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A Diary for Timothy (1945)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 403 users  
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This brief documentary-style film presents the status of Great Britain near the end of the Second World War by means of a visual diary for a baby boy born in September, 1944. Narration ... See full summary »

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Title: A Diary for Timothy (1945)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Myra Hess ...
Herself (pianist) (as Dame Myra Hess)
...
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Storyline

This brief documentary-style film presents the status of Great Britain near the end of the Second World War by means of a visual diary for a baby boy born in September, 1944. Narration explains to "Timothy" what his family, his neighbors, and his fellow citizens are going through as the war nears its end, and what problems may remain for new Englishmen like Timothy to solve. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Short | Documentary

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Details

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Release Date:

27 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dziennik dla Tymoteusza  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eponymous hero of this docu-drama, Timothy 'Tim' James Jenkins, was one of the pupils in the Boys School of Varndeam Grammar School, Brighton, East Sussex, England, in 1956. In his late teens, he was part of the 'Mod' London subculture of fashion suits, pop and folk music, all night dancing, and scooters to return home in the late hours of night; and curiously, the pop art Mod symbol was based on the logo of the RAF airplanes when Tim was born. He grew up to be a grammar school teacher, and a good one it seems. And he died young, in December 2000, in a time it was plain to see that the «greed for money, or power, out of all decency» had won the war that followed WWII. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [addressing Tim, 7 days old] Did you like the music that lady was playing? Some of us think it is one of the greatest musics in the world. It's German music, and we are fighting the Germans. That's something you'll have to think about later on.
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Crazy Credits

Frederick Allen is not listed in the written credits, but he does announce his own name ("This is BBC News read by Frederick Allen"). See more »

Connections

Featured in Hamlet (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No.23 in F Minor Opus 57, Appassionata
(excerpt)
Performed by Myra Hess
At The National Gallery, London, Tuesday October 10, 1944
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User Reviews

Fanfare for the wartime common man.
3 February 2002 | by (dundee) – See all my reviews

'Diary for Timothy' is that most precious thing - a snapshot in time of ordinary people, their hopes and aspirations. It is considered by many to be Jennings's masterpiece.

The film is constructed around the first year of life for a baby, born in the closing stages of the war. There are two radical elements that distinguish this from his previous films. Firstly, the very literate narrative, written by E.M. Forster, no less! Secondly, the characters who appear are allowed to speak for themselves, almost in the form of soliloquy. Here are the voices of Britain, and one is reminded of Chesterton's poem in that they 'have not spoken yet'.

The mood of the film is very subtle. Although not strident, it and the characters in it argues the necessity for a better world and a fairer society (anticipating the Labour landslide).

What is really poignant is the realisation that many of these hopes have not been realised.


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