English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish flags are shown. "Call them all British - this avoids giving offence." Union Jack - it fills the screen then we see it flying on a mast.
Narrator describes the legal and political system in Britain. House of Commons and House of Lords are seen. Queen addresses the House of Lords. Various shots of plaques identifying various civil service departments. H.M. Customs & Excise, Department of Health and Social Security, Department of the Environment, Privy Council, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Home Office. Embassies and Consulates around the world are shown on a map of the world.
Narrator begins to speak of Imports and Exports - shots of various Export houses. Cargo lifted onto a boat. L/S of the headquarters of the Department of Trade and Industry. High angle shot of a cargo ship. Banking and Financial systems of Britain are discussed. Commercial Banks and Clearing Houses are discussed and signs for international banks based in London are seen: Chase Manhattan, Canadian Bank of Commerce, Mitsubishi Bank, Marine Midland Bank, Company Chemical Bank New York Trust, Credito Italiano, Royal Bank of Canada, Arab Bank Ltd.
Foreign Exchange Market and Commodity Market are discussed. Midland Bank, Lloyd's Bank, National Westminster Bank, Barclays Bank, Bank of Scotland signs are featured. Typical British businessman in suit and bowler hat stands in front of National Westminster Bank sign. He walks along and walks through the doors of a building. Narrator states that the old idea of business being dominated by tradition is no longer correct. British business is now much more flexible. The man walks into a modern office. British business practice is compared to the North American style and the European style. Businessman is seen travelling in a taxi consulting his papers.
Narrator advises that "Most executives appreciate at least one month's notice to make an appointment." also advises to make a time for the meeting "be precise - they like it." "The British like to be on time." Continued.