About the film

A dramatic account of the lifeboatmen of Mousehole in Cornwall, and their efforts to rescue the crew of a foundering ship.

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  • Release year - 1940
  • Producers - Martin Curtis, John Eldridge
  • Screenplay - Cecil Burge
  • Cinematographer - Martin Curtis
  • Composer - William Alwyn
  • Narration - Leslie Mitchell
  • Editor - John Eldridge
  • Performers - Bill Blewitt (himself)
  • Running time (minutes) - 12 mins 12 secs

Original description

The work of the lifeboats

'Britain's lifeboatmen must be ready at all times to put to sea to help sailors in distress. At a lifeboat station in Cornwall fishermen are ready to man the lifeboat and go to the aid of any ship in distress however rough the sea. From time to time an inspector from the headquarters of Britain's voluntary lifeboat organization [sic], the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, carries out a rigid inspection and test of the boat. A fault in the propellor is remedied in time for the men to put out to sea in response to an SOS from a ship in difficulties.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)

Did you know?

  • This film is set in Mousehole in Cornwall. The ships in the harbour at Mousehole all carry the registration mark ‘PZ’, for nearby Penzance.
  • The main character in this film, Bill Blewitt, was a genuine Cornish fisherman and postman. After a chance encounter with director Harry Watt, he starred in GPO documentary The Saving of Bill Blewitt (1937), and would go on to have roles in a handful of feature films such as Nine Men (1943). He also appears in the British Council Film Trinity House.

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