GPO 30s Britain (Vol 1) View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Humphrey Jennings Alberto Cavalcanti G P O Film Unit Ralph Elton John Grierson Evelyn Spice

Produced: 1939

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: E

Format: DVD

Region: Region 0

Released: 31 July 2006

Cat No: RMA1003

Extras:
Languages(s): English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.33

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GPO 30s Britain (Vol 1)

DVD
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Collection of rare archive documentary films from the GPO unit. ’Granton Trawler’ (1934) is directed by John Grierson, and follows a... Read More

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Collection of rare archive documentary films from the GPO unit. ’Granton Trawler’ (1934) is directed by John Grierson, and follows a fishing trawler off Viking Bank. ’Coal Face’ (1935) uses poetry by W.H. Auden to underlay an examination of coal mining deep underground. ’A Job in a Million’ (1937) shows the process through which a young working class boy is trained as a messenger. ’Spare Time’ (1939), shows workers from the steel, cotton and coal industries enjoying their spare time. Finally, ’The City’ (1939) looks at the growth and development of London.

Granton Trawler - 11 min, John Grierson (1934) - A trawler out fishing on Viking bank. "The one credit I was absolutely insistent on was putting my name on as cameraman… I had to put my name on because there was nobody else on the picture except me. It was a solo effort… It is a sweet little film." Grierson. Coal Face, 12 min, Cavalcanti (1935) - A prestigious experiment in sound using coal-mining shots made by various members of the unit over a long period. A Job In A Million, 18 min, Evelyn Spice (1937) - This documentary showing a Cockney lad training to be a messenger boy is a perfect example of the breakthrough effected by the GPO Film Unit at a time when working-class people were usually presented as merely comic characters in British feature films. Spare Time, 14 min, Jennings (1939) - Showing how workers in three industries (steel, cotton and coal) spend their spare time. Jennings differed from earlier British documentarists in stressing workers individuality instead of presenting them as symbols of the dignity of labour. The City, 20 min, Ralph Elton (1939) - An analysis of the growth and development of London. The film highlights problems in the late Thirties and shows Post Office helping to reduce road congestion and improve the movement of mail through the use of its own underground train system.

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