7.1/10
549
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:

Writer:

(commentary)
Reviews

Photos

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
Four Seasons (1975)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Documentary | Short
    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
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
Tiexi qu (2002)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The impact of the decline of heavy industry on workers and their families in the Tiexi district of Shenyang, China, at the turn of the 21st century, documented unflinchingly by a fly-on-the-wall camera.

Director: Bing Wang
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In one of the first mockumentaries ever created, director Jean Rouch takes his viewers to the city of Accra (West Africa) where he follows the Hauka movement and their religious and ritual ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Rouch
Stars: Jean Rouch
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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Divided into three segments, namely 1 Neocolonialism, 2 Act for liberation, 3 Violence and liberation, the documentary lasts more than 4 hours this deals with the defense of the revolution ... See full summary »

Directors: Octavio Getino, Fernando E. Solanas
Stars: María de la Paz, Fernando E. Solanas, Edgardo Suárez
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A chronogical about life including self, family, friend, couple and idol in 6 reels

Director: Jonas Mekas
Stars: Timothy Leary, Ed Emshwiller, Franz Fuenstler
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Anna Magnani, Odoardo Spadaro, Nada Fiorelli
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
Outer Space (1999)
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Footage from The Entity (1980) is edited into an abstract nightmare.

Director: Peter Tscherkassky
Stars: Barbara Hershey
Edit

Cast

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

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diario para Timoteo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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: [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 »

Connections

Featured in How We Used to Live (2013) 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 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.


3 of 3 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

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial