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David U rating

This drama-documentary about the everyday life of a Welsh caretaker and ex-miner was the first film produced by the BFI, in 1951.

Drama 1951 38 mins



Told with authenticity and perception, David looks back on the life of a school caretaker in a Welsh mining town, from the marriage and birth of his son to the trauma of a pit accident.

Paul Dickson’s film is a portrait of a representative yet no less remarkable man, who deals with life’s vagaries with the commendable stoicism of his era. In reality the title character is based on the life of D. R. Griffiths (who plays himself as the older David), a little-known poet who was brother to Jim Griffiths MP, former first Secretary of State for Wales. As such David can be seen as an attempt to bring D.R. Griffiths (1882-1953) out of his brother's shadow. David was the first film produced by the BFI, in 1951, and the Welsh selection for the same year’s Festival of Britain screenings in London.