This film is part of Free
Absorbing overview of coalmining in the early years of nationalisation.
This absorbing coalmining documentary reveals a great industry - and workforce - undergoing great change. The film, sponsored by the then still new National Coal Board, was aimed at schools. Once you get past a rather austere style and deliberate pace (common to educational films of the time), it becomes an interesting longer-form counterpart to the NCB's Mining Review series, which was directed at adult audiences.
The film is of course partly intended to aid recruitment from among its older classroom viewers. Paralleling the division between technology and social stories in Mining Review, it's divided into three rather unequal parts. The first and longest, taking us through a 'typical' miner's shift underground at Hilton Main colliery, Staffordshire, works well as a self-contained documentary and a primer on the technological state of play in 1950 (still early days in the NCB's mechanisation strategy). Then we have a section on miners' leisure emphasising, as in Mining Review, miners as individuals living varied - and cultured - lives above ground. Finally comes 'Mining and the Future', which could almost have wandered in from another film, outlining in urgent tones the reform of the industry that began with nationalisation only three years earlier. In the 1960s, The Miner was withdrawn from circulation as both its content and style were judged outdated - which by then they certainly were.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1964 2 mins
Miners' safety training - marked by stylish animation and gallows humour.
Advert 1935 42 mins Silent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
Coal, between the world wars, makes the industrialised world go round and Cory Bros & Co Ltd, with collieries in south Wales and oil refineries across the globe, is a major player.
Industry sponsored film 1978 7 mins Location: Blaenavon
Memories of Blaenavon Colliery, Monmouthshire, as it nears its end.
Documentary 1954 18 mins
Elegiac sponsored film imploring viewers to "allow the sun to penetrate the haze of ignorance" and relieve British cities of pollution.
Advert 1975 1 mins
Deliriously kitsch recruitment ad for the implausibly glamorous world of coalmining.
Campaigning film 1984 32 mins
Young Socialists take the lead in the struggle against the "Tory dictatorship" led by Margaret Thatcher.
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.