If War Should Come

18 films providing a fascinating and poignant insight into a nation on the cusp of war and its transition to the brutal realities of life in the Blitz.

The BFI National Archive, in partnership with the British Postal Museum & Archive, Royal Mail and BT Heritage, has curated and preserved the legendary output of short films produced by the GPO Film Unit.

This, the final of three volumes, covers 1939-1941, the last years of the GPO Film Unit before it evolved into Crown Film Unit, and sees it at its most technically sophisticated, with directors such as Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt and Alberto Cavalcanti leading the way in the use of documentary cinema in support of the war effort. Featuring the poetic masterpiece Spare Time and the rousing classics London Can Take It! and Christmas Under Fire, the 18 films in this collection provide a fascinating and poignant insight into a nation on the cusp of war and its transition to the brutal realities of life in the Blitz.

Disc one

  • The City (1939)
  • The Islanders (1939)
  • Spare Time (1939)
  • A Midsummer Days Work (1939)
  • SS Ionian (1939)
  • If War Should Come (1939)
  • The First Days (1939)
  • War Library Items 1,2,3 (1940)

Disc two

  • Squadron 992 (1940)
  • La Cause Commune (1940)
  • French Communique (1940)
  • The Front Line (1940)
  • Men of the Lightship (1940)
  • London Can Take It! (1940)
  • Spring Offensive (1940)
  • Story of an Air Communique (1940)
  • War and Order (1940)
  • Christmas Under Fire (1941)

Special features

  • An interview with Pat Jackson.
  • Britain Can Take It!

Product information

    • Certificate

      Exempt

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Subtitles

      English for the hard-of-hearing

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD760

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