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  • Land Of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930-1950 [DVD]
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Land Of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930-1950 [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Mary Blakeman, John Grierson, Howard Marshall, Donald Bisset, Marjorie Dalziel
  • Directors: Arthur Elton, Basil Wright, Cyril Frankel, Francis Gysin, Geoffrey Bell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 28 April 2008
  • Run Time: 720 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015DLZVY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,989 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Collection of classic and lesser-known documentaries released between 1930 and 1950. The films capture the spirit and strength, concerns and resolve of Britain before, during and after World War II. Among the 40 films featured are Paul Rotha's 'Shipyard', Arthur Elton's 'Housing Problems', and Humphrey Jennings' 'Word for Battle', 'Listen to Britain' and 'A Diary for Timothy'.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By antom TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Aug. 2008
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Land of Promise is an outstanding box set of 4 DVDs containing 40 key British documentaries made between 1930 and 1950. Presented chronologically, the films cover a broad range of social and industrial topics: problems faced by the working class; education and schools; industrialisation and skills; morale-boosting advice for Britons at war. Not all the films have a bold scope, for example Humphrey Jennings's 1937 colour short "Farewell Topsails" simply, and artistically, covers the last voyages of commercial sailing ships transporting extracted kaolin from Cornwall. Documentaries about British life during World War II are especially well represented. The accompanying 92 page booklet is well illustrated and informative.

In Land of Promise, the BFI have put together a treasure trove that will delight anyone interested in the history of film, documentaries or Britain.
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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Jalllala on 26 April 2008
Only April and already we have THE finest DVD release of the year (although Fremantle's "Absolutely Everything" box comes close!). Would/could any company other than the BFI lavish this kind of care and attention on such a wide range of rarely seen films? Painfully nostalgic and of immense social importance the films in this set are a history lesson in a box and the superb content is matched only by the packaging and book that is included with the release. A sturdy box houses a fold out digipack (please use thin-paks next time BFI) and it's accompanying book. Don't be fooled by descriptions of this as a "booklet", it is a substantial piece in it's own right - something anyone interested in the subject would be happy to pay £5+ for on it's own and for what you get the set as a whole is bargain-priced even at full RRP. Even the mighty Criterion would struggle to match the quality and assurance of this staggering release. Highly recommended (as is their "Free Cinema" release).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Pearce VINE VOICE on 25 Jun. 2009
This is a stunning boxed set with the most incredible selection of films. Charting the influence of the British Documentary movement either side of the Second World War it covers the whole gamut of the British social experience. It is impossible to pick out individual highlights although for me Five Towns was a superb look at The Potteries as it was in 1947 whilst Children's Charter from 1945 outlines the Education Act of 1944. The education system detailed therein seems to be a lot better than today's piecemeal attempts! The fabulous book gives a wealth of background information about the films themselves and the people involved. It is quite simply perfect and I hope the BFI look in to their vaults to find more windows onto the past.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Colin Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Nov. 2010
This collection of 40 films, made between 1930-50, have running times that vary between 3 to 63 minutes.
Among the subjects covered here, are the lives of Britons before, during and after the war. We find people in the 30's seeking employment in the labour exchange, we see the appalling living conditions in the slums, childrens education also features, and factory work is also shown.

From the mining industry, we move on to farmwork and countrylife, the preparation for war and the lives of the public during air-raids, and work in ammunition factories is shown.
After the war, we see the country attempting to return to normal life, with films on the cotton industry and transport. All this and more is covered in this excellent, diverse collection of documentary/docu-drama's.

Picture and sound quality are good, with English subtitles.
Also included is a superb 92-page booklet, with full details of all the films and the directors, the four discs and booklet are stored in a sturdy cardboard outer case.

Here is a list of the films with brief details.

*DISC ONE - Industrial Britain (1931,B/W,20 mins). Shipyard (1935,B/W,24 mins). Workers And Jobs (1935,B/W,11 mins). Housing Problems (1935,B/W,15 mins). Children At School (1937,B/W,23 mins). Fairwell Topsails (1937/colour/8 mins). Today We Live (1937,B/W,23 mins). Eastern Valley (1937,B/W,16 mins). People Of Britain - aka Peace Of Britain (1936,B/W,3 mins). If War Should Come (1939,B/W,9 mins).

*DISC TWO - Britain At Bay (1940,B/W,7 mins). Transfer Of Skill (1940,B/W,10 mins). They Also Serve (1940,B/W,10 mins). Tomorrow Is Theirs (1940,B/W,9 mins). Words For Battle (1941,B/W,7 mins). Ordinary People (1941,B/W,27 mins). Five And Under (1941,B/W,16 mins). Night Shift (1942,B/W,14 mins).
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