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British Film At War

A Vision of Albion
Cecil Hepworth 1874-1953
Rescued By Rover (1905)
Through Ealing's Eyes. I
Sir Michael Balcon
Through Ealing's Eyes.II
"Just Room For One Inside Sir..."
Other Eyes, Other Visions
British Film At War
A Canterbury Tale (1944)
The Post-War Years
Brighton Rock (1947)
London Belongs To Me (1948)
Scott of The Antarctic (1948)
Tiger Bay (1959)
Whistle down the Wind (1961)
Sir John Mills (1908 - 2005)

1939 - 1945

Fires Were Started (1943)


London is burning in this classic wartime account of the blitz during Luftwaffe bombing raids. Fires Were Started is a dramatised paean to the men and women of the Auxiliary Fire Service made by the Crown Film Unit during W.W.II.and directed by Humphrey Jennings. This film is considered, along with Listen to Britain, to be Jennings' masterworks of the wartime phase of his career  Fires Were Started is no gung-ho propaganda piece: it simply records the everyday lives and acts of courage of seven fire-fighters and their new recruit over a fictional 24-hour period. The film begins during the day as the unit gather from their varying walks of life at the fire station, prepare their apparatus, participate in training, inspect the daytime bombing damage caused in London, and socialise together as night begins to fall. The sound of an air-raid siren and anti-aircraft fire signals the beginning of the bombing raid, and promptly the unit is called out to attend to some incendiaries that have fallen on a warehouse. We follow the firemen as they fight the blaze through the night until day breaks and the all-clear sounds.

This Happy Breed (1944)

This Happy Breed. 1944 [click for larger image]

Listen to Britain 1942. Humphrey Jennings1907-1950

Ealing Studios' diverse and fascinating
WW II propaganda films

Gainsborough Pictures.
Launder & Gilliat film about the
lives of women during World War II

Ealing Studios
When the oil tanker San Demetrio
is hit by enemy fire, the crew
abandon ship. But after several days
adrift in a lifeboat, some of
the crew find theship miraculously
still afloat. With courage and
determination they
steerthe tanker home.
this is one incredible film to watch
highly recommended

Ealing Studios
this film was among the last of
Ealing's wartime films to take
the conflict as its subject - by 1943,
 the war was already on the turn,
 and the Blitz could be remembered
with a tinge of pride, as an early
challenge that was seen through
 with courage and fortitude.this
film is a fictional counterpart to
Humphrey Jennings' Fires Were Started
highly recommended

Gainsborough Pictures
The inhabitants of a
women's internment camp
in Nazi-occupied France
put aside their social differences and
band together in solidarity against 
their captors

Gainsborough Pictures.
London 1940: Tillie Colter, lonely
during her husband Jim's army service,
 falls for the local charmer Ted Purvis,
who has dodged the army. Jim
discovers the relationship and
deserts the Army to return home.

The Bells Go Down 1943

Worker and War Front
Ministry of Information-sponsored
World War II workers' newsreels

image from Worker and War Front. No. 1


News items about workers' rations,
desert war equipment, etc.

News items about dockers, scrap
metal, David Low and 'Hi Gang'

Warwork News
Sponsored by the Ministry of Supply,
it was released fortnightly for
distribution in factories.

Warwork News 1941-1945

the introduction

News item about Allied military
operations in Dieppe.

News items about women war workers
and supply convoys

News items about shipbuilding,
Burma, the Pacific and Sicily

News items about factory canteens,
Italy and the Cairo conference

News items about Mussolini, the Italian
campaign and factory workers' health

News items about Italian pipelines and
Ulster's wartime contribution

News items about bombing Germany
and a talk by Montgomery

News item about Churchill visiting the
Allied front in Normandy

San Demetrio London. 1943. VHS release date 2001

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