London Can Take It!

Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt


Commento: Quentin Reynolds; F.: Jonah Jones, Henry Fowle; M.: Stewart Mcallister; Su.: Ken Cameron; Prod.: Gpo Film Unit, Per Ministry Of Information; 35mm. D.: 10’ A 24 F/S/ Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

If Welfare of the Workers dithers, London Can Take It! vigorously strides straight into the Blitz – the German bombardment of London, begun in September 1940, that killed over 13,000 and severely injured almost 18,000 before the end of the year. “It’s not the danger itself that bothers one”, Jennings wrote to his wife, now evacuated with their children to America, “but the mess afterwards – the smell of death and ruin and ambiguity meeting the daylight again. The gaps in the landscape. The smoking horror. The next morning”. Rapidly shot using six camera units, the film was aimed at American audiences with the contradictory purpose of assuring them that Britain was not beaten and persuading America to shake off its isolation and join the fight. Quentin Reynolds, who speaks his own commentary, was the war correspondent for the American magazine “Collier’s Weekly”. The film was rush-released in October 1940; Britain itself saw a shorter version, called Britain Can Take It!.

Geoff Brown

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