British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Crown Film Unit

Profile

Born
1940
Dates
1940-1952
Role
Production Co.
Newsreels / Cinemagazines
Mining Review
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History

When the Ministry of Information was charged with controlling wartime propaganda, it took on the GPO Film Unit in 1939 and by the following year had changed its name to the Crown Film Unit. Under Humphrey Jennings, the unit produced some of the country’s best known documentaries, including TARGET FOR TONIGHT (1941) and WESTERN APPROACHES (1944). With the end of the Second World War it undertook many commissions for government departments and bodies, including the first six issues of Mining Review 1st Year, in 1947. From 1949 it made issues of the cinemagazine This Is Britain, produced by the Central Office of Information (COI) for the Board of Trade, until the series ended in 1951. The Unit itself only survived another year and ceased production in March 1952, primarily as a result of government cuts.

Sources

McFarlane, Brian. ‘The Encyclopedia of British Film’ (London; 2003), p152.

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