The Life Cycle of the Maize

About the film

Part of the archive's Junior Biology series, this study of maize is aided by diagrammatic, time-lapse, and microscopic footage.


  • Release year - 1942
  • Director - Mary Field
  • Production company - G.B. Instructional Limited
  • Cinematographer - F. Percy Smith
  • Advisor - M. Munro
  • Running time (minutes) - 09 mins 35 secs

Original description

'A biological study of maize, the universal corn. The camera speeds up its growth from seed to harvest. A magnified section of the leaf surface shows the stomata in action in fine and wet weather; the mechanism of germination is described; experiments show which mineral salts are needed in the soil.'

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

Did you know?

  • This was the first film of the Junior Biology series. The British Council decided to make 'educational' films as, until the outbreak of the Second World War, Germany had been the main producer of the world's educational films.
  • The Life Cycle of the Maize appears to have received a lot of negative feedback in Africa due to the shots of maize being fed to hens, and it not being stressed that maize is a staple food of Africans. For this same reason the film was not distributed in South America.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

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