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Summary: A propaganda film covering London during the Battle of Britain.
Description: Intended for release in the US, the film praises the resistance shown by Londoners to the German bombing campaign and takes the form of a verbal report, by US correspondent Quentin Reynolds, spanning twelve hours in the life of the city. It opens with the "greatest civilian army ever to be assembled" returning from work to prepare for the "nightly battle of London". Reynolds stresses that, although the battle has gone on for five weeks, morale is high. As civilians enter shelters the volunteer services make ready for the coming attack. During the air raid the young and old sleep, contrasting with the volunteers manning guns and stations. It is emphasised that the sound effects are not fabricated - the bombs are real. Several shots of London under attack appear. After the "all clear" at 6 am, Londoners take stock, clear up and go to work. Ruined buildings figure heavily and the King and Queen are shown visiting a bombed area. As RAF bombers depart for Germany, the "unconquerable spirit and courage" of Londoners is praised again, and, although the film closes with a scene of destruction at Westminster, it is asserted that "London can take it".
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
GPO Film Unit (Production company)
Watt, Raymond Egerton Harry1906-10-181987-04-02British documentary film maker (Production individual)
Jennings, Humphrey (Production individual)
Jones, Jonah (Production individual)
Fowle, H E (Production individual)
Reynolds, Quentin (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: George VI, King (person)
Elizabeth, Queen (person)
Keywords: destruction, British military - area: bomb (object name)
propaganda, British - inspirational (object name)
society, British - precautionary (object name)
Second World War, British Home Front & Britain, Battle of & 1940 (event)
London, England, UK (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: 827 ft; Running time: 10 mins
Notes: Summary: a shorter version of this film was released under the title BRITAIN CAN TAKE IT (COI 944) for showing to UK audiences.
Remarks: LONDON CAN TAKE IT was produced for exhibition in American cinemas in order to drum up support for Britain at a time when isolationist sentiment was still strong in the USA.
Remarks: review of the film and full transcript of the commentary in Documentary News Letter Vol 1 no 11 November 1940.