Picture Paper - The Production of an Illustrated Paper

'A film showing the honesty and integrity of those who produce British picture magazines, describing the choosing of the subjects and the telling of a detailed story. The film has a subsidiary town-planning interest.' [1]

Date: 1946
Duration: 18:30

Director (?): Erik Cripps
Production Company: Horizon Film Unit / Verity Films
Producer: -
Cinematographer (?): Raymond Elton, and A.T. Dinsdale
Composer: Francis Chagrin
Narration: Leslie Bradley
Editor (?): Ernest Hilton
Sound Recording: -
Conductor: Francis Chagrin
(?): Maxwell Munden
(?): Albert Rayner
(?): Phillip Lindsay [Possibly]

The Journalist (Jim Good): Leslie Bradley
The Editor (Tom): Sir Thomas Hopkinson
Picture Post Staff at Editorial Meeting: Bert 'George' Hardy, Kurt Hutton, Albert Lancaster Lloyd, Fyfe Robertson, Anne Scott-James, Tom Wintringham. [List incomplete]

Length: 35mm: 1731ft. 16mm: 692ft.

Distributor: M.G.M.


The specific roles of most of the individuals listed in the title credits is not clear, as the credits merely state 'Made by', followed by a list of names. The roles listed above, denoted by a question mark where applicable, have been assigned based of the other works of the individuals in question.

It is believed that the editor in the film, though uncredited, is not an actor but in fact the real editor of the 'Picture Post' paper at the time - Sir Thomas Hopkinson. Other individuals seen at the editorial meeting are actual Picture Post journalists. Photographer Haywood Magee, though not seen, is mentioned in the meeting.

Title credits also read: 'Film Producers Guild Ltd. presents... Western Electric Recording at Merton Park Studios'

Title credits also read: 'The Producers wish to thank the Management and Staff of 'Picture Post' and other illustrated magazines for their help and interest in making this film.'


The town of 'Ironborough' featured in the film is, in fact, Middlesbrough. A number of the streets seen in the film - such as Unthank Street - were indeed knocked down and built over as part of the town's redevelopment. Signs can also be seen for nearby Yarm and Stockton-on-Tees.

Interestingly, the magazine shown in the film seems to comprise of a collection of articles drawn from several genuine issues of Picture Post.

Whilst the story 'How to Plan Your Town' shown in the film is fictional, a story of the same title was run in Picture Post in October 1944, and features some of the same photographs. See the following examples
(NB. Images not taken from the film Picture Paper are copyright of Getty Images, who acquired the rights to Hulton Picture Library - and consequently the images used in Picture Post - in 1996. More pictures from Picture Post's original How to Plan Your Town story - and its 1945 follow-up The Plan Matures - can be seen, and purchased, HERE.)

Still from 'Picture Paper' - 'How to Plan Your Town' Story

Copyright Getty Images - The Middlesbrough Joint Reconstruction Committee hold their monthly meeting in the town hall to discuss progress, 28th October 1944. Original Publication : Picture Post - 1828 - How To Plan Your Town - pub. 1944 (Photo by Kurt Hutton/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Still from 'Picture Paper' - 'Mr Spreadbury, the Thatcher' Story

Copyright Getty Images - 28th October 1944: A thatcher demonstrating how to hold the straw in place with Hazel 'rods' bent into a 'L' shape. Original Publication: Picture Post - 1829 - Mr Spreadbury The Thatcher - pub. 1944 (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images)

Still from 'Picture Paper' - Issue cover

Copyright Getty Images - 28th April 1945: Spanish gypsies Antonio Ruiz Soler and Rosario Perez perform the fiery Dance of Love from de Falla's 'El Amor Brujo', as seen on the Broadway stage. The headline beneath reads 'A Tribute To Britain'. Original Publication: Picture Post Cover - El Amor Brujo - pub. 1945 (Photo by IPC Magazines/Picture Post/Getty Images)

Picture Paper
Certificate: -
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Verity
1731ft / 19mins
The activities of a reporter on an illustrated periodical. [2]

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. [3]
  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50
  2. ^ New Short Films Issued between June 19 and July 15 [1946]
    Index to Vol.13 / No.s 145-156 / 1945-46
    British Monthly Film Bulletin
  3. ^ 30 November 1946
    Educational Films
    Index to Vol.13 / No.s 145-156 / 1945-46
    British Monthly Film Bulletin