This film is part of Free
Proud City A Plan for London
Post-war town planning for "the greatest city the world has ever known".
"London - the greatest city the world has ever known": the opening line sets a lofty tone for this film about the idealistic plans to transform London after the bomb damage of World War II. The chief architects, Sir Patrick Abercrombie and J.H. Forshaw, present their proposals to camera in what now seems a stilted manner. But their words are combined with some excellent footage of the best and worst of London.
The proposals are presented as an 'idea' rather than something hard and fast; however the film spells out some detailed plans, particularly in the Stepney area. Coincidentally, this area had featured in another - very famous - film about slum housing, Housing Problems (1935). Little appears to have improved in the intervening ten years. The swelling music is a notable feature of the film and the composer, William Alwyn, also had a lengthy career in the film industry, working on feature films like The Fallen Idol (1948), directed by Carol Reed. 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.
Amateur film 1937 6 mins Silent Location: Westminster
The streets of Westminster and Camberwell are festooned with bunting and banners in preparation for the Coronation of George VI in this remarkable colour film from A E Ford.
Amateur film 1947 3 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Inhabit the unique perspective of an amateur filmmaker in the crowd at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, 1947.
Amateur film 1951 6 mins Location: Westminster
A film-noir unpacking the various self-reflexive thoughts one might fall victim to after committing the ultimate sin, with a twist ending.
Documentary 1945 2 mins Silent Location: Westminster
This nostalgic and charming window into VJ Day celebrations has its eye on all, from the soldiers and civilians to the local wildlife.
Amateur film 1976 6 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Southport branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men & Women join up with other groups in London for the annual Rememberance Parade.
Amateur film 1939 3 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Atmospheric film capturing the mood of the capital ahead of the war. From ARP adverts to the building of bombshelters, London prepares for war.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
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.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.
Comedy 2023 2 mins
En-route to her hen weekend, bride-to-be Faye kills the vibe with a bombshell confession.
Documentary 2023 2 mins
An insight into Daytimers, the South Asian DJ collective that are breaking new ground in Britain.