Skip to main content

Words for Battle

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

Director: Humphrey Jennings

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 music of those sterling Teutons, Beethoven and Handel.

See also...

This Is England

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 ... 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 »

Listen to Britain

... ... One of the most brilliant syntheses of Jen­nings' and collaborator Stewart McAllister's talents. Eschewing commentary and dialogue (with the exception of a brief introduction added after ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director