First Overland (1958)

This 16mm film is so bursting with colour and life it almost hurts to know this magical age of innocence is gone forever.

In 1955 six students from Oxford and Cambridge set out in two Land-Rovers to drive from London to Singapore. And why not? After all, no-one had ever done it before. Several expeditions had tried and some had got as far as the deserts of Persia; a few had even reached the plains of India. But no-one had managed to go on from there: over the jungle-clad mountains of Assam and across northern Burma to Thailand and Malaya. This beautifully shot film captures our Oxbridge chaps tackling every kind of terrain, crossing deserts and treacherous rivers, and even giving a trick-driving demo to the Iranian Army, all with typical British aplomb and of course, lashings of tea. Six months, six days and 18,000 miles later, two very weary Land Rovers rolled into Singapore to sparkle and fizz of flash-bulbs and champagne. They had indeed made history.

90 minutes, 16mm colour