This episode of Jack Douglas’ television series Across the Seven Seas, “A Midnight In Amsterdam,” takes viewers to the most famous city in the Netherlands for a look at music, flowers, entertainment, and life on the canals. The episode opens with a shot of the inland seaport of Amsterdam (01:13), the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, and the city’s narrow streets lit up at night with neon lights. In the main shopping area of the city, street organs play music for tourists and locals alike (03:05). The episode takes viewers to the workshop of G. Perlee, who built the city’s street organs (03:23). He works on an autobook to play the music in the autopipes. Perlee demonstrates how cranking the wheel brings air into the bellows to play the music. A street musician auditions for a license before a panel of three music judges and fails (05:25); an accordionist passes his audition. The owner of the Bali Restaurant addresses the camera and shows off some of the dishes served at the restaurant (06:30). A young flower merchant stocks flowers early in the morning (08:00), then tells the camera about his day: his mother sets the table for breakfast; the man and his father arrive at their house in their wooden work shoes; the family eats breakfast. The two men then take a barge through the canals to take their flowers to market (10:00). They pull the barge right up to the warehouse at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction (10:45), the largest in the world. At Café Mascotte, patrons enjoy the robot band that appears to play music (12:18). The episode then shows some footage of Amsterdam’s harbor, as ships move in and out (13:17). The captain of the freighter Achilles addresses the camera from the bridge of his ship (14:24). Ships take the North Sea Canal to Ijmuiden, with its enormous locks (14:50). People bike onto a ferry to get across part of the city (15:45). The episode features a family who lives on their Rhine River barge (17:00). The film shows other houseboats, and interviews a family who live on a houseboat. At Zirbel Stube (18:30), musicians perform for the audience. A yodeler performs to the delight of the crowd. A Dutch musician plays an old German-style beer house song (19:38). Customers dance and sing together at the end of the night. Cabaret De Doofpot features comedian Max Tailleur telling jokes (20:42). Next, the episode visits the Anne Frank House (21:26); international students meet in a conference room in the Anne Frank House. The episode concludes with a montage of shots from earlier scenes.
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