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The Unseen Alistair Cooke
Thu 17 July 2008 9pm to 10pm BBC4
Cooke had a great curiosity in all things American
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, whose Radio 4 programme Letter from America spanned 58 years. Seen for the first time are extraordinary 8mm home movies shot by Cooke from 1933 onwards, charting his discovery of America, his passions and his friendships. This is a chance to see America as Cooke first saw it - the raw material for a lifetime of journalism. Some of the most fascinating of these films were made during his close friendship with Charlie Chaplin. Thought lost for years, they show Chaplin at leisure on his yacht with Paulette Goddard and Cooke, and are among the most candid footage ever shot of the star. Cooke's story is told in his own voice and in interviews with family and close friends. Both first wife Ruth Emerson Cooke and Jane Cooke - his wife from 1946 - share their memories, and actress Lauren Bacall also recalls their friendship.
Contains quite a bit of colour photography of his travels around America in the 30's.
BBC Magazine - The unseen Alistair Cooke
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