Accompanied by music on disc
"In L'Ile d'Orléans, Radford and Judith Crawley cross a bridge and come back. But they cross a bridge with a difference, because what they see and what they make us see on the other side of that bridge is the inner essence of a withdrawn people, who proudly conserve the memory of things past in the realities of things here. The Maxim Award winner opens a door into a region of Eastern Canada — the Island of Orleans — where old French and old Canadian folkways are lived placidly and with dignity. Actually, the camera crosses a very modern bridge at the film's beginning and returns over it at its end. But, once in L'Ile d'Orléans, in the hands of the two Crawleys, this Twentieth Century box of wheels and gears spins a tale of yesterday, even if it pictures just what its lens sees today. The landscape and the old houses, some of them there for more than two hundred years, set the decor, after which we come to the dwellers in this separate Arcady. They do, with a delightful unconsciousness of being observed, the things that make up their daily lives, and, when invited to take notice of the visitors, they do this with a fine courtesy that is the very refinement of hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Crawley devote a liberal part of their footage to a careful study of home cheese making, in which camera positions and a large number of close shots turn what might have been a dull and factual record into something of cinematographic distinction. The highlight of the Crawleys' film is a leisurely and sympathetic watching of what is the highlight of life in l'Ile d'Orléans — the country Sunday. We see different churches, all of a general type, but each with its essential neighborhood individuality. Finally, one of these is singled out for an extensive camera visit. Bells ring and the country priest is shown with his gravity and solemn courtesy. The countryside comes to life with its church bound inhabitants who wind over the simple roads slowly yet purposefully and with the assurance of those who know that the land is theirs as it was their fathers'. With such pictures of everyday life, scored with appropriate music for double turntable showing, Mr. and Mrs. Crawley have etched an epoch, in a record which can stand on its own feet with good genre description in any art form. With not a single concession to sentimentality — as should be the case in honest work — but with a sure feeling for that which reaches out for the finer emotions, they have shown us what they found across the bridge. Here is personal filming at its best." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 608-609.
Discussed by F. Radford Crawley in "Three Days of Sequences" (Movie Makers, Feb. 1940, 62-63, 70).
With full diacritics, the film is titled L'Île d'Orléans. The film was produced during the Crawleys' honeymoon in l'Île d'Orléans.
The film was available in the ACL's Club Film Library.
The film is a part of the Crawley Films Limited collection held by Library and Archives Canada.
Crawley Films Limited collection, Library and Archives Canada
"A travelogue of Île d'Orléans. The trip begins and ends with the bridge crossing. Footage includes the exteriors of the island's six churches; various houses; fields being ploughed; horse-drawn wagons; eel fishing and a step-by-step explanation of how the island's special cheese is made." Via Library and Archives Canada.