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.
Life Under Fire
Amateur film 1939 16 mins Silent Location: Littleover
An air raid could come at any moment and Derby had to be ready to deal with the casualties. The people of Littleover were so well prepapred they filmed one of their exercises.
Home movie 1940 9 mins Silent Location: Sandiacre
From their sandbagged headquarters, the Sandiacre ARP and Red Cross await their call to action.
Government sponsored film 1940 9 mins Location: London
Humphrey Jennings and Harry Watt’s famous GPO film is an enduring example of British self-mythology; a hymn to London’s resilience that helped persuade America to join the war.
Charity appeal 1939 2 mins Silent Location: Norwich
Sweet and touching wartime cinema appeal for 300,000 London children spending Christmas far from home.
Amateur film 1945 9 mins Silent Location: Southwark
Step into the aftermath of a WWII bombing raid in south London in this startling amateur film.
Public Information Filler 1939 2 mins
Matter-of-fact wartime instruction in how to fit your gas mask efficiently - leaving no margin for error.
Non-Fiction 1901 3 mins Silent Location: Sunderland
Durham Light Infantry veterans collect their medals for valour in the Boer War.
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