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Summary: Presents the Britain of the years following the First World War as a kind of terrestrial paradise in the making ("a future that was to be happier day after day") marred by only one mistake ("we forgot Germany") which has led to the renewal of war.
Description: Clips of WW1 film recall Germany's defeat; thereafter the film sets out visually to illustrate the Utopian outlook of the commentary with carefully composed shots showing the most impressive new buildings, hydro-electric schemes, roads, railways, tunnels, bridges, docks, communications technology ("it was for ordinary people that all these things were done") factory conditions ("the new employer and new employee worked together for the common good") housing ("a million people exchanged slum for sun") schooling, social services, recreation, family life: "We had our revolution too, so quietly that we hardly noticed it... We never knew how free we were; and for our children we planned a better world yet." But, throughout, "We had forgotten Germany;" now war has resulted but "Hitler has forgotten something too," the spirit of the British - "simple, unboastful, and unbreakable."
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Strand (Production company)
Keene, Ralph (Production individual)
Shaw, Alexander (Production individual)
Marlborough, Charles (Production individual)
Rhind, Al (Production individual)
Alwyn, William (Production individual)
Mathieson, Muir (Production individual)
Groves, Reg (Production individual)
Greene, Graham (Production individual)
Arden, Neal (Production cast)
Taylor, Donald19111966British film producer and director. (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Keywords: propaganda, British - inspirational (object name)
society, British - ethnic (object name)
society, British - history (object name)
GB, England (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 986 ft; Running time: 11 mins
Notes: Credits: sound recordist Al Rhind has his name written in full ("Alfred Rhind") on the credits
Remarks: comment seems superfluous - the modern viewer must wonder whether the government (or Graham Greene) seriously expected people to forget the depression, hunger marches etc. With its uncritical nostalgia for an idealised pre-war Britain, this film offers an excellent contrast to later Ministry of Information films which acknowledged bad pre-war conditions, and turned improvement of them into a war aim.