Dec 7, 1936
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MOVIE OF THE WEEK
Lloyd's of London
THE FAMOUS LONDON INSTITUTION of Lloyd's will insure against any and all risks -- even those of making a motion picture. Darryl F. Zanuck, production chief of Twentieth Century-Fox, became aware of Lloyd's when he had to remake Under Two Flags and Lloyd's covered the huge loss. Zanuck discovered that Lloyd's was not an insurance company at all but a place of work for hundreds of British underwriters. Originally it had been a coffee shop. It grew great at the close of the eighteenth century under the chairmanship of John Julius Angerstein. Zanuck needed only two more facts to make a movie. The facts were that this was the period of the Napoleonic wars, and its greatest British hero was Lord Nelson. The movie begins in 1770 with two boys, Jonathan Blake and Horatio Nelson. Young Nelson goes to sea, young Blake to Lloyds. Years later, when Britain's merchant vessels are menaced by Napoleon, the powers at Lloyd's want the British fleet split up to convoy each vessel. Jonathan thinks of his boyhood chum, who is now Admiral Nelson, and fights to keep the fleet intact. He is nearly ruined in the attempt, but, in the end, is happy with his sweetheart and the glorious news of Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. The Blake part of this story is fictional, but much of the rest is sound history.