Terence Michael Gallacher died on the 3rd October 2014, almost 69 years to the day he entered British Movietone News for the first time in 1945, he was eighty five. Read more
Posts from the ‘1940s’ Category
15th March 1944 – On this day the Second Battle of Cassino opened. The town of Cassino was on a mountain to the east of the Monastery which had already been flattened. Paul Wyand and Martin Gray were determined to get to the front to get a good view of the assault. In the car they carried their American tent colleagues plus a third who had joined them for the ride. He was Sherman “Monty” Montrose of United Press.
As they left the main highway to take a back road, they were stopped by an American colonel. He said that that road was under continual German observation and that they had been firing at any movement they saw on it. Read more
March 1942 – British Movieone News cameraman Alec Tozer was accompanied by George Rodger while searching for stories in Burma. George Rodger was the renowned stills photographer of Time Life based in London. They had heard that Rangoon was about to be taken by the Japanese. They wanted to get close enough to film something. They had each been equipped with a Jeep. Read more
April 6th 1944 – Movietone had been commissioned, in December 1943, to make a short film for the Empire Division of the Ministry of Information on “The Life of Princess Elizabeth”. Little or nothing had been done since receiving the commission probably due to the inability of the officials at The Palace to organize things. Any thought of getting the film ready for the Princess’s birthday had to be dismissed because her birthday was now less than two weeks away and not a single foot had been shot. Read more
At the end of each year Movietone would produce a review of the year’s main stories. This served two purposes. The first was to provide its audiences with a reminder of the main events of the year and the second the pre-production of the issue allowed the staff to take extra leave at Christmas. Read more
Schlachtschiff Bismarck, pride of the Kriegsmarine, was a state-of-the-art warship.
Together with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen the ship was based in Norway. On May 21st 1941, the two warships set off for the Atlantic where they were to attack Allied merchant ships. It was called Operation Rheinubung. The Admiralty, made aware of the Germans’ departure, alerted its squadrons at sea that Bismarck was making for the North Atlantic. Read more
27th September 1939 – The newsreels had been asking the Ministry of Information to allow them to film the embarkation of the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) to France. They had been stalled at every turn. Then the Ministry of Information issued them with 3,000 feet of film on the embarkation. But, the material was badly dated and worse still, the newsreels guessed that the story had been shot by the G.P.O. (General Post Office) Film Unit. Read more
21st May 1944 – Gerald Sanger, Movietone’s Editor, was Orderly Officer at Battalion H.Q. of the Home Guard. He was asked “How would you cover the Invasion if it were left to you ?“. The question had been posed by Sir Gordon Craig, Movietone’s General Manager, and the response was to be submitted to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). Read more
Movietone‘s sound crew of Paul Wyand and Martin Gray had spent a year and a month in the front line of the Italian Campaign. They were driving their camera car throughout the period. It was a Humber Imperial. It had been purchased after Movietone lost two cars in the evacuation of British forces from Northern France. It was second hand and was purchased from a retired admiral who had kept it in pristine condition. With all their equipment on board, it weighed two tons. Read more