The Unseen Alistair Cooke

BBC Bristol Factual   |   UK

Marking the 2008 centenary of Alistair Cooke's birth, this documentary is a revealing portrait of one of the most celebrated broadcasters of the 20th Century. Cooke's story is told through his extraordinary 8mm home movies shot from 1933 onwards – a chance to see America as Cooke first saw it. Some of the most fascinating material was filmed during his close friendship with Charlie Chaplin, and is among the most candid footage ever shot of the star. Using Cooke's own words and interviews with family and close friends - including legendary actress Lauren Bacall - we discover the unseen Alistair Cooke. Reason for Submission: The Unseen Alistair Cooke uses newly discovered home movie archive shot by Cooke. The narrative of the film was led by this archive, allowing us to explore unusual areas of Cooke's biography, and connect the visual “raw material” with his later journalistic work. There is testimony from many of those who themselves appear in the movies. A sympathetic graphic frame was devised, allowing 4x3 material to be shown without cropping. Library footage from BBC and outside suppliers was integrated with material from Cooke and his son, but the graphic frames help to distinguish material shot by Cooke from other footage.