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London Can Take It! U rating

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.

Government sponsored film 1940 9 mins

Overview

Humphrey Jennings and Harry Watt’s famous film, produced at the GPO film unit, is an enduring example of British self-mythology and rousing evidence of the artistic potential of supposed propaganda. A hymn to our capital city’s resilience during the Blitz, structured as a day-in-the-life of stiff-upper-lipped Londoners, its poetic espousal of British fortitude ensured the film was widely exhibited internationally and utilised as a tool to help persuade America to join the Second World War.

Realising its power, the Ministry of Information would repackage the film with a new voiceover as Britain Can Take It!, with the aim of inspiring communities around the UK to stand firm against the nightly onslaught. London Can Take It! is also available on the BFI DVD set The GPO Film Unit Collection Volume Three: If War Should Come. 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.