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The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume One: The First Days (DVD + Blu-ray) 
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THE COMPLETE HUMPHREY JENNINGS VOLUME 1: THE FIRST DAYS (DVD & Blu-ray)
Films by Humphrey Jennings
Widely considered to be one of Britain's greatest filmmakers, Humphrey Jennings has long been celebrated as the director of works which beautifully capture the everyday heroism in times of war and peace.
This, the first of three volumes which collect together Jennings entire output, gathers 14 films from 1934 1940 and provides a fascinating insight into his early days as a filmmaker learning and developing his craft. It features the critically acclaimed Spare time and the rousing London Can Take It!, as well as some previously neglected works and alternative versions, many of which are made available for the first time since their original release.
Volume 1 includes the following films:
- Post Haste (1934)
- Locomotives (1934)
- The Story of the Wheel (1934)
- Farewell Topsails (1937)
- Penny Journey (1938)
- Speaking from America (1938)
- The Farm (1938)
- Making Fashion (1938)
- Spare Time (1939)
- SS Ionian (1939)
- The First Days (1939)
- Spring Offensive (1940)
- Welfare of the Workers (1940)
- London Can Take It! (1940)
- Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
- The Birth of the Robot (1936): a Len Lye film for Shell on which Jennings collaborated
- English Harvest (1939): an alternative cut of The Farm
- Cargoes (1940): an alternative cut of SS Ionian
- Britain Can Take It! (1940): an alternative cut of London Can Take It!
- Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays and film credits
UK | 1934 1940 |black & white, and colour | English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 211 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono 2.0 audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono 2.0 audio (320kbps)
Region 0 PAL DVD
Region Free Blu-ray
'The only real poet that British cinema has produced' --Lindsay Anderson
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Post Haste (1934)
The Story of the Wheel (1934)
Farewell Topsails (1937)
Penny Journey (1938)
Speaking from America (1938)
The Farm (1938)
Making Fashion (1938)
Spare Time (1939)
SS Ionian (1939)
The First Days (1939)
Spring Offensive (1940)
Welfare of the Workers (1940)
London Can Take It! (1940)
As special features go, there's a couple of alternate cuts of the above films, and a 1936 film for Shell, 'The Birth of the Robot', which Jennings worked on. Jennings was one of the very best documentary makers Britain has ever produced, and hopefully this collection will reintroduce his work to a new generation.
I went to 'The Pictures' almost weekly during the early to mid sixties and would always watch everything shown at least once, often twice - I liked to get my money's worth. The main film, the 'B' film, Pathé News, the travelogue or whatever the documentary happened to be and even the adverts. It was far removed from the television of the time (black and white, grainy and small screen) and the cinema became an adventure.
These documentaries take me back to a more innocent time - happy days.
If you came from that era, its wonderful to see many long forgotten images of childhood, most of which was happening without my knowledge behind my mother however.
My favourite film has to be 'Sparetime' which has so much in common with 'Every Valley' the BT film of 1957, that one realises what influence HJ had on later film makers.
I highly recomend this and look forward to a purchase of the next volume.
Most recent customer reviews
HUMPHREY JENNINGS made this kind of film work an art form.
the whole trilogy is brilliant