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

Mary Blakeman , Howard Marshall , Arthur Elton , Basil Wright    Exempt   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Mary Blakeman, Howard Marshall, Donald Bisset, Marjorie Dalziel, Gordon McDougall
  • 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: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015DLZVY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,200 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

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'.

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
By antom
Verified Purchase
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible release. 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
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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