TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 January 2011
This diverse collection of fifteen documentary/docu-dramas were made by the GPO film unit from 1933-35, with running times ranging from 4 to 56 minutes, and covers mostly the post, the telephone, and the telegram.
The first film "The Coming Of The Dial" shows new technology replacing the need for telephone operators to place calls manually with plugs and switches.
My personal favourite of the collection is "John Atkins Saves Up", a charmingly whimsical public information film, in which the aforementioned Mr Atkins goes to the post office every week to place money in his post office savings account for his summer holiday, and when sat at his office desk he dreams of romance in his forthcoming holiday.
The film "Weather Forecast" shows the importance of the G.P.O's telecommunications system, with the impending arrival of a storm. The 15 minute "6.30 Collection" shows the arrival and sorting of the mail at a large sorting depot.
"The King's Stamp" tells the story of the postage stamp, with the introduction of the now much-prized Penny Black, the film also shows the rise in popularity of stamp collecting.
"Sixpenny Telegram" is another charming short, set to music, the film is a simple advertisement for the telegram of the title. This collection also contains an experimental animation - "A Colour Box".
Picture and sound quality are good. All films were shot on 35mm film.
This is another excellent release from the BFI.
Here is a list of the films with a few details:
The Coming Of The Dial (14 mins,B/W,1933).
Cable Ship (12 mins,B/W,1933).
Granton Trawler (11 mins,B/W,1934).
John Atkins Saves Up (18 mins,B/W,1934).
Air Post (12 mins,B/W,1934).
The Glorious Sixth Of June (11 mins,B/W,1934).
Pett And Pott (31 mins,B/W,1934).
6.30 Collection (15 mins,B/W,1934).
Weather Forecast (18 mins,B/W,1934).
Song Of Ceylon (40 mins,B/W,1934).
A Colour Box (4 mins,colour,1935).
Coal Face (12 mins,B/W,1935).
The King's Stamp (20 mins,B/W and Colour,1935).
BBC The Voice Of Britain (56 mins,B/W,1935).
Sixpenny Telegram (6 mins,B/W,1935).
*On The Fishing Banks Of Skye (8 mins,B/W,1935).
*GPO Film Display Trailer.
*76-page Booklet containing introductory essays, biographies of the directors, and film notes.
*Dolby Digital mono audio.
*Optional English subtitles.
The discs and booklet are neatly stored in a sturdy cardboard outer case.