Mary Field

Mary Field

History of the English Language

Born in 1986, Mary Field was best known for producing and directing educational children’s programmes.

Originally a teacher and historian, she became Educational Manager at British Instructional Films in 1925. There she learnt the film-making trade and helped to produce the pioneering Secrets of Nature wildlife series with F. Percy Smith. When the company later became Gaumont-British Instructional, she directed the new Secrets of Life nature series as well as other educational programmes.

During World War Two she directed a number of films on similar topics for the British Council, though these often held a social or political subtext.

Following the war, Field focussed on improving informative-yet-entertaining children’s programming until her retirement in 1963. During her lifetime she received an OBE for her work and became a Fellow of the British Film Academy, and her legacy can be seen today in programmes such as Blue Peter.

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BFI ScreenOnline

Mary Field's Collection films: