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 »

Director:

Writer:

(commentary)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister
Stars: Leonard Brockington, Joseph Macleod, Bud Flanagan
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A new man joins the civilian firefighters at a London unit during the Second World War. He meets his fellow firemen and firewomen, manages to enjoy some leisure time with them, and then ... See full summary »

Director: Humphrey Jennings
Stars: Philip Dickson, George Gravett, Fred Griffiths
Night Mail (1936)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Directors: Harry Watt, Basil Wright
Stars: Arthur Clark, John Grierson, Stuart Legg
Four Seasons (1975)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The last collaboration of Artavazd Peleshian and cinematographer Mikhail Vartanov is a film-essay about Armenia's shepherds, about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, scored to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Touki Bouki (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mory, a cowherd, and Anta, a university student, try to make money in order to go to Paris and leave their boring past behind.

Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Stars: Magaye Niang, Mareme Niang, Aminata Fall
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Fini Straubinger, M. Baaske, Elsa Fehrer
I, a Negro (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

"I, a Negro" depicts young Nigerien immigrants who left their country to find work in the Ivory Coast, in the Treichville quarter of Abidjan, the capital. These immigrants live in squalor ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Rouch
Stars: Oumarou Ganda, Gambi, Petit Touré
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Georges Hubert, Nicole Ladmiral, Alfred Macquart
Documentary | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

What starts off as a conventional travelogue turns into a satirical portrait of the town of Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, especially its wealthy inhabitants.

Director: Jean Vigo
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

This documentary explores the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, its priceless treasures and how humanity remembers itself.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Jacques Dumesnil
Documentary | War | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A tribute to the courage and resiliency of Britons during the darkest days of the London Blitz.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt
Stars: Quentin Reynolds, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Pierre Renoir, Georges Térof, Winna Winifried
Edit

Cast

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

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dziennik dla Tymoteusza  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Contains the only filmed record of John Gielgud performing the role of Hamlet in full costume and makeup, as he was actually doing onstage at the time that this short subject was filmed. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [last lines]
[addressing Tim, 6 months old]
Narrator: Well, dear Tim. That's what has been happening around during your first six months - and you see, it was your only chance that you were safe and sound. Up to now, we've done the talking but before long, you'll sit up and take notice. What'll you going to say over it? And what are going to do? You'll have more grandiose things ahead - unemployment after the war, and then another war, and then more unemployment! Will it be like that again? Are you going ...
See more »

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 »


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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A very evocative film indeed - Emotional poetry
27 July 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

In the history of cinema, the history of documentary is very interesting and when talking about the subject and the United Kingdom, people cannot leave two names alone; Basil Wright and Humphrey Jennings. Basil Wright directed The Song of Ceylon, which was a shocking description of UK's colonial possessions. Then Humphrey Jennings made many propaganda films during the WWII, the most well known of them are Words for Battle (1941), which was a poetic picture of England, read by Laurience Olivier. Listen to Britain (1942), which used sound as narrative it didn't use commentary tracks at all when describing one day in London, and many see it as one of the finest documentaries ever made. Then last but not least A Diary for Timothy (1945), which is a very evocative pacifistic propaganda film.

The production of Humphrey Jennings is fascinating, he never followed the same scheme. For instance in Words for Battle (1941) a famous actor read the poetic commentary for the film, in Listen to Britain (1942) he didn't used commentary at all only the sound and music. Then A Diary for Timothy achieves to bring something completely new once again. It's dedicated to a boy called Timothy who was born on 9.3.1944, the fifth anniversary day of WWII. The documentary shows the world around Timothy, what happens in it, in what kind of place young Timothy will grow up. The poetic commentary of the film is like an essay read an actor, an essay tied to emotional situation.

A Diary for Timothy is pure cinematic poetry, only few have reached, and if talking about the history of documentary, only Jean Vigo and Humphrey Jennings. It is an evocative documentary, which calls us to make a change. The film is existentialistic, it highlights the experience of an individual during the time which wasn't the time of existentialism, people believed in communality. But A Diary for Timothy managed to light a new spark of hope in the people.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss A Diary for Timothy (1945) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?