This film is part of Free

A Welcome to Britain

Britain for beginners... or Americans, at least. An information film explaining the wonders of Britain to new American arrivals during WWII.

Government sponsored film 1943 55 mins


An uncredited Anthony Asquith is one of the directors of this WWII film (a joint UK/US production) which aims to explain British culture and character to the newly arrived American soldier. Starting with the ubiquitous pub visit, the film breezes through geography lessons, food and entertainment on the Home Front.

Remarkably the film is not a patronising propaganda piece like so many other similar productions - other than the rather clumsy section on race. This success is down to the genial presence of Burgess 'The Penguin' Meredith as our guide, who always knows when to offer a supporting look or comment to camera. Whilst the British may come across as a little staid, the film explains that after four years of war, "we are not quiet, just weary". This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.