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National Savings Trailer: Noël Coward and Leslie Howard

Leslie Howard visits Nöel Coward on the set of In Which We Serve, to discuss a fundraising campaign for the war effort

Promotional 1942 2 mins


A short promotional film with Leslie Howard visiting Nöel Coward on the set of naval drama In Which We Serve to discuss Warships Weeks. The two stars discuss how to make the public aware of the importance of these events, to encourage them to lend their surplus cash to build more warships. "The more we lend the greater chance of happier days after the war" becomes the film's central message.

Warships Weeks were fund raising events that took place around the country with the intention of encouraging people to donate money to help in the building of Royal Navy ships. As Leslie Howard closes the film with the line "good luck Slough", this particular print must have been shown in the cinemas of that town during its own Warships Week, which began on 14 March 1942. With shooting on In Which We Serve (which Coward wrote, directed and starred in) beginning on 5 February 1942, this promotional short must have been made very early during that film's shooting schedule. The noted cinematographer (and later director) Ronald Neame, who shot In Which We Serve, can be seen talking to Nöel Coward at the beginning of this film. 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.