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Shadows of Progress: Documentary films in post-war Britain 1951-1977 [DVD]

Various    Exempt   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Box set, Dolby, HiFi Sound, PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: BFI Video
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Nov 2010
  • Run Time: 700 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041HRS9E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,244 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Building on the phenomenal success of its 2008 DVD release Land of Promise The British Documentary Movement 1930 1950, the BFI here presents an expansive 4-disc reappraisal of documentary filmmaking in the post-war years. Examining films commissioned by both private industry and government departments this collection provides a fascinating portrait of Britian s social, cultural and industrial development throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The films explore topics more resonant today than ever: the joys of childhood, holidays, music, the place of the dispossessed and the marginalised in a prosperous society; industry s processes and landscapes, the environment, people and places, tradition and the future.

Presented with a fully illustrated 90 page perfect bound book containing contextualising essays on all of the films and filmmakers.

Extra Features:

  • All Films newly transferred to High-Definition from original film elements
  • Includes fully illustrated 90 page perfect bound book with contextualising essays on all of the films
  • Newly created documentary about the filmmakers and their work

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A full list of titles 9 Oct 2010

David (Paul Dickson, 1951, 38 mins)
To Be A Woman (Jill Craigie, 1951, 18 mins)
The Island (Peter Pickering, 1952, 25 mins)
The Elephant will Never Forget (John Krish, 1953, 10 mins)
Sunday by the Sea (Anthony Simmons, 1953, 13 mins)
Henry (Lindsay Anderson, 1955, 4 mins)
Foot and Mouth (Lindsay Anderson, 1955, 20 mins)
Birthright (Sarah Erulkar, 1958, 25 mins)
They Took Us To The Sea (John Krish, 1961, 26 mins)
Faces of Harlow (Derrick Knight, 1964, 30 mins)


Thursday's Children (Lindsay Anderson & Guy Brenton, 1954, 20 mins)
There Was a Door...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely stunning collection of documentary films, giving a wonderful picture of my childhood years and beyond. It does not give you a Pathe News or "Look at Life" feel good view of Post-War Britain, but digs far deeper into the social world in which I grew up. It is a mixture of entertaining and informative subjects, some of which will be a delight but others quite hard to watch. Most of the films are about 30 minutes in length , a few shorter.
Essential viewing for those who grew up in the 1950s, not so much nostalgia as a truly educational experience about the world around us as children.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recent History at its best 14 Dec 2010
The BFI do an incredible job of finding and archiving films which could otherwise just be lost to us.
This set of films covers that crucial period when the war was over but the country seemed uncertain of where it went next.
Social changes were significant and this whole aspect rapidly grew into the seventies when the roots of our new society were growing.
Of course theres propaganda - were new towns ever going to be the utopia that the film offers - but the feel of how life was for so many people does come over strongly in the sharp black and white photography and crisp direction - star directors often cut their teeth on these movies - and the strong social themes.
The film about the deprived children having a day out at the seaside is worth the price alone.
Its hard to believe that the world in these films was our world only a short time ago
For anyone who is interested in modern history and loves film heres the perfect package.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bravo bfi !!!! 5 Dec 2010
i'm a bit of a documentary fiend and up till a few years ago existed on a diet of shark / hitler / serial killer / cannibal programmes......oh dear !

thankfully after watching ''the tribe that hides from man'' i came to the conclusion that much of the best work was created decades ago.

''world in action'' and ''whickers world'' were quickly devoured ( there i go thinking i'm a shark )

i have collected many dvd's made by BFI and see them as a national treasure in themselves , the USA has ''criterion'' we have both BFI and EUREKA as producers of top quality product.

shadows of progress i consider the finest documentary collection currently available.
it is a real mixed bag of subjects , many subjects i truely believed i would find dull but no , every one held my interest.

''Thursday's Children'' i thought was just amazing , it touched upon the full range of emotions.....i didn't expect to laugh was during a very un-pc moment that wouldn't be broadcast these days !

i must mention ''The Elephant Will Never Forget'' it had me blubbing like a the demise of a tram of all things.

the boxset is top value considering the quality and quantity of documentaries included , the book is first class and very informative.

anyone reading this who like me watches : shark / hitler / serial killer / cannibal docs , please give this a try you will be surprised !

thanks mr brooke and everyone else at BFI for releasing these fabulous films to the public.
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