7.1/10
581
6 user 8 critic

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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Elephant (TV Short 1989)
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A depiction of a series of violent killings in Northern Ireland with no clue as to exactly who is responsible.

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Gary Walker, Bill Hamilton, Michael Foyle
Man of Aran (1934)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Colman 'Tiger' King, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins
My Winnipeg (2007)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fact, fantasy and memory are woven seamlessly together in this portrait of film-maker Guy Maddin's home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Louis Negin
Hellzapoppin' (1941)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »

Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin
Stars: I. Inkizhinov, I. Dedintsev, Valéry Inkijinoff
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A documentary short depicting a Hauka ceremony where young workers are possessed by British colonial officers.

Director: Jean Rouch
Stars: Jean Rouch
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A juvenile offender at a tough reform school impresses its governor with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks
Edit

Cast

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

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diario para Timoteo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Crown Film Unit See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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.
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 »

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
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 ilpohirvonenSee 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.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed