2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Fascinating Amalgam of Period Military Publicity Films, 10 Nov. 2012
This is a rather unusual collection of films that most students of military history and armed forces will enjoy watching. First, they are not documentaries in the strict sense of the word; they are lacking in the analysis that viewers would expect of high-quality documentaries. Instead, these are public information/relations films, but produced to very high standards. The narration is simplistic but very informative; the intent of these films was to promote the British Armed Forces in their service throughout the world in the post-Second World War period. Several subjects are covered: (1) highlights of the Army in overseas garrisons; (2) the Victory Parade in London; (3) the British Armed Forces in Aden (Yemen); (4) the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean (as highlighted by the HMS Sheffield sometime in the 1970s; (5) the training of a civilian to serve in the ranks of the Royal Armoured Corps from induction to training to unit service in Germany and in the Reserve; (6) a very thorough treatment of how a RAF strike squadron plans and executes a mission during an exercise; and (7) several recruitment publicity films of various lengths. The film quality is crisp and clean throughout. These are not history documentaries; they are period films. They do provide excellent background to history texts and history documentaries though. This collection is very much a time capsule since the narration has not been edited; even the "cheesy" rock music of some of the recruiting publicity films evokes the period of the films. I'm glad that there are organizations such as the British Film Institute which have taken on the responsibility to preserve the film record. This collection is a good example of their work.