Monthly Film Bulletin of the BFI

Notes



[!] = A British Council film, but not in the catalogue.
[?] = Possibly a British Council film.

Index to Vol.8 / No.s 85-96 [No.91 (p81) onwards present] / 1941-42

21 Architects of England
139 City Bound
106 Green Girdle
49 Land of Invention
140 Merseyside
123 Queen Cotton
21 SOS
123 Steel Goes to Sea
49 Ulster
Also
7 Raising Sailors [?]
21 [140] Tyneside [?]
53 Shakespeare Country [?]
140 Full Cycle [!]

Short Films Issued Between July 17 and August 20 [1941]

Green Girdle
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Strand
919ft / 10mins
A short film in Technicolor of beauty spots available to the public within the outer circle of London.


Short Films Issued Between August 21 and September 20 [1941]

Queen Cotton
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1,284ft / 14mins
The cotton industry of Lancashire. In Technicolor.

Steel Goes to Sea
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1,474ft / 16mins
Britain's war-time shipbuilding industry in action.


Short Films Issued Between September 21 and October 20 [1941]

City Bound
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Spectator
938ft / 10mins
A short on London's transport system, produced for distribution by the British Council.

Full Cycle [!]
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1,172ft / 13mins
A short on coal and world trade, produced for distribution by the British Council.

Merseyside
Certificate: U
Distributors: Liberty
Producers: Liberty
850ft / 9mins
A study of the life of Merseyside, produced for distribution by the British Council.

Tyneside [?]
Certificate: U
Distributors: Liberty
Producers: Liberty
1,640ft / 18mins
A survey of shipbuilding on Tyneside.

Index to Vol.9 / No.s 97-108 / 1941-42

51 A1 at Lloyds
148 Border Weave
51 Colour in Clay
37 Dartmouth
51 Morning Paper
51 Sea Scouts
24 Song of the Clyde
149 Teeth of Steel
104 Trinity House
24 Western Isles
24 World Garden
Also
37 Gardens of England [!]

Short Films Issued Between January 21 and February 20 [1942]

Song of the Clyde
Certificate: U
Distributors: General Film
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1,001ft / 11mins
The River Clyde from its source to mouth. Produced for distribution by the British Council.

Western Isles
Certificate: U
Distributors: General Film
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1,334ft / 15mins
Life on the Outer Hebrides. Produced for distribution by the British Council.

World Garden
Certificate: U
Distributors: General Film
Producers: Spectator
1,028ft / 11mins
A visit to Kew Gardens. In Technicolor. Produced for distribution by the British Council.


February 21 and March 20

Dartmouth
Certificate: U
Distributors: General Film
Producers: Spectator
1,115ft / 13mins
Behind the scenes at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Produced for the British Council.

Gardens of England [!]
Certificate: U
Distributors: General Film
Producers: Strand
900ft. approx. / 10mins.
Survey of British Gardens, in Technicolor. Produced for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued Between March 21 and April 20 [1942]

A1 at Lloyd's
Certificate: U
Distributors: A.B.F.D.
Producers: Strand
849ft / 9mins
The work of Lloyd's of London. Produced for the British Council.

Colour in Clay
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: G.B. Instructional
1,005ft / 10mins
The manufacture of pottery. Photographed in Technicolor and produced for the British Council.

Morning Paper
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: G.B. Instructional
983ft / 11mins
A British newspaper in time of war. Produced for the British Council.

Sea Scouts
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Technique Films
963ft / 11mins
The training of Sea Scouts. Produced for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued Between July 21 and August 20 [1942]

Trinity House
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: [Blank]
841ft / 9mins
The work of Trinity House pilots in bringing convoys to harbour in war-time.


New Short Films Issued Between October 21 and November 20 [1942]

Border Weave
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Turner
1,357ft / 15mins
The manufacture of tweed cloth in Scotland. Produced for the British Council.

Teeth of Steel
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Technique
971ft / 11mins
Giant excavators at work: in Technicolor. Produced for the British Council.



Index to Vol.10 / No.s 109-120 / 1943-44

32 John Bull
19 Learning to Live
105 Little Ships of England
105 London 1942
93 Power on the Land
32 The People's Land


New Short Films Issued between January 21 and February 20 [1943]

Learning to Live
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1263ft / 16mins
Modern methods of educating and training children in English schools. Produced for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued between February 21 and March 20 [1943]

John Bull
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Spectator
884ft / 10mins
The breeding of famous strains of British cattle. A short produced for the British Council.

People's Land, The
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Strand Films
975ft / 11mins
Glimpses of beauty spots held by the National Trust. In Technicolor. Made for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued between July 21 and August 20 [1943]

Power on the Land
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Raylton Productions
1413ft / 16mins
Agricultural short in Technicolor dealing with the mechanisation of British Farming. Produced for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued between August 21 and September 20 [1943]

Little Ships of England
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Spectator
1185ft / 13mins
The building of various types of small craft. Produced for the British Council.

London 1942
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Verity
1282ft / 14mins
A survey of London after three years of war. Produced for the British Council.


Index to Vol.11 / No.s 121-132 / 1943-44

62 Common Ground
94 Lessons from the Air
7 London Terminus [!]
94 Looking Through Glass
94 Men of Science
94 Piccadilly Roundabout
94 Royal Mile, Edinburgh, The
94 St Paul's Cathedral

37 Architects of England [R]
51 Healing Waters [TIDA] [R]
New Short Films Issued between December 21 and January 20 [1943-1944]

London Terminus
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Raylton Productions
1455ft / 16mins
The activities of railway workers at a London terminus. Produced for the British Council.


31 March 1944
Educational Films
History

Architects of England (Great Britain)
Production: Produced by Strand Films for the British Council.
Description: Direct photography and commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: The Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, SW7
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: UK.107
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: Opening with shots of Stonehenge, this film continues by showing examples of early places of worship hewn out of similar stones. It then turns to Norman architecture with shots of one or two Cathedrals where this style predominates, and, illustrated still by Cathedral architecture, shows how gradually this style came to be modified into that known as Early English and later still to the Decorated style. There are then shown types of domestic architecture – cottages, small and large houses, built of timber, stone or brick according to the material available. The Classical innovations of Christopher Wren and Inigo Jones are shown and the film gives an idea of the elaborate interior decorations favoured in the 18th Century. The setting and lay-out of buildings is emphasised next, taking Bath as the example, and the film continues with shots of typical Georgian and Regency architecture. Illustrated by shots of Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Crystal Palace the film next shows how the introduction of steel affected design. The next phase was the revival of Gothic architecture, as exemplified in the Houses of Parliament and the Albert Memorial. The film finishes with shots of great modern, steel-framed concrete buildings, such as the B.B.C., the Adelphi and Shell Max House.
Appraisal: This is an outstanding and excellent film, just because its excellencies are not all apparent when first seen. The excellence of photography is immediately striking and the commentary – language, intonation and delivery – could not be bettered. Its supreme quality lies in the fact that it has a clear central idea and that with very great inducements to depart from it the producer has held it steadily in mind. One may criticise this, that and the other, but always on reflection it is realised that the producer's way is best. Curiously enough it is not really “film” at all according to “filmists” or “filmomanes” for most of the shots are in effect stills, but the fact remains that it is an artistic whole, that does what it intended to do and that, somehow, stills or no, it moves.
Suitability: For all adolescents and upward
HISTORY COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
512ft
14mins.
2 reels.


30 April 1944
Educational Films

History

Healing Waters (Great Britain)
Production: Produced by the Strand Film Company for the Travel and Industrial Development Association.
Description: Direct photography, map and commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: The Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, SW7.
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: UK.35.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: Opening with a map of England showing the position of Bath and a description of the legend of how Bath became famous for its waters, this film traces the history of the town from Roman times, giving pictures of the baths and describing the complicated water system they constructed. Bath was then forgotten until the Middle Ages when, with the building of the Abbey, of which a number of both interior and exterior shots are given, a small town grew up. The film then gives pictures of Prior Park and the Circus, which were later designed by John Wood at the instigation of the Mayor of Bath, anxious to improve the town, and also of the Royal Crescent which was designed by Wood's son. These improvements made Bath a popular place, though it had a bad reputation until Beau Nash introduced new standards of behaviour in the town and the film gives pictures of Regency beaux and their ladies in the Pump Room and elsewhere. The last section of the film gives some idea of the present-day amenities of Bath – including tennis and boating – as well as describing how the waters are now used in the cure of rheumatism, paralysis, etc. It finishes with more shots of the town – Pulteney Bridge, the Abbey and the Royal Crescent.
Appraisal: In the absence of better material, the first part of this film might have some slight educational value, but even here it could be more satisfactorily done by still photographs or lantern slides. As it stands the film is suitable only for entertainment purposes.
HISTORY COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
350ft approx.
10mins.
1 reel.


New Short Films Issued between April 21 and May 20 [1944]

Common Ground
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1699ft / 19mins
A visit to the centres in this country where peoples of the United Nations meet.


New Short Films Issued between July 21 and August 20 [1944]

Lessons from the Air
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1236ft / 14mins
B.B.C. Broadcasts to schools. Produced for the British Council

Looking Through Glass
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1634ft / 18mins
Documentary of the glass-making industry. Produced for the British Council.

Men of Science
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Turner Film Prod.
2442ft / 27mins
A short on what modern science owes to Humphrey Davy and Michael Faraday. Produced for the British Council.

Piccadilly Roundabout
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Everyman Films
1075ft / 12mins
Everyday scenes of thoroughfares in the vicinity of Piccadilly. Produced for the British Council.

Royal Mile, Edinburgh, The
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1246ft / 14mins
Glimpses of the road between the Castle and Holyrood Palace. Produced for the British Counci.

St. Paul's Cathedral
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1288ft / 14mins
Documentary. Produced for the British Council.


Index to Vol.12 / No.s 133-144 [135 Missing]/ 1945-46

89 St Paul's Cathedral [R]
103 Cambridge [R]
42 City Bound [R]
90 Land of Invention [R]
89 Looking Through Glass [R]
90 Second Freedom [R]

24 Cambridge
24 Country Town
125 Farmer's Boy, The
88 Julius Caesar
158 Let's See
125 Local Government
88 Macbeth
125 Make Fruitful the Land
125 Man on the Beat, The
24 New Mine, The
158 Papworth Village Settlement
158 Plastics
24 Power Lines
24 Second Freedom
88 Steel
23 Student Nurse
125 They Live Again
24 Wales
125 Westminster Abbey


New Short Films Issued between January 21 and February 20 [1945]

Student Nurse
Certificate: A
Distributors: 20th Century Fox.
Producers: Gaumont British Screen Services
Director: Francis Searl
3045ft / 34mins

Cambridge
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Everyman Films
2164ft / 24mins
Streets and Colleges of Cambridge and scenes of University life. Produced for the British Council.

Country Town
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Verity Films
1430ft / 16mins
Life and industry in a Lincolnshire town. Produced for the British Council.

New Mine, The
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Producers: G.B. Instructional
1556ft / 17mins
A working day at a model coal-mine in Scotland. Produced for the British Council.

Power Lines
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1497ft / 17mins
The manufacture of cables for transmitting electric power. Produced for the British Council.

Second Freedom
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Verity Films
1579ft / 18mins
The working of the British system of Social Insurance. Produced for the British Council.

Wales
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Strand
922ft / 10mins
Welsh scenery and industry. Produced for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued between June 21 and July 16 [1945]

Steel
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox.
Producers: Verity Films
Director: Ronald H. Riley
3017ft / 34mins

Julius Caesar
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox.
Producers: Theatrecraft, Ltd.
1756ft / 19mins
An excerpt from Shakespeare : The Forum Scene, with Felix Aylmer as Brutus and Leo Genn as Mark Antony. Produced for the British Council.

Macbeth
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox.
Producers: Theatrecraft, Ltd.
1474ft / 16mins
And excerpt from Shakespeare: Murder and Sleep-walking Scene, with Wilfrid Lawson as Macbeth and Cathleen Nesbitt as Lady Macbeth.

31st July 1945
Educational Films
Arts and Crafts

Looking Through Glass
Production: Produced by Merton Park Studios
Description: Direct photography with commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: The Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, SW7
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: U.K. 120
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: After an introduction showing the uses of glass in many and varied ways, this film then shows a craftsman making an intricate glass vase, emphasizing [sic] that fact that, though machinery can now do many things in the glass industry, a wide field remains for the craftsman. The film continues with a sequence on the making of thermometers and describes how a special Department of Research at Sheffield is constantly making tests on various problems affecting the manufacture of glass. The film ends with a description of the manufacture of plate glass, electric lamps, bottles, lenses and optical instruments.
Appraisal: this stimulating film gives an excellent introduction to the study of the manufacture of glass and relates clearly the part played by the craftsmen, both alone and in relation to mechanical processes. The film is well edited and the story runs smoothly. It would be of use to art students and for the purpose of general education.
ARTS AND CRAFTS COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
600ft
16mins.
2 reels.

St . Paul's Cathedral
Production: Produced by Merton Park Studios
Description: Direct photography with commentary and background music.
Teaching Notes: Not avialable.
Distributors: The Film Library, G.B. Equipments, Ltd., Tower House, Woodchester, Nr. Stroud, Glos.
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: C. 3528
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned on hire at 7s. 6d. Per reel per day plus 2s. per reel for each additional day.
Contents: After a short historical introduction, the first part of this film describes various features of interest to be seen on a tour of the Cathedral. These include the paintings in the dome of scenes on the life of St. Paul, the tombs of Sir Christopher Wren, Lord Nelson, Earl Jellicoe, Earl Beatty, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener and P/O Fiske, the first American officer to give his life in the Battle of Britain. The second half of the film describes the night of December 29th, 1940, when the great incendiary raid on the City took place. Though the are around St. Paul's was devastated, the Cathedral, apart from some damage to the Choir, High Altar and the North Doorway, remained unharmed. The film closes with scenes of the Thanksgiving Service held afterwards on the Cathedral steps.
Appraisal: This is an interesting, well-photographed and arranged film, in which there is a discreet and effective use of music. It is not for direct educational use, but as a general background film could well be shown to schools among other audiences.
ARTS AND CRAFTS COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
500ft
14 mins.
2 reels.

Background Films

Land of Invention
Production: Produced by Andrew Buchanan, of Films of Great Britain, Ltd.
Description: Direct photography with commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: The Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, SW7.
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: U.K. 101.
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: It is suggested that the ingenuity of the Scots has produced men with ideas. Among them are mentioned Macadam, creator of the modern road; Watt, who developed the steam-engine; Murdoch, creator of gas lighting; Nasmyth, maker of the steam-hammer; Telford, builder of the Caledonian Canal; Henry Bell, who built the first steamship; Alexander Bell, the first man to transmit the human voice along an electric wire; and Simpson, who developed the use of chloroform; ending with pictures of St. Andrew's House.
Appraisal: This film was made for the British Council primarily for distribution overseas. It is presented in an interesting manner and is illustrated by models and documents, such as a model of Watt's steam-engine and his note-book. The photography is good but the shot of the Forth Bridge in connection with Telford is a little misleading. It would be of interest to schools and clubs, and English as to whether a Scot was solely responsible for each of the inventions shown.
BACKGROUND FILMS VIEWING COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
416ft
11mins.
1 reel.


Second Freedom
Production: Produced by Verity Films.
Description: Direct photography with commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: The Film Library, G.B. Equipments, Ltd., Tower House, Woodchester, Nr. Stroud, Glos.
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: C. 3540.
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned on hire at 7s. 6d. per reel per day plus 2s. per reel for each additional day.
Contents: This film starts with the birth of a boy baby, goes on to his schooldays in a very pleasant school where every attention is paid to the pupils' health and abilities, shows him getting his first job as draughtsman in a very well-equipped firm, and stresses the point that he need not worry either about unemployment or illness, thanks to National Health and Unemployment Insurance. He marries, gets a nice subsidized [sic] house in a housing-estate; and, when his wife's first baby is on the way, she visits an excellent ante-natal and baby-welfare clinic. Together in their garden, the young couple look at the old couple next door, who have nothing to worry about, thanks to the old-age pension scheme.
Appraisal: This film, made for the British Council primarily for distribution overseas, presents, to those who know the facts, too sanguine a picture. By attempting to cover too much ground, it loses continuity; and the script shows too clearly the hand of officialdom, so that as a whole it lacks emotion. It might be of use in youth clubs or upper forms of secondary schools in conjunction with a talk on social services.
BACKGROUND FILMS VIEWING COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
600ft
16mins.
2 reels.

31st August 1945
Educational Films
Background Films

Cambridge
Production: Produced by Everyman Films.
Description: Direct photography with commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: The Film Library, G.B. Equipments, Ltd., Tower House, Woodchester, Nr. Stroud, Glos.
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: C. 3509.
Owner of Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned on hire at 7s. 6d. per reel per day plus 2s. per reel for each additional day.
Contents: This film, apart from a brief sequence on Cambridge as a market-town, deals with life at the University at wartime. It opens with shots showing graduates after the Presentation of Degrees in the Senate House. It then shows typical work at the University. We are taken into several lecture rooms, in one of which the Master of Trinity is lecturing; are shown a meal in Hall, and some of the many-sided social activities, including a rehearsal of choir and orchestra and a service in Kings; and a don's study, where the close relation of student and teacher is seen.
Appraisal: This film, made for the British Council, primarily for distribution overseas, should be useful for this purpose. The photography, owing to the difficulty of taking some of the scenes, is sometimes on the dark side. The commentary, as in all the films of this nature, suffers from the monotony of the single commentator's voice. The film might be used for the upper forms of secondary schools; but would not be likely to interest youth club audiences.
BACKGROUND FILMS VIEWING COMMITTEE
16mm. Sd.
1000ft approx.
27mins.
3 reels.


New Short Films Issued between September 18 and October 20 [1945]

Farmer's Boy
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Greenpark Productions
1344ft / 15mins
The work of an Agricultural College. Produced for the British Council.

Local Government
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Guild Films
1911ft / 21mins
A documentary on the work of the Local Authorities in England. Produced for the British Council.

Make Fruitful the Land
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Greenpark Productions
1478ft / 16mins
Documentary, in Technicolor, on crop rotation. Produced for the British Council.

Man on the Beat, The
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merlin Film
1016ft / 11mins
Training and duties of the police.

They Live Again
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: G.B. Instructional
1708ft / 19mins
The rehabilitation of miners. Produced for the British Council.

Westminster Abbey
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Inspiration Pictures
1790ft / 20mins
A visit to the Abbey, including shots of the Coronation. Produced for the British Council.


New Short Films Issued between November 21 and December 17 [1945]

Let's See
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merton Park Studios
1497ft / 17mins
The manufacture of optical glass and lenses. Produced, in Technicolor, for the British Council.

Papworth Village Settlement
Certificate: U
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Producers: World Wide Pictures
1805ft / 20mins
A documentary showing what is being done for T.B. sufferers at Papworth Village Settlement. Produced for the British Council.

Plastics
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: British Foundation
1869ft / 21mins
Glimpses of the Plastics industry in this country. Produced, in Technicolor, for the British Council.



Index to Vol.13 / No.s 145-156 / 1945-46

177 New Mine, The [R]
160 Life Cycle of the Pin Mould, The [R]
161 Life Cycle of the Newt [R]
90 Student Nurse [R]
119 English Criminal Justice [R]
91 Let's See [R]
162 Picture Paper [R]
162 Routine Job [R]

107 Education of the Deaf [!]

102 Great Game, The
103 Picture Paper
103 Routine Job
103 This is Britain (No.1) [!]
8 We of the West Riding


New Short Films Issued between December 18 and January 20 [1945-46]

We of the West Riding
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Greenpark Productions
1970ft / 22mins
Glimpses of the life of a Yorkshire family.


30th June 1946
Educational Films
Vocational Guidance

Student Nurse (Great Britain*) 1945 *[Always present thus far]
Production: G.B. Screen Service. Produced in co-operation with the Birmingham United Hospital and Matron, Medical Officer and Nurses of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Unit. Commentator: Joseph Macleod. Produced by: Francis Searle.
Description: Direct photography with commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, S.W.7
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: UK.802
Owner of Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: This film gives a survey of the three years' course from probationer to fully-qualified state-registered nurse. It starts with the arrival of some new students at a hospital, and then shows, in an interesting and convincing manner, something of their experiences in each year of training. When at length the girls are fully qualified, it is pointed out that this is not the end but the beginning for them; for now they must choose the branch of nursing for which they are most fitted, whether it be hospital, private, district or maternity nursing, or specialist work such as radiography.
Appraisal: This film, produced by the British Council primarily for overseas, but which is being shown in this country as one of the series of “Jobs After the War”, is excellent and most inspiring, working up to a real climax. It is a pity, however, that it deals only with the woman's side, as male nursing is also a most valuable profession, which might well be given more publicity. The film should be of considerable to Youth Clubs – though, owing to the omission noted above, it will be necessarily be of far more value to the girl members – and the senior forms of girls' schools.
BACKGROUND FILMS VIEWING COMMITTEE
35mm. Sd.
16mm. Sd.
1994ft
22mins.
4 reels.
35mm.
3 reels.
16mm.

Documentary and Interest

Let's See
Certificate: U
Distributors: Columbia
Producers: British Foundation Films.
Length: 1450ft. 16mins.
A film showing the manufacture of two scarce and strictly rationed foodstuffs, namely bacon and biscuits, may or may not bring joy to the hearts of audiences at this time when the imposition of even stricter rationing is threatened. First we are shown the whole process whereby innocent “porkers” browsing peacefully in the countryside are translated into sausages and hams in all its grim reality, except, fortunately, for the actual slaughtering of the animals. The choice of the factory chosen for this demonstration would seem to be ill advised, since it does not altogether convey the impression of surgical cleanliness so greatly to be desired in the manufacture of foodstuffs. By comparison the second part of the film affords a welcome light relief. The white-overalled workers handle the ingenious machinery with deftness and skill, and although the sight of unlimited chocolate-coated biscuits may provoke envious sighs from at least juvenile members of the audience, the various processes to which the dough is subjected before it emerges as perfectly patterned and symmetrically shaped biscuits will be of interest to everyone. Frank Phillips supplies the commentary.
G.M.D


New Short Films Issued between June 19 and July 15 [1946]

Great Game, The
Certificate: -
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Verity
2800ft / 31mins
Amateur and professional Association football.

Picture Paper
Certificate: -
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Verity
1731ft / 19mins
The activities of a reporter on an illustrated periodical.

Routine Job
Certificate: -
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Merlin Films
1997ft / 22mins
Behind the scenes with the C.I.D. At Whitehall.

This is Britain (No.1) [!]
Certificate: -
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Merlin Films
1000ft / 11mins
The first issue of a new magazine short on activities in Britain.


31 August 1946
Feature Length Documentary and Interest Films
Great Britain

Education of the Deaf
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Data Films
Director: Jack Ellitt
Director of Photography: Earl Griffith
Commentary Written by: Jack Ellitt and David Lloyd-James
4500ft / 50mins
Documentary. This film was made at the Royal Residential Schools for the Deaf and Blind at Manchester and at Manchester University, which is believed to be the only University in the world to have a Chair and research department devoted to the education of the deaf. We are first shown a bust of Beethoven and we hear the Ninth Symphony, which was composed after he became deaf. Throughout the rest of the film we are given an insight into the efforts which have been made to overcome the disability of deafness and the almost unbelievable success which has been achieved. Mrs Wilson's hearing has been steadily deteriorating. She becomes more and more isolated in the lonely world of her own. She goes to Manchester University and tests are made in order to discover the causes of her deafness, so that it may either be treated or, failing that, that she may be supplied with aids most suitable to her case. She, however, has not always been deaf and has the immense advantage of knowing how to speak. More difficult is the case of children who have been deaf or partially deaf from birth. In the old days these children usually grew up and remained deaf and dumb throughout their lives. In this film we are shown all that has been done to obviate this, so that, as the children grow up, they are enabled to live as normal a life as possible and to take their place in the world as useful citizens. We are shown how the work is carried out, first with the infants, then with the older children. Those who are totally deaf are separated from those who are only partially so. We see the methods which are used to make it possible to follow a normal school curriculum but, at the same time, continually to improve the children's speech and their ability to lip-read. This film is the full-length version. There is a 22-minute version for the less specialised audience, but even if one belongs to the latter category and although the film may seem a little diffuse at times, the extraordinary interest and poignancy of the subject holds one's attention throughout. The shots are extremely well selected, the photography excellent. Most of the film is a factual record and entirely unrehearsed and there is a complete naturalness on the part of all those who appear in the film. We receive the impression of a rare devotion on the part of the teachers and doctors and others in charge of the work and earnest, cheerful co-operation on the part of the children. This is a film which is deserving of very high praise.
Suitability: A, B, C.
M.E.C.


New Short Films Issued between July 16 and August 19 [1946]
Educational Films
Documentary and Interest

English Criminal Justice
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Greenpark Productions
Script and Commentary: Ken Annakin and R.F. Delderfield.
Commentary Spoken by: Harold Warrender
Length: 2070ft / 23mins
Documentary. In the old days there was trial by fire, later trial by combat, but the procedure followed in the execution of justice has progressed a long way since then. A foreign visitor gazes up at the figure of Justice on the Old Bailey and thinks of crime and punishment. A passing advocate tells him that the laws of England differ from those of other countries and undertakes to show him something of the procedure of the various courts. We see the working of a simple petty sessions case. A Berkshire farmer is brought before the bench for allowing his sheep to stray. He has had no experience of court procedure and we see the consideration afforded him for this reason. We are then shown how a murder trial at the Old Bailey is conducted, based on the assumption that a prisoner is innocent until he is proved guilty. The functions of the judge and jury are explained, the dependence of the verdict upon the unanimity of the jury and the procedure followed in the event of the prisoner being acquitted or, alternatively, condemned. This film should be most suitable for export, as a very good idea is conveyed of the dignity, thoroughness and, at the same time, humanity with which English justice is carried out. The photography is good, the commentary excellent, but the interiors are studio sets, those taking part are presumably professional actors and the result is perhaps rather too theatrical, especially during the murder trial.
M.E.C.


30 November 1946
Educational Films
Natural History

Life Cycle of Pin Mould, The
Production: Produced by G.B. Instructional, Ltd.
Description: Speeded-up photography, with diagrams and commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, S.W.7
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: UK.180.
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: By means of speeded-up photography and diagrams this film shows the growth of pin mould on an apple and porridge. The spores germinate and from them spreads a branching mass of mould; heads containing new spores appear and ripen and there follows a recapitulation of branches of mould. The production and growth of resting spores is also illustrated.
Appraisal: A clear and concise explanation of the life cycle of pin mould which should be extremely useful for showing to children of thirteen and over. The technical qualities are also excellent.
NATURAL HISTORY VIEWING COMMITTEE.
16mm. Sd.
377ft
11mins.
1 reel.

Life Cycle of the Newt
Production: Produced by G.B. Instructional, Ltd.
Description: Direct photography with diagrams and commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, S.W.7
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: UK.182.
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: The films opens with a diagram showing the Palmate, Smooth and Crested Newts, male and female, and a map showing the distribution of newts in the northern part of the world. The remainder of the film is devoted to the life history of the Smooth Newt: reproduction, fertilisation, development of the embryo, development of the newt tadpole, the appearance of the fore limbs and hind limbs, the disappearance of the gills and the emergence of the young newt on land.
Appraisal: This is an excellent film and one which will be of great use in schools. The commentary is clear and instructive, the photography is good and the whole production – both for its technical and educational qualities – is to be recommended. This film could usefully be shown to all children over eleven years of age.
NATURAL HISTORY VIEWING COMMITTEE.
16mm. Sd.
390ft
11mins.
1 reel.

Picture Paper
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Verity Films.
Director: Eric Cripps.
Director of Photography: Ray Elton
Music: Francis Chargrin.
Leading part and most of the Commentary: Leslie Bradley.
Length: 1731ft / 19mins
Journalism. This film gives us an insight into the running of a picture paper. We see how the staff meet, are encouraged to voice their ideas for illustrated articles and to offer general suggestions. A journailst is sent to Ironborough, an industrial town, which has a well-advanced town-planning scheme. He interviews the organisers and examines the methods by which they try to discover the real wishes and needs of the townspeople. The film has thus a subsidiary town-planning interest. Later we see how the lay-out is planned. This film should be suitable for export, as it shows the thorough methods by which information is obtained. The incidents are rather disconnected, but the photography is good.
M.E.C.

Routine Job
Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merlin Films
Director: Gilbert Gunn.
Music: Max Saunders, played by Dr. Hubert Clifford and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Script and Commentary: Ralph Straus.
Spoken by: Detective-Sergeant John Walsh.
Length: 1996ft / 22mins
Detection. This films shows how thieves are traced and finally captured from the moment when the lorry, having been stolen and the contents extracted, is left derelict. We see some of the methods used inside Scotland Yard, such as the projection of finger-prints upon a screen by means of an epidiascope and the consultation of certain files on the strength of certain clues. We also see the procedure followed outside the office and the perseverance and attention to detail which is manifested. This film is interesting to the lay observer and should prove even more so abroad, where it will invite comparison with the methods used in other countries. The commentary is stimulating.
M.E.C.


31 December 1946
Educational Films
Background Films

New Mine, The
Production: G.B. Instructional, Ltd. Comrie Colliery.
Description: Direct photography with commentary.
Teaching Notes: Not available.
Distributors: Central Film Library, Imperial Institute, South Kensington, S.W.7
Distributors' Cat. Ref.: UK.597.
Owner of U.K. Rights: British Council.
Conditions of Supply: Loaned free of charge.
Contents: The film begins by pointing out the importance of coal to Great Britain and how in the past coal-mines have spread ugliness over the countryside, and the miners for the most part have been little considered. It then shows in detail Comrie Colliery, a modern coal-mine in Scotland, situated in the countryside and with surface buildings on symmetrical lines which are in no way an eyesore. The Colliery has the most up-to-date machinery and the utmost attention is paid to the safety and welfare of the miners.
Appraisal: This film, made for the British Council, primarily for distribution overseas, is very well done. The commentary is good and everything is clearly explained both by voice and camera. Such a film is most à propos at a time when it is of vital importance to this country that more men should be attracted to mining by good conditions of work. It would be of value both to Youth Clubs and schools.
BACKGROUND FILMS VIEWING COMMITTEE.
35mm. Sd.
16mm. Sd.
1537ft
17mins.
2 reels.





Index to Vol. 14 NOS. 157-168 1947


123 Coastal Village
134 Derbyshire Village
90 Water Service
13 Development of a Rabbit
43 Life Cycle of Maize
43 Life Cycle of Pin Mould
56 Life Cycle of a Newt
167 The Great Game
86 Snowdonia




Films issued between August 31st and September 30th (1947)

Coastal Village (Great Britain, 1943)

Educational Films, Geography
Distributors: G.B. Equipments Ltd
Producers: G.B. Instructional Ltd
2 reels 998ft / 27 mins Format: 16mm, Sd
UK Rights: British Council

This film gives glimpses of life in a typical fishing village. A map of the harbour shows that it is situated where there is a natural curve in the coastline. The daily life of the villagers begins early, when the fishermen come back with the night’s catch, which is then sorted, packed and sent off to the market. The men who fish for crabs and other shellfish work by day and as they return the fishers for pilchards are seen going out to drop their nets. The lengths of the season for each fish are shown by the use of diagram.

This is an excellent film both technically and as geography. It is typical of what such a film should be. It shows a particular fishing village, but somehow it has become typical of most fishing villages. It is essentially a village of that part of the country, but at the same time the atmosphere of all such villages is got across to the viewer. It could be used by teachers to show the essential vital characteristics of so many places round the British Isles. *

*Appraisal by the Geography Films Viewing Committee




Films issued between September 30th and October 31st (1947)

Derbyshire Village (Great Britain, 1944)
Educational Films, Geography
Distributors: G.B. Equipments Ltd
Producers: G.B. Instructional Ltd
1 reel 380ft / 11 mins Format: 16mm, Sd, Black and White
UK Rights: British Council

Director: A. Reginald Dobson
Photography: Jack Parker
Supervisor: G.J. Cons

The film opens with a view of the outcroppings of limestone in the region and a map shows the situation of the village. After views of the whole village the camera picks out the old church with its sculptured stone and carved doors and local craftsmen are seen carving wood. Some information is given on the kind of farming done in the region and the local mill is shown. The villagers go about their work and we see a wall being kept in repair and blasting operations at the local quarry.

This film is incoherent and suffers from the fact that the first half is essentially composed of stills. There is scarcely any movement in it and only the commentary contrives to carry it along. The second part is more interesting and relevant; there is movement and we see things being done. The chief criticism of the film is, however, that in part it is not typical; Derbyshire is a limestone county and much is correctly made of that, but to show woodcarving as one of the chief industries in an “upland” village, or any “Derbyshire village”, is likely to leave too strong an impression on children’s minds. The essential thing is that here is an area of pastoral farming, with crops subsidiary to pastoral farming, and a wrong impression is likely to be left on the youngster’s minds unless the teacher realises this and acts accordingly. *

* Appraisal by the Geography Viewing Committee




Films Issued between June 30th and July 31st (1947)

Water Service (Great Britain, 1945)
Educational Films, Background Films
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: British Council and Selwyn Films
1 reel 1092ft / 12 mins Format: 35mm and 16mm, both Sd
UK Rights: Central Office of Information

Water is carried from the lakes to the reservoirs, where it seeps through filter beds; and, when purified, is driven by power houses to consumers. Samples of water are continually tested to make sure that there is no contamination. Waterworks all over the empire have been erected by British engineers.

This film, produced by the British Council, does not give a very instructive view of water service. Too much time is spent on showing laboratory tests and too little on how water is carried from source to consumer. It would not be of much educational value either for schools or clubs. *

* Appraisal by the Background Films Viewing Committee







Films issued between January 31st and February 28th (1947)

Development of the Rabbit (Great Britain)

Educational Films, Embryology
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: British Council
4 reels 1280ft / 35 mins Format: 16mm, Sd and St
UK Rights: Central Office of Information

The scope of the film is broader than the title suggests. As an introduction there is a survey of several types of reproduction and embryonal nutrition, e.g. in sea urchin, trout, frog, hen, platypus and kangaroo. The reproductive organs of the female rabbit are then dissected and described. Actual segmentation of the rabbit’s egg is shown microscopically, there are animated diagrams of foetal membranes, and pregnant uteri are dissected to display the external form of embryos at 10,12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 28 and 30 day stages. The mother is shown making a nest and giving birth to the young, and a few final shots illustrate their later growth.

This is a well-designed film serving two purposes. For post-school certificate biology students it is excellent in giving life to the usual academic study of a few selected stages in development. This it achieves by telling the story practically from beginning to end, by the vividness of the many pictures revealing embryos actually in utero, and by the interesting shots showing maternal behaviour. The diagrams showing the origin of foetal membranes are wisely run through twice over, but even so, would only be followed by those already conversant with the facts. The nature of the amniotic cavity and of the umbilical cord (which show in some of the actual specimens) is not made clear in the diagrams. It is also a pity that the nervous system is shown in the same convention as the mesoderm. There are some slight verbal inaccuracies in the commentary, but most of the film is an excellent example of what can be taught by the cinematograph, and it will be appreciated by both pupils and teachers. To other pupils, from age 12 upwards, it will also have a real value provided due preparation is given by the teacher. This is necessary since the terms are technical, some of the shots of dissection not clear, and the foetal membranes would have to be omitted or ignored. The film would leave a correct general impression of the nature of development in utero and would certainly arouse keen interest. The value of the film in any teaching is enhanced by its comparatively slow tempo and lucid commentary: also by its emphasis on the relation between the mode of embryonic development on the one hand, and the structure and habits of the mother on the other. The introductory section (which the rather misleading title renders apparently irrelevant) contributes to the latter purpose. Most of the photography, especially the photomicrography, is good. *

* Appraisal by Natural History Viewing Committee






Films issued between March 31st and May 31st (1947)

Life Cycle of Maize (Great Britain, 1942)
Educational Films, Botany
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: Produced for the British Council by G.B. Instructional
1 reel 373ft / 10mins Format: 16mm, Sd
UK Rights: Central Office of Information

The film begins with a distribution map of maize, then an enlarged cob is shown. The germination of a single seed in the soil, development of the radicle, root-hairs, side and strut roots and pumule are shown by accelerated photography. The growth of the shoot and the sources of the food materials are given. A set of water cultures in jars shows necessary minerals. When the plant is fully developed and supported by a succession of strutt roots, the flowers appear, the male in long tassels at the top of the plant, and the females with their “silks” below. Clouds of pollen are shown falling from the anthers on to the stigmas, and one grain is seen producing a pollen-tube and diagrams show the sperm nucleus carried to the egg-cell in the ovule. The film ends with an account of the main harvest, one of the most important in the world.

This is a very pleasant film, realistic, full of information and on the whole accurate. There are a few slips; the statement that the leaves take in air and give out gases is not satisfactory, and the terms ovule and egg-cell are confused. The shot of the stomata is poor. A time scale for development, especially of the roots, is needed. It is, however, an A film suitable for children of age 13 and upwards and will be enjoyed by anyone with some knowledge of botany. *

* Appraisal by the Natural History Viewing Commitee




Films issued between March 31st and May 31st (1947)

Life Cycle of Pin Mould (Great Britain, 1942)

Educational Films, Botany
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: Produced for the British Council by G.B. Instructional
1 reel 373ft / 10mins Format: 16mm, Sd
UK Rights: Central Office of Information
Teaching Notes available from G.B. Equipments Ltd

By means of speeded-up photography and diagrams this film shows the growth of pin mould on an apple and porridge. The spores germinate and from them spreads a branching mass of mould; heads containing new spores appear and ripen and there follows a recapitulation of branches of mould. The production and growth of “resting” moulds is also illustrated.

A clear and concise explanation of the life cycle of pin mould which should be extremely useful for showing to children of 13 and over. The technical qualities also are excellent. *

* Appraisal by the Natural History Viewing Committee




Films issued between April 30th and May 31st (1947)

Life Cycle of the Newt (Great Britain, 1942)
Educational Films, Embryology
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: Produced for the British Council by G.B. Instructional
1 reel 393ft / 11 mins Format: 16mm, Sd.
UK Rights: Central Office of Information

The film opens with a diagram showing the Palmate, Smooth and Crested Newts, male and female, and a map showing the distribution of newts in the northern part of the world. The remainder of the film is devoted to the life history of the Smooth Newt: reproduction, fertilisation, development of the embryo, development of the newt tadpole, the appearance of the fore limbs and hind limbs, the disappearance of the gills and the emergence of the young newt on land.

This is an excellent film and one which will be of great use in schools. The commentary is clear and instructive, the photography is good and the whole production – both for its technical and educational qualities – is to be recommended. The film could usefully be shown to all children over 11 years of age. *

* Appraisal by Natural History Viewing Committee



Films issued between November 30th and December 31st (1947)


The Great Game (Great Britain, 1946)
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: Produced by Verity for the British Council
3 reels 2500ft / 28 mins Format: 16mm and 35mm, both Sd.
UK Rights: British Council

This film is about Association Football. It begins with shots of boys playing at school and in the street; passes on to demonstrations given to schoolboys in training; and emphasises that from schoolboys and workers in industry come the majority of our professional players. Newsreel sequences of various Cup Finals are then shown.

This film, produced by the British Council, is quite interesting at first, but the various match sequences take up far too much of its running time, since they have now lost their topical interest. It would have been both more valuable and more interesting to have illustrated in some detail the training of one particular team with some sequences showing the results of that training in actual matches. Boys in schools and Youth Clubs should enjoy the film to some extent, though it would probably occasion a certain amount of disappointment. *
* Appraisal by Background Films Viewing Committee




New Short Films issued between June 30th and July 31st (1947)

Snowdonia (Great Britain)

Distributors: M.G.M
Producers: British Council
1466ft / 16 mins Format: Technicolor
UK Rights: Not stated

Travel film of North Wales in Technicolor.









Films issued between January 31st and 29th February (1948)

Triumph Over Deafness (Great Britain, 1946)
Educational Films, Background Films
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: British Council film made by Data
Production: Donald Alexander
Commentary: David Lloyd James
Music: Beethoven
Recording: R.C.A., by A.G. Ambler
Editor: E.Mason
Photography: Wolfgang Suschitzky
Made by: Jack Elliott
2 reels 1861ft / 21 mins Format: 35mm and 16mm, both Sd.
UK Rights: British Council

This is a short version of the British Council film Education of the Deaf reviewed in the Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 13, page 107, and is an excellent factual record of the work done for adults and children in Manchester at the University Department of Education of the Deaf, the Royal Residential Schools and the Christie Hospital.

This somewhat harrowing film brings home vividly the handicaps of deafness, which some of us are perhaps inclined to treat too lightly. Those who see this film will not be likely to continue to do so, and will at the same time be deeply impressed by the skilled aid given to these sufferers in Manchester. It could be shown with benefit to sensible upper forms in schools, in training colleges, women’s institutes and guilds, and indeed to any audience which is willing to see an occasional film which deals intelligently with some grave problems. *


* Appraisal by the Background Films Viewing Committee




Index to Vol. 15 NOS. 169-180 1948


9 Triumph Over Deafness
21 Papworth Village Settlement





Films issued between January 31st and 29th February (1948)

Triumph Over Deafness (Great Britain, 1946)
Educational Films, Background Films
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: British Council film made by Data
Production: Donald Alexander
Commentary: David Lloyd James
Music: Beethoven
Recording: R.C.A., by A.G. Ambler
Editor: E.Mason
Photography: Wolfgang Suschitzky
Made by: Jack Elliott
2 reels 1861ft / 21 mins Format: 35mm and 16mm, both Sd.
UK Rights: British Council

This is a short version of the British Council film Education of the Deaf reviewed in the Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 13, page 107, and is an excellent factual record of the work done for adults and children in Manchester at the University Department of Education of the Deaf, the Royal Residential Schools and the Christie Hospital.

This somewhat harrowing film brings home vividly the handicaps of deafness, which some of us are perhaps inclined to treat too lightly. Those who see this film will not be likely to continue to do so, and will at the same time be deeply impressed by the skilled aid given to these sufferers in Manchester. It could be shown with benefit to sensible upper forms in schools, in training colleges, women’s institutes and guilds, and indeed to any audience which is willing to see an occasional film which deals intelligently with some grave problems. *


* Appraisal by the Background Films Viewing Committee



Films issued between 29th February and March 31st (1948)

Papworth Village Settlement (Great Britain, 1945)
Educational Films
Distributors: Central Film Library
Producers: British Council Film made by World Wide
Production and direction: James Carr
Photography: Ronnie Anscombe
Script: Hilary Taylor
Editor: Alice Baker
Commentator: Ralph Truman
Music composed by: Ivor Walsworth
Music Adviser: Muir Mathieson
2 reels 1815ft / 20 mins Format: 35mm and 16mm, both Sd.
UK Rights: British Council

This British Council film, after a general survey of this village community for tubercular patients, founded by the late Sir Pendrill Varrier-Jones, deals with the history of one of them, an ex-sailor who was discharged because of T.B. and who, after treatment and a subsequent attempt to work under ordinary conditions, relapsed. He was sent to Papworth and, after a period of complete rest in hospital, was allotted a small chalet of his own, and subsequently put on to two hours’ work a day in ideal conditions in one of Papworth’s own factories. After 14 months he moved to a hostel, and finally to a cottage in the village of Papworth, where he lives with his wife and children in almost normal, yet sheltered, conditions.

This film should interest both youthful and adult audiences and stimulate them both to support this existing model community for the tubercular and also to discuss the possibility of providing more centres of this kind for those who, through permanent ill health, are unable to stand up to the harsh demands of the outside world. *

* Appraisal by the Background Films Viewing Committee