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
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.
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Horse-drawn traffic on one of London's busiest thoroughfares
Advert 1985 2 mins
Take a fighter jet, a Top Gun pilot with sunglasses and a brand new SAAB 900 and you have a sure-fire vehicle to launch a Hollywood career.
Promotional 2019 10 mins
A wandering warrior dreams of a new form of expression, in this promo for UNKLE’s album The Road: Part II / Lost Highway Pt. II directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones.
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
Advert 1946 1 mins Silent
Life is looking up! The war is over and the “Corona” Man can visit his “Corona” families once more, door-to-door.
Advert 1962 0 mins Location: Rhyl
Cinema advertisement for Marine Lake & Ocean Beach, Rhyl, a popular destination for crowds set on a day's fun on free rides.
Local Cinema Advertisements - Blaenau Ffestiniog and Merthyr Local Cinema Advertisements - Blaenau Ffestiniog and Merthyr
Advert 1942 7 mins Silent Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Who could deny these advertising claims: "Attractive hair is the ambition of every woman", and "Your family will enjoy Lincoln potatoes"?
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location