London 1942

About the film

Chronicling London during the midst of World War II, London 1942 illustrates the changes in daily life brought about by the pressures of war.

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  • Release year - 1943
  • Director - Ken Annakin
  • Production company - Greenpark, in association with Verity Films
  • Producer - Ralph Keene
  • Cinematographers - A. T. Dinsdale, John Havinden
  • Composer - David Moule Evans
  • Narration - Robert Speaight
  • Editor - Peter Tanner
  • Sound recording - Al Rhind
  • Musical director - Muir Mathieson
  • Music played by - London Symphony Orchestra
  • Running time (minutes) - 13 mins 46 secs

Original description

A picture of wartime London

'A picture of London in 1942 showing a cheerful though bomb-scarred city. The streets are full of British and Allied servicemen. In the parks there are allotments; tomatoes grow on roof tops. The film shows Londoners in the Home Guard and Civil Defence. It ends with scenes of London after dark.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1942-1943)

Did you know?

  • An uncredited young Bill Owen, most famous known for his portrayal of the character 'Compo' in ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, can be seen at 08:45, performing a cabaret act that he toured music halls with in order to pay for acting classes. This is the second-oldest known footage of him, following a Ministry of Information short. After the war, he would go on to find roles in feature films.
  • The Ministry of Information censored a shot of Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.) personnel manning an anti-aircraft gun, as the predictor shown on the gun was still on the ‘secret list’.

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