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This Is England

UK, 1941 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - Humphrey Jennings)

Director: Humphrey Jennings

This often underrated work is the prototypical Jennings' war film yet its powerful overlay of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on shots of Coventry Cathedral's wreckage and its climactic defiant battle cry of Handel's Halleluja. A Chorus against images of war factories and bombers taking off, heralded the changing mood of his films.

See also...

Words for Battle

Eight minutes of movie magic. We see con­temporary (1941) footage while we hear Lau­rence Olivier recite an idiosyncratic selection of English literature and the Gettysburg Address to the ... More »

FIRES WERE STARTED

... ... Jennings' first dramatised feature concerns the events of one afternoon and night during the blitz of London in 1943. It concentrates on a small team of the Auxiliary Fire Service and makes ... More »

Spare Time

... ... With little natural sound-the soundtrack consists largely of music from onscreen sources-and sparse commentary, the film shows how people spent their non-working hours. Overflowing with songs ... More »

London Can Take It

... ... Jennings' great wartime work really began with London Can Take It. Along with Watt he made this, the first of the home-front war films to make its mark. A one-reeler shot in haste, the film ... More »

English Harvest

... ... Shining with the soft hues of early colour and with Jennings evident love of the English landscape, each shot's composition reflects the classical balance and harmony of the romantic ... More »

Dim Little Island

The post-war world seemed to have little time or space for Jennings' films. By the end of the turbulent forties, the mood of Britain was changing profoundly, and his cinematic songs of unity and ... More »

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