The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.
This film is part of Free
Down Our Street
The combined effort of three housewives demonstrates to the audience how everyone pulling together could help to overcome the high stakes of war.
From the collection of:
Three women, all from one street but different class backgrounds, mysteriously congregate at one house. Their paths may rarely have crossed in pre-war society, yet the experience of war appears to have helped remove some of their class prejudices. After all, these three housewives now share a common interest, their sons all serve in the armed forces.
There is much evidence to suggest that the Second World War had a unifying effect on social attitudes in Britain, although to what extent remains a much debated issue. The notion of everyone pulling together, or a ‘people’s war’, is a theme that appears frequently in Ministry of Information films. It was also recognised that film propaganda had a role to play in maintaining a shared identity between government and ordinary people, not wanting any one section of society to feel isolated from the war effort.
Government sponsored film 1941 18 mins Location: Bampton
Patriotic tale of a Devon village winning the war with carrot Christmas cake and granny's favourite recipe.
Advert 1942 2 mins
National Flour at the ready: peppy WWII cookery short sponsored by Vim.
Instructional film/TV programme 1942 9 mins
Healthy eating advice goes down easy in this fun public information film.
Advert 1942 2 mins
Only a witch would be wicked enough to help Hitler on washing day, warns this fun wartime soap powder ad.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1945 1 mins
A wartime family look on in amazement as their old clothes offer useful advice on how to make their clothing coupons go further.
Government sponsored film 1940 6 mins
Austerity Britain reaches for the humble spud in this earnest wartime cookery film.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.