A young girl takes an old mantle clock to a clock-maker to find a new key. (clip)

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  • Edinburgh


  • Water and waterways


  • Experimental


  • 1970s

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Reference number: 6776

Date: 1978c

Sound: sound

Original format: 35mm

Colour: col

Fiction: fiction

Running time: 24.17 mins

Description: Short drama, told with very little dialogue. Concerns two elderly men; the life of one of whom seems tied in to the winding down of a clock... Set around Edinburgh, this has shots of the Mound, Dalmeny Shore Walk Ferry and the Chain Pier Bar.

May also be known under working title 'CLOCKS' (?)

Credits: with John Morton, Alex Gray, Moira McGlinchy
from an original screenplay by G. Clydesdale and Ed McConnell

Shotlist: REEL 1
[COL] title and opening credits (0.33) an elderly man sits reading in chair. C/u card 'Happy 75 Birthday', c/u of clock ticking rather menacingly. C/u birthday candles being lit and snuffed out (1.32) the man places card on mantlepiece, looks at a photograph of him and a friend in happy times. Various shots of him holding up clock, listening [BW] still images of the two men standing with clock and sharing a dram of whisky (1.59) [COL] cut to ints living room where elderly man pours himself a dram and drinks it, all the while the clock chimes (2.28) exts house, gvs shore (Firth of Forth?), shot of calm water and boat (2.52) cityscape, Edinburgh, exts flats, zoom in on window (3.19) ints, the friend working on a gold clock face. There is a '75th Birthday' cake on the shelf. He opens up the back of the clock (4.17) cut to other man, putting his coat and cap on inside house, and looking in mirror (4.44) exts, he leaves house, passing sign for 'Ferry Dalmeny Shore Walk' (5.03) he gets into boat and the boatman rows away (5.43) ints other man, a young girl adds the candles to the cake (6.11) wide angle shot of elderly man walking along front, the Forth Road and Rail Bridges clearly in background (6.42) exts Chain Pier Bar with sign for 'A Moss Wine and Spirit Merchant', he enters bar (6.58) ints as he joins a group of younger men, they share a drink and chat, slow pan left to show walls of pub covered in posters, price lists, pictures etc (7.36) c/u young girl drawing flowers with coloured crayons (7.43) older man snoozing in chair beside her, cut to gold clock ticking, the time now stopped. Once the young girl knows the man is fast asleep, she takes the clock out of the flat with her (8.25) street, backyard where group of boys play football. The young girl walks by and is jostled and followed for a short time by the group of boys (8.42) shot of little girl going down steps carrying the clock, at The Mound, passers by clearly in view (9.06) ints clock shop, gvs ornate and antique clocks. The little girl stands in awe of these items, and then walks through the back room (10.27) ints back room where watchmaker is working on clocks, gramophones etc (10.52) cut to birthday man walking along street (11.02) watchmaker manages to find a key to wind up the clock successfully (11.44) c/u clock mechanism, various angles same, and finishing with c/u 'sands of time' counter (13.58) clock is wound and the key given to young girl (14.22) she leaves the shop, waving goodbye (14.26) girl crosses very busy street, where policemen directs traffic (14.36) the man stands at crossing watching the pelican lights flash rhythmically (15.11) shot of young boys playing football - they start pushing the little girl with the clock around, as she tries to pass them. There is a fracas and the key is lost down a drain (15.54) shot of man climbing stairs at The Mound (16.20) view over Princes Street Gardens towards Edinburgh New Town, pan left to Castle (16.34) the One O'Clock Gun is prepared by soldier on Castle ramparts (16.43) cut to ints of man asleep, the young girl returns the clock back to the table (16.52) shot of old man covering his ears up as the gun goes off, men check their watches in the street, the other man awakens to find the clock he left on the table is now at the correct time of 1 o'clock (17.17) 1558ft

man walking up hill to Ramsey Gardens (0.27) ints room, as man and young girl stare at clock. They get cake out and welcome the birthday man in to celebrate (1.18) cut to boys in street, who point towards drain (1.37) shot of man blowing out his birthday candles (1.56) boys fish for the key down the drain using a fish-hook on a string (2.18) man makes a paper boat / hat for the young girl (2.36) montage of shots: clock, candle, key (2.52) men and girl look through photograph album, intercut with key being retrieved, candle burning away, the sound of a clock ticking, c/u ear (4.17) c/u photo album, now with empty pages, cut to man with expression of horror on his face, the clock stops. The boy, having captured key, runs up stairs and winds clock - the party resumes (5.42) man standing on rowing boat smoking a cigar, wearing party hat and waving goodbye to children (6.10) young boy and girl stand on misty shore (6.26) c/u waves lapping, ecs overlaid (7.00) 630ft