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Happy holidays in Killarney, Ireland in 1965.

This post features a longer film than is usually posted on Vintage Home Movies. It’s a film made in 1965 by a couple on holiday in the Killarney National Park in Ireland.

There wasn’t much detective work necessary to find the date of this film because it starts with a nice title sequence which says, ‘Summer 1965, Ilfochrome 25’ and therefore tells us the data and type of film used. I’m assuming the photographer used the same film type during the duration of the film – they would certainly have used multiple reels.

The location was also easy to find since a sign just after the start of the film proper plainly shows Muckross Abbey, and a quick Internet search discovered this is in the Killarney National Park in Southern Ireland. I think from the locations shown in the film it’s likely that most of it was shot in this area of Ireland.

The film is nice quality for one so old; quite often with a film that is over 50 years old (especially one that wasn’t shot on Kodachrome), the colour is faded and the definition soft, but this film is really good quality, only marred somewhat by the poor quality of the scanner I’ve used to convert it to digital.

Film of Holiday in Killarney, Ireland

The film starts with the clever title sequence which has been nicely planned and executed to show where the holiday is taking place.

In fact I think I would use the term ‘clever’ to describe quite a lot of this film. As far as I can see, the only joins in it are at the ends of the individual reels of film, so all the shots have been edited, ‘in camera’ as the holiday is progressing. I think it shows a particularly high skill level to be able to decide which scenes should follow the last and get the timings right when shooting ‘live’ film.

Some Stills from the Killarney, Ireland film

As you would expect for a film shot in a scenic location such as Killarney, there are many shots of the countryside and views around the area. Although I don’t know the area at all, I suspect many parts would be indistinguishable now from the scenes shot in 1965.

The early part of the film show the hotel where the couple are staying and although I can find a Muckross Hotel with an Internet search it look completely different now so I suspect either it was a different hotel in 1965, or it’s been rebuilt.

At about 4 minutes into the film, the couple are seen in formal gardens at a large house, and although we don’t get a clear view of the house I suspect it is Muckross House.

Another image which I found interesting is a short sequence where the lady is seen sitting next to a stone bride be a river and as the camera pans across we see there is another, more modern bridge being built next to it. Although I could find many pictures of stone bridges in Killarney, I couldn’t find one with a modern bridge build next to it so I couldn’t find the exact location.

The film ends with an amusing scene where the lady in the couple holds up a sign saying ‘The End’ next to the hind quarters of a donkey. They had obviously brought the sign with them on their journey and used it appropriately when they found the donkey!

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate scene in this film.

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A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

  1. Roy Gardiner says:

    It was great! The soft subtlety of the Ilfochrome film seemed to me to perfectly suit the beautiful landscape. Overall the film strongly conveyed the essence of a rain-soaked, verdant Eden. I have never been to Ireland but this has really brought home to me the beauty of Killarney.

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