London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
This film is part of Free
The tyranny of traffic is given suitably rough treatment in this powerful film sponsored by town planner Colin Buchanan.
Public Information Filler 1963 16 mins
From the collection of:
Apocalyptic analysis of traffic in the UK, which explores the way cars that have “wormed their way into every aspect of society”. The tone is morbid but poetic, at one point observing traffic at Piccadilly Circus and noting that “one day a bus will lose control and wipe out 100 people.” Includes terrific scenes around London – from suburbs to the West End - and a hugely valuable historic document, as it was sponsored by an influential anti-car town planner.
The film is a dire warning of the dangers of cars that builds to one dramatic section of fast cuts between cars and road signs, set to jagged music and featuring a close-up of a bleeding pedestrian. The film then concludes with peaceful piano and shots from car-free new towns such as Crawley, Harlow and Stevenage, where “courageous radical planning” has saved people from traffic. It was sponsored by Colin Buchanan, the town planner whose 1963 Buchanan Report investigated traffic in cities and came up with hugely influential solutions.
Public Information Films
Public Information Filler 1976 mins
David Prowse (the frame of Darth Vader) appears as the iconic Green Cross Code Man, heaping praise on a young GXC expert.
Industry sponsored film 1940 8 mins
An enticing government call for men to retrain as skilled engineers to help with the war effort.
Public Information Filler 1978 mins
Dusty the kangaroo catches a shadowy figure in the act of dumping an old mattress in this campaigning cartoon
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1948 9 mins
Long before the ‘Charley Says’ campaign of the 1970s and ‘80s, another cartoon Charley was used to demystify the newly created NHS.
Public Information Filler 1943 10 mins
TB or not TB – that is the question travelling x-ray screening programmes are out to answer on a large scale
Public Information Filler 1949 1 mins
Another of Richard Massingham’s snappy public information fillers finds the oafish everyman’s personal hygiene in question again.
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Capital scenes thanks to Victorian filmmakers
Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Location: London
Vivid images of Victorian London - but where?
1899 2 mins Silent Location: London
A sports day gives the young residents of the Foundling Hospital a chance to let off steam
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Location: London
Londoners turn out in their thousands to greet the returning Boer War hero after his famous defence of Ladysmith
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Horse-drawn traffic on one of London's busiest thoroughfares
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - Paul - York Road - Bands Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - Paul - York Road - Bands
Non-Fiction 1897 1 mins Silent Location: London
The Band of the First Life Guards approaches Westminster Bridge during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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