Millions Like Us [1943]

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Millions Like Us [1943]

Millions Like Us [1943]

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Wikipedia mentions that the movie was a "hit" in the USSR, which was also fighting Hitler. And the reason (to me) is simple: it's about regular people, the plight of the working class. There are few pretensions here (if any). And the filming is unusually tightly framed, by which I mean the compositions fill the frame, almost cramping the space on the screen, and it makes for a pleasure to watch, and makes for a lot to look at in every frame. And then the acting itself, without star power, is so straight forward and believable, even the slower moments make you pay attention. The acting, especially in the home sequences, is low-key in the same manner as Lean's 'This Happy Breed'. A far cry from the stagey histrionics of pre-war British cinema, it anticipates the naturalism of TV drama. There are no big speeches or characters, just commonplace folk muddling through. The interpolation of Naunton and Wayne, whom L&G had made a crosstalk team in 'The Lady Vanishes', is the only concession to a 1930s conception of entertainment. After the outbreak of war, Launder and Gilliat continued to work apart on various films (all classics in their own right) until their collaboration with Carol Reed on the outbreak-of-war thriller Night Train to Munich in 1941.

During the same period they worked together on several Ministry of Information propaganda shorts in support of the British War effort – Ditto 'Millions Like Us' by another talented duo. Launder and Gilliat, well established as scriptwriters, ventured into feature direction (the only time they took a joint credit) with this episodic and fascinating study of life on the home front. A film about and for women in the workplace may sound like a step forward from the usual patriarchal portrayal of the female sex. Yet, at its heart this is a deeply conservative film. Ultimately Celia finds fulfillment with and through a man and whilst the companionship of women is important, all the female characters are searching for a husband. During World War II, young Celia is separated from her family when she is called up to work in an aircraft components factory, but finds love in the arms of an RAF pilot. Show full synopsisRoc is best remembered by Americans in her one and only Hollywood film, the western Canyon Passage. And Crawford before she died tragically at the age of 36 made her mark across the pond as Morgan LeFay in Knights of the Round Table with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. Anne didn't yield an inch to Ava in the beauty department. Fearing her father's disapproval if she moves away from home, Celia hesitates about joining up but eventually her call-up papers arrive. Hoping to join the WAAF or one of the other services, Celia instead gets posted to a factory making aircraft components, where she meets her co-workers, including her Welsh room-mate Gwen Price and the vain upper middle-class Jennifer Knowles. Knowles dislikes the work they have to do at the factory, causing friction with their supervisor Charlie Forbes which eventually blossoms into a verbally combative romance.

Occasionally, there are flashes of mild interest. Eric Portman and Anne Crawford have a couple of tense sequences together and manage to perk the proceedings somewhat. Does anyone know if there is a good book covering the BRITWAR films (for want of a better name) including the Michael Powell, etc. films. Fortunataely, the Daily Mail gave a DVD of the film away free in early 2009, so getting hold of a copy should not be too hard for folks in reach of a British charity shop. I don't know if the DVD is region-restricted, so readers in other parts of the world may have greater difficulty getting a copy if this.Selected items are only available for delivery via the Royal Mail 48® service and other items are available for delivery using this service for a charge. So much for the uplift. Rarely has a pill been so deftly sugared, however. The scene-setting in the widower's house is an index of the film's almost obsessive determination to avoid overt uplift. Millions Like Us" is an awfully good film because it is so incredibly ordinary and simple. That's because it's goal is to provide a snapshot of what life was like for seemingly ordinary women during WWII. It follows one woman in particular, but you also see quite a bit about the other women and their lives as well--and is an invaluable documentary-like look into the WWII era. The one performance I did enjoy, was that of Moore Marriott as the father of the family in question. He is mainly in the earlier portion of this movie but he is the one to remember. Much of the film is set in an aeroplane factory, where daydreaming Celia ( Patricia Roc) works alongside down-to-earth Gwen ( Megs Jenkins) and snobbish Jennifer ( Anne Crawford), who arrives dressed to the nines and who feels that her new job is beneath her. But their no-nonsense boss Charlie Forbes ( Eric Portman) is adamant that petty class distinctions are no longer relevant during wartime - something the refugee families crowding into trains' first-class compartments would readily agree with.

A nearby RAF bomber station sends some of its men to a staff dance at the factory, during which Celia meets and falls in love with an equally shy young Scottish flight sergeant Fred Blake. Their relationship encounters a crisis when Fred refuses to tell Celia when he is sent out on his first mission, but soon afterwards they meet and make up, with Fred asking Celia to marry him. After the wedding they spend their honeymoon at the same south coast resort as the Crowsons went to in 1939, finding it much changed with minefields and barbed wire defending against the expected German invasion. However, the Directors should be applauded for having done a good job in making an enjoyable, informative propaganda film. Launder and Gilliat’s brief in making Millions Like Us was clearly propaganda led in making factory work for women appear in as positive a light as possible.FILM CABLE FROM LONDON:". Sunday Times (Perth, WA: 1902 – 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 17 March 1946. p.13 Supplement: The Sunday Times MAGAZINE . Retrieved 11 July 2012.

It centres on the long, dull hiatus between the Blitz and invasion scares of 1940 and the forthcoming relief of D-Day in 1944. The propaganda purpose was to rededicate civilians who were becoming bored with the seeming stalemate: Hitler no longer menacing us, we not yet able to take the war to his camp. Women were targeted for morale-boosting. The film aimed to convince these 'millions' that their conscription into factories, often seen as unglamorous by comparison with uniformed service alongside the fighting men, was essential for victory. Today's audience will have it driven home just how much danger of invasion the United Kingdom was in when they see the direction signs on roads cut down and painted over. The better for the enemy not to be helped should he land.Millions Like Us was, according to the film Director Paul Rotha, completely based on his film Night Shift. Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat claim never to have seen Night Shift.

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