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Home Movies & Amateur Film

Celluloid scrapbooks: the most intimate and personal of films invite us into Britain's birthday parties, back gardens and beach holidays.

Home movies are intimate catalogues of everyday life: birthdays and holidays, childhoods and neighbourhoods. Each reel is a private scrapbook - memories of cherished people, places and times committed to film. Rarely shared outside the family, home movies are the most intensely personal kind of filmmaking. They are by us, of us, for us. Victorian inventors put filmmaking gear in the hands of wealthy amateurs, but decade by decade, home moviemaking technology has become ever cheaper, simpler and more ubiquitous.

Our home movies look much as they always have: in and out of focus, thumbs over the lens, wobbly framing, over-enthusiastic pans. But these flaws can't diminish their warm authenticity. Collectively, the nation's home movies make up a patchwork archive of British social life, of whims and ways, loves loved and lives lived.

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Home Movies & Amateur Film

RECOMMENDED

View Ibberson Family and VE Day
Ibberson Family and VE Day
Watch for free 16 mins

Ibberson Family and VE Day 1945

Whether it’s the height of the war or its aftermath makes no difference to these children enjoying themselves: at the seaside, on V E Day and around the bomb sites of Sheffield.

16 mins United Kingdom

View Flying a Kite
Flying a Kite
Watch for free 1 mins

Flying a Kite 1903

In the year the Wright Brothers made their first flight, an Edwardian family film themselves taking to the skies… sort of.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Lloyd George's Visit to Germany
Lloyd George's Visit to Germany
Watch for free 20 mins

Lloyd George's Visit to Germany 1936

The former Liberal PM tours the sights of Nazi Germany while his chauffeurs lark about with an SS Officer in this grimly fascinating film.

20 mins United Kingdom

View Amy Johnson Family Films
Amy Johnson Family Films
Watch for free 13 mins

Amy Johnson Family Films 1932

A rare insight into the public and private lives of the pioneering aviator, filmed by her father.

13 mins Great Britain

View Ut Proficias
Ut Proficias
Watch for free 16 mins

Ut Proficias 1953

A day in the life of a school - filmed by a pupil who later became one of Britain's best documentary makers.

16 mins United Kingdom

View Problems End
Problems End
Watch for free 3 mins

Problems End 1964

Petty party politics gets animated - literally - in this amateur cartoon with a message.

3 mins United Kingdom

BROWSE THE COLLECTION

View Children's Excursion 1952
Children's Excursion 1952
Watch for free 10 mins

Children's Excursion 1952 1952

Classic 1950s buses take the children of Moniaive for an adventure in Edinburgh, in this wonderful amateur film complete with fizzy pop, elephants and steam trains.

10 mins Scotland

View Mrs Newlywed's First Dinner
Mrs Newlywed's First Dinner
Watch for free 7 mins

Mrs Newlywed's First Dinner 1949

There are culinary catastrophes galore when Mrs Newlywed attempts to cook the couple's first meal in their austerity kitchen.

7 mins United Kingdom Director. John Hanson Richardson

View This England - London: City and Covent Garden
This England - London: City and Covent Garden
Watch for free 15 mins

This England - London: City and Covent Garden 1934

A man with a dozen baskets on his head and Big Ben shrouded in scaffolding feature in this amateur movie exploring various London sites in 1934.

15 mins United Kingdom

View Helping Jessie in the garden
Helping Jessie in the garden
Watch for free 5 mins

Helping Jessie in the garden 1968

Two Teddy Bears look on happily, as before their glassy eyes a normal suburban family falls victim to some very abnormal goings on in their back garden.

5 mins United Kingdom

View Aldermaston
Aldermaston
Watch for free

Aldermaston 1962

A fascinating record of the 1962 Aldermaston March featuring Canon John Collins, Michael Foot and thousands of marchers of all ages.

25 mins United Kingdom

View Children on Camera - A Primer about Movies
Children on Camera - A Primer about Movies
Watch for free 12 mins

Children on Camera - A Primer about Movies 1969

Minimalist movie making at its best: kids learn the art of film language using illustrations and margarine boxes.

12 mins United Kingdom Director. Victor Thompson

View Using the Camera
Using the Camera
Watch for free 17 mins

Using the Camera 1963

All the practical dos and don'ts for the amateur film enthusiast, courtesy of Kodak.

17 mins United Kingdom

View Amateur Talkies
Amateur Talkies
Watch for free 11 mins

Amateur Talkies 1956

Prolific home movie maker Sid Douglas shares his secrets for the ambitious amateur.

11 mins United Kingdom

View V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th
V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th
Watch for free 9 mins

V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th 1945

You can almost hear the cheers in this gorgeous silent film of VE Day celebrations on the red, white and blue decked streets of Gateshead.

9 mins England

View Evacuees and ARP Training Exercises
Evacuees and ARP Training Exercises
Watch for free 19 mins

Evacuees and ARP Training Exercises 1939

Members of Herne Bay's First Aid Posts gear up for gas-attack casualties in this remarkable film, which also features a visit to the deep tunnel shelters in the cliffs of Ramsgate.

19 mins United Kingdom

View Heronsdale Manor Harvest
Heronsdale Manor Harvest
Watch for free 3 mins

Heronsdale Manor Harvest 1942

The war seems far away in this pastoral film but suddenly there's a reminder when a flight of Hurricanes pass overhead. Then it's back to the work of feeding the nation.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Bombed Out
Bombed Out
Watch for free 8 mins

Bombed Out 1945

Step into the aftermath of a WWII bombing raid in south London in this startling amateur film.

8 mins United Kingdom

View Summer Holiday 1939
Summer Holiday 1939
Watch for free 6 mins

Summer Holiday 1939 1939

It was business as usual as the university came down for the summer break and Cambridge don Trevor Spittle and his family headed to their new holiday home at Portcothan, Cornwall.

6 mins United Kingdom

View Solihull in Wartime
Solihull in Wartime
Watch for free

Solihull in Wartime 1943

Preparation and readiness is the order of the day as the different branches of the home front services in Solihull do their bit in the fight for the future of the nation.

22 mins United Kingdom

View Among the Tribes in South-West China
Among the Tribes in South-West China
Watch for free

Among the Tribes in South-West China 1948

This alluring travelogue follows a missionary on his colourful journey into the ethnically diverse mountains of Yunnan, south west China.

21 mins United Kingdom

View Coronation Day - Hong Kong 12 May 1937
Coronation Day - Hong Kong 12 May 1937
Watch for free 10 mins

Coronation Day - Hong Kong 12 May 1937 1938

Crowds pack the streets of Hong Kong for a stunning procession of dragon dancers, drummers and stilt walkers in celebration of George VI's crowning.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Hangzhou and a Trip to the Baochu Pagoda
Hangzhou and a Trip to the Baochu Pagoda
Watch for free 4 mins

Hangzhou and a Trip to the Baochu Pagoda 1930

The remarkable Baochu pagoda dominates this film about a visit to the West Lake at Hangzhou.

4 mins United Kingdom

View Salmon Fishing in Skye
Salmon Fishing in Skye
Watch for free 8 mins

Salmon Fishing in Skye 1938

Hardy salmon fishermen on the scenic shores of Skye work their nets in pursuit of a plentiful silver paycheck in this award winning early colour educational film from 1938.

8 mins Scotland

View Cine Snapshots - 1938
Cine Snapshots - 1938
Watch for free 9 mins

Cine Snapshots - 1938 1937

Beautiful and engaging amateur footage of a lively 1930s Hong Kong.

9 mins United Kingdom

View Peddlers' Progress
Peddlers' Progress
Watch for free 9 mins

Peddlers' Progress 1949

Join four clean-cut intrepid youngsters on an awfully big 1940s adventure as they sing and cycle their way around the youth hostels of scenic Scotland in glorious colour. Tally ho!

9 mins

View A Governor's Notebook 1
A Governor's Notebook 1
Watch for free 2 mins

A Governor's Notebook 1 1953

An unforgettable day for Lady Wakehurst as the glamorous new monarch delights the crowds at Stormont

2 mins Northern Ireland

View Midsummer Madness - An Idiotic Idyll
Midsummer Madness - An Idiotic Idyll
Watch for free 1 mins

Midsummer Madness - An Idiotic Idyll 1933

Four bright young things enact a midsummer's love tryst among the daisies in this short, well-crafted amateur fiction film.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Psyche's Wedding
Psyche's Wedding
Watch for free 9 mins

Psyche's Wedding 1920

Bright young things thereto plight troth in a society wedding.

9 mins United Kingdom

View Local Scenes and Family Pictures
Local Scenes and Family Pictures
Watch for free 14 mins

Local Scenes and Family Pictures 1927

Grandma and Grandad also join in the fun of this home movie - with beaches, swings & roundabouts and a medieval pageant led by Christopher Robin

14 mins United Kingdom

View Marjorie Glasspool Films Her Family in Alton
Marjorie Glasspool Films Her Family in Alton
Watch for free 8 mins

Marjorie Glasspool Films Her Family in Alton 1930

Marjorie Glasspool's home movie captures a variety of events and occasions experienced by a Hampshire family

8 mins United Kingdom

View Flying a Kite
Flying a Kite
Watch for free 1 mins

Flying a Kite 1903

In the year the Wright Brothers made their first flight, an Edwardian family film themselves taking to the skies… sort of.

1 mins United Kingdom

View The Scarlet Woman
The Scarlet Woman
Watch for free

The Scarlet Woman 1924

Catholic fantasy starring Elsa Lanchester and Evelyn Waugh in an Andy Warhol fright wig.

43 mins United Kingdom Director. Terence Greenidge

View The Witch's Fiddle
The Witch's Fiddle
Watch for free 5 mins

The Witch's Fiddle 1924

Gotta dance! A bewitched violin gets everyone's feet tapping.

5 mins United Kingdom Director. Peter Le Neve Foster

View Cwrt-yr-Ala - Twins
Cwrt-yr-Ala - Twins
Watch for free 8 mins

Cwrt-yr-Ala - Twins 1948

A newly-built, dream home in Michaelston-le-Pit, Cardiff, where industrialist H H Merrett’s grandchildren have ample space to play.

8 mins Wales

View George's Party and Porthcawl Prom
George's Party and Porthcawl Prom
Watch for free 14 mins

George's Party and Porthcawl Prom 1957

Socialising at home - on George’s birthday, perhaps, and at Christmas – and walking the promenade.

14 mins Wales

View Family and Friends
Family and Friends
Watch for free 15 mins

Family and Friends 1962

An intimate portrait of the family life of the Taberhams, including Ruth and Tigger Cat at Christmastime, idling in the garden, and a wedding.

15 mins United Kingdom

View Golden Wedding at Ellel House
Golden Wedding at Ellel House
Watch for free 4 mins

Golden Wedding at Ellel House 1950

50 years together - congratulations! A family celebration of a long and happy married life.

4 mins United Kingdom

View Arthur Conan Doyle Relaxes with His Family at Windlesham
Arthur Conan Doyle Relaxes with His Family at Windlesham
Watch for free 16 mins

Arthur Conan Doyle Relaxes with His Family at Windlesham 1929

The creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, relaxes with his family in Windlesham and goes on tour to Egypt, Africa and Australia

16 mins United Kingdom

View Lloyd George's Visit to Germany
Lloyd George's Visit to Germany
Watch for free 20 mins

Lloyd George's Visit to Germany 1936

The former Liberal PM tours the sights of Nazi Germany while his chauffeurs lark about with an SS Officer in this grimly fascinating film.

20 mins United Kingdom

View Astor Home Movies No. 1
Astor Home Movies No. 1
Watch for free

Astor Home Movies No. 1 1920

Astor family and friends at play, from boating on the River Thames to fishing in Scotland and riding at Cliveden.

79 mins United Kingdom

View Jocelyn in Wonderland
Jocelyn in Wonderland
Watch for free 13 mins

Jocelyn in Wonderland 1961

Tired little Jocelyn, in her National Health specs, falls asleep in the garden and wakes up in Wonderland in this amateur re-telling of Lewis Carroll's classic.

13 mins United Kingdom

View Midsummer Madness - An Idiotic Idyll
Midsummer Madness - An Idiotic Idyll
Watch for free 1 mins

Midsummer Madness - An Idiotic Idyll 1933

Four bright young things enact a midsummer's love tryst among the daisies in this short, well-crafted amateur fiction film.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Seascape
Seascape
Watch for free 17 mins

Seascape 1951

Filmmaking that is both educational and fun with this highly accomplished amateur film of the Devon coast, and its inhabitants, before it became overloaded with holidaymakers.

17 mins United Kingdom

View Stephen the Magician
Stephen the Magician
Watch for free 2 mins

Stephen the Magician 1962

A young magician impresses his sister by making a dog appear from under a bucket, and by demonstrating the magic of film itself.

2 mins United Kingdom

View Ladies Hoo Doo
Ladies Hoo Doo
Watch for free 18 mins

Ladies Hoo Doo 1965

Knitting comes in handy when making a film – a comical take on amateur filmmaking by the ladies of a local Pinner film club

18 mins United Kingdom

View Paper Boat
Paper Boat
Watch for free

Paper Boat 1949

Prize-winning amateur film about the fleeting affair between a housewife and a young man on a summer day.

22 mins United Kingdom

View Coming Shortly
Coming Shortly
Watch for free 5 mins

Coming Shortly 1954

Silly silent film fun and thrills abound in this award-winning 1954 amateur short spoofing the world of Hollywood trailers.

5 mins United Kingdom

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