BW 4/10 'The March Against Britain' (The Answer)

Relevant Films:
The Answer
Sailors Without Uniform
Women In Wartime

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All files dated June 1940-April 1941.

- JB Priestly gave early advice in the development of the film "The March Against Britain", which was planned to be a response to German propaganda films that featured patriotic songs.
-Letters describe the film as being "Britain's answer to the German challenge".
- To be a series of 8 vignettes showing different industries in different parts of Great Britain with corresponding songs playing over.

- A series of letters concern the production company needing to acquire exit visas for Ireland, and during wartime this was difficult. The fact that they only needed to film in the dockyard at Ulster made things easier.

- Film was completed in August 1940 & shipped almost immediately, in September, to New Zealand and India.

- There was initial difficulty securing a UK distributer, as many felt that the film was direct propaganda and films of these type were often given out to exhibitors for free by the MOI - why would exhibitors want to pay to rent this one?

- Secured distributors with Associated British Film Dist and Denning Film.

- A review of the film describes it as "something which makes the MOI shorts very small beer in comparison".

- Film was expensive due to the many location shots.

- Distributed all over the world, including but not limited to: Aden, Hong Kong, Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, Iceland, Malta, Cyprus, Mauritius, D.E. India, Gibraltar, Kenya, Palestine.

- The Answer was shown to the British Navy and proved to be very popular. Many requests from Naval Admirals for copies.

- Distributed often in a triple bill along with Sailors Without Uniform and Women in Wartime.

- MOI took very strong exception to The Answer. Claim it was "difficult to follow" and requested it to be withheld. Obivously, too late. They request it stopped being sent abroad. (again, too late). Claimed they never approved such a film, but the Council are able to provide minutes in which MOI representatives were not only present but actively approved such film.

- My personal opinion is that the film was so well received that there is a hint of jealousy - that the Council's film did a better job that the MOI's films, was more popular (especially with the Navy) and was actually making a lot of money too.

- Music sheets were sometimes sent out with the film so that audiences could sing along with the songs included.