Images of Amsterdam, with many shots of the Amstel Hotel. The intertitles are in English.
Around 1927, Alex Benno (whose real name was Benjamin Bonefang; 1873-1952) made the film Beautiful Amsterdam, an advertising film for Amsterdam’s Amstel Hotel. It was not Benno’s first film to depict the city of Amsterdam and its most beautiful locales. A few years earlier, in 1924, he had directed the film Amsterdam in Woord en Beeld. This was a long feature film in which a tour guide leads a group of American tourists through Amsterdam in a Lissone bus. Because it was made in the era of the silent film, the ‘words’ were provided by actors located behind the silver screen, whose voices were amplified by loudspeakers.
Beautiful Amsterdam is a much shorter film, made for a foreign (namely American) audience. English intertitles informed this audience about the most characteristic and interesting spots in the city.
At several points in the film, Benno makes use of the so-called 'phantom ride', a popular stylistic device from the earliest days of film in which the camera is mounted on a moving vehicle, allowing us to see the city passing by in front of us.