Interesting Movies From The Past…

The Hoax began in 1917, or was it really a hoax? The cousins Elsie Wright (16) and Francis Griffiths (10) maintained throughout their lives, right up until old age, that they had clearly photographed fairies at a Beck in Yorkshire, England. Such was the supposed deception that their resulting pictures have fooled the very best experts in the photographic field, and the mighty Kodak Company would not give any sort of judgement as to the authenticity of the subjects within the plates, even Conan Doyle was convinced the photographs were genuine.

“At least Elsie [Wright] gave us a myth which has never harmed anyone and it looks like continuing to fascinate and entertain well into the future. How many professed photographers can claim to have equaled her achievement with the first photograph they ever took?” Geoffrey Crawley.

The story was turned into a movie in 1997 entitled FairyTale… A True Story, and boasts an all star cast with Florence Hoath as Elsie Wright and Elizabeth Earl as Francis Griffiths, with Paul McGann, Phoebe Nicholls, Harvey Keitel and Peter O’Toole as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
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2 Responses to Interesting Movies From The Past…

  1. To this day, the suburban area of Cottingley continues to get visitors and the official retraction, even though more than 20 years ago, is still not as a well-known as the hoax itself. This may be partly due to the fact that the story was put to film in 1997 under the title Photographing Fairies. Locals are asked where the Fairy Glen is, even though the site along the small river is off limits, due to the danger of erosion. The story begins with Elsie borrowing her father’s camera one Saturday afternoon in July 1917, in order to take Frances’s photo, to cheer her up. She had fallen in the beck and been scolded for wetting her clothes. The girls were away for about half an hour and when Elsie’s father developed the plate later in the afternoon, he was surprised to see strange white shapes coming up. He believed these were birds, then sandwich paper, but it was Elsie who told him these were fairies. Apparently, in order to prove that fairies really did exist, Elsie had taken the picture, showing Frances with a troop of sprites dancing in front of her. In August, the roles were reversed and Frances took a photograph of Elsie with a gnome. The print was under-exposed and unclear, as might be expected when taken by a ten year old. The plate was again developed by Elsie’s father, who suspected that the girls had been playing tricks and refused to lend his camera to them any more. Elsie’s parents searched the girls’ bedroom and waste-paper basket for any scraps of pictures or cut-outs, and also went down to the beck to search for evidence of fakery. They found nothing, and the girls stuck to their story: they had seen fairies and photographed them.

  2. outlet says:

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