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A Diary for Timothy (1945)

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:

Humphrey Jennings

Writer:

E.M. Forster (commentary)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Redgrave ... Narrator (voice)
Myra Hess Myra Hess ... Self (pianist) (as Dame Myra Hess)
John Gielgud ... Hamlet
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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:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film contains an excerpt from Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, known as "Appassionata", performed by Myra Hess, after we are shown the wall poster announcing it as "5th Birthday Concert - Tue Oct 10 1 o'clock", one of the many daily concerts the lady pianist gave at The National Gallery, London, beginning the very day WWII was declared. 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 Biography: The History of Hamlet (1995) 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

 
Timothy Who Will Be 76 in the Year 2020
30 August 2020 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

A thoughtful record of the bleak final winter of World War II. My mother remembered hearing doodlebugs passing over Norfolk and I have a two year-old nephew currently oblivious of the present crisis; while what is now, as in wartime, known as the air raid siren ("I hope you'll never have to hear that sound, Tim") was ironically still a familiar sound to me as a child twenty years later as the maroon that summoned the fire brigade and lifeboats. So my own life spans the gap between both the events unfolded here and the current dark days we are living through three-quarters of a century later. Young Timothy was born on 1 September 1944, and there are still prominent figures in politics both here and in the United States (including the Democratic challenger in this autumn's elections) who were already born before he was.

(Modern viewers may criticise the lack of black faces, but Churchill remarkably is also absent from the film.)


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diario para Timoteo See more »

Filming Locations:

City of London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crown Film Unit See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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