Island People

About the film

A cross-section of how various people across Britain spend Saturday - the day divided between work and recreation.

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  • Release year - 1940
  • Director - Philip Leacock
  • Production company - Realist Film Unit
  • Producer - John Taylor
  • Cinematographer - A.E. Jeakins
  • Running time (minutes) - 10 mins 01 secs

Original description

How six people spend Saturday

'It is Saturday in Britain, the day divided between work and rest. In the morning six people, representative of various types are seen at work in the industrial areas, on the farms and in the cities. They are a craftsman from the Midlands, a typist in a big Manchester office, a tug captain on the River Thames, a farmer from the Lowlands of Scotland, a woman doctor from Cardiff and a small boy who lives in a suburb. At midday the people crowd out of offices, factories and schools, all going home to prepare for the half-holiday. Saturday afternoon is set aside for enjoyment.
Out they go to their games and amusements, to play football and hockey, rugby and running, to work in the garden, to walk in the woods. At the end of the afternoon they go out to various places of amusement, or they return home to read and play or to make clothes or model aeroplanes.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1940)

Did you know?

  • This film is listed under the title Life in Britain in the 1940 Films of Britain catalogue, and is not named Island People in any Films of Britain catalogue. This suggests that the film has perhaps be re-edited, or re-dubbed, since its original completion.
  • In a Committee of Films for Overseas Publicity meeting held on 19th January 1940, with members from the British Council, Ministry of Information, British Film Institute, and the Foreign Office (including Sir Kenneth Clark - then director of the Films Division, M.O.I), it was decided that, as certain foreign distributors refused to circulate some British Council films because they were propagandist, they should distribute the films under a different name. As such, they chose to preface British Council films with the name TIDA (the Travel and Industrial Development Association of Great Britain and Ireland) the tourism company whose film department had been absorbed into the British Council at the outbreak of the Second World War.

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