Wednesday 13 May 2020

IWM's impressive film collection holds over 25,000 hours of moving images, including official newsreels, public information films, cartoons and documentaries, representing over a hundred years of filmmaking. 

For this series, IWM curators introduce us to their highlights from this vast collection. We'll be releasing a new film every Thursday here and on our YouTube channel, so watch this space for more. 


Calling Blighty thumbnail
Second World War
Calling Blighty from Burma, 1945
This film is from an extraordinary collection called Calling Blighty, in which Armed Forces personnel stationed in India and the Far East during the Second World War recorded messages to be sent back home. Here the Brighton Boys stationed in Burma are given around 10 seconds each to record their message. 
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Second World War
Vera Lynn chats with troops, 1944
The only known wartime footage of Vera Lynn, shot on 14 May 1944 near the Burmese border. The film captures Vera Lynn not singing but chatting to soldiers.
Calling Blighty thumbnail
Second World War
Choose Cheese, 1940
With rationing introduced early in 1940 in Britain, this public information film was created to advocate the advantages of eating cheese, explaining its health benefits with some (unverified) experiments as well as its versatility in cooking, from grilled cheese to cauliflower cheese.

Explore our film archive

Cameraman at war still

Explore our film archive

IWM Film is designed for the needs of commercial researchers. We have licensed footage for use in productions for over 60 years, contributing material to major documentary series, feature films and more.

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Evacuated troops on a destroyer about to berth at Dover, 31 May 1940.
Second World War
The Photographers And Filmmakers Who Captured The Second World War
When the Second World War broke out in September 1939, just one Army photographer, Geoffrey Keating, and one cameraman, Harry Rignold, accompanied the British Expeditionary Force to France. On 24 October 1941, the Army agreed to form a corps of trained photographers and cameramen.
A man chips away at a part of the Berlin Wall. Grafffiti above him reads 'Build Doors Not Walls.' Still from the NATO film collection.
Cold War
The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall on Film
Explore our timeline of key events in the Berlin Wall’s history using IWM’s film collection.