Power Lines

About the film

An amusing and informative introduction to the manufacture of power cables, set to a jaunty musical score.

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  • Release year - 1944
  • Director - James E. Rogers
  • Production company - Merton Park Studios
  • Screenplay - Jack Saward
  • Cinematographer - James E. Rogers
  • Composer - Charles Williams
  • Narration - Alvar Lidell, Norman Shelley
  • Editor - C. Beaumont
  • Running time (minutes) - 15 mins 50 secs

Original description

Making a cable

'The manufacture of cables for transmitting electric power is shown. Copper bars are rolled and drawn into wire, which is twisted into strands, and covered for insulation and protection with layers of rubber, lead, cloth and paper. The completed cables are then given high-voltage tests before being dispatched from the factory.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1946)

Did you know?

  • Power Lines is unusual in that it has two narrators, both of whom were popular choices for British Council films. BBC announcer and newsreader Alvar Lidell also narrated British Council films Architects of England, Gardens of England, and the medical series Techniques in Plastic Surgery. Actor Norman Shelley, best known for voicing Winnie-the-Pooh in the BBC’s Children’s Hour, also narrated The Little Ships of England and We of the West Riding.
  • The music for Power Lines was composed by Charles Williams, whose extensive musical output frequently ended up as stock music and thus often went uncredited. Two such pieces are ‘The Young Ballerina’, which accompanied the famous 1950s BBC interlude known as The Potter’s Wheel, and ‘Girls in Grey’, which was the theme to the BBC’s Television Newsreel.

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