Bundle of photographs

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 FRD1/10/2/68
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 39 (/1-18) and 68 (/19-46).
  • Dates of Creation
      n.d. [1951]
  • Physical Description
      Print sizes range from approx. 16 x 11 cm to 25 x 20 cm. 46 pieces.

Scope and Content

Photographs originally stored in two separate envelopes: /1-18 were labelled "'Magic Box' including Queen mother and Princess Margaret" and /19-46 were labelled simply "The Magic Box". Both are similar in format and there is some duplication between the bundles. They all relate to the 1951 Festival of Britain film in which RD played William Friese-Greene, and mostly consist of behind-the-scenes style publicity shots rather than stills from the film itself. They include: 

  • /1-3: Half-length shots of RD as Friese-Greene, possibly make-up tests for the film.
  • /4-9, /12-18, /20-27 and /31-7: Behind-the-scenes publicity shots of RD and others on set or preparing for filming, including: various shots of RD with other actors, and with the director (John Boulting), screen writer (Eric Ambler) and other crew members; RD meeting Peter Friese-Greene, William's nephew (/9); and RD meeting Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth (wife of George VI) (/12-16).
  • /10 and /38-46: Studio publicity shots of RD as Friese-Greene, and one (/24) which also includes Margaret Johnston.
  • /11 and /28-30: Behind-the-scenes shots of RD in his dressing room.
  • /19: Still from the film showing RD as Friese-Greene working his camera, with Laurence Olivier as the policeman.

/12-16 are by the Herts Advertiser, St Albans; /17-18 are by James Jarché of Picturegoer; /19 was provided by the National Film Archive; and /38-46 are by George Higgins.

Access Information

/19 is closed to readers for copyright reasons.