Grahame N's Web Pages
Front cover of the Central Film Library Empire Films catalogue
Just when I assumed that we had identified all the suppliers of 9.5mm printed films in the UK then prolific 9.5mm film historian Maurice Trace comes up with yet anotther source! So a fairly simple page; I have basically used the scans that Maurice has provided. An alphabetical listing is also compiled lower down. So read on for details of the 9.5mm printed film releases in the Empire Film Library!
I've discovered that the Empire Film Library was formed in 1935; it mostly contained what were effectively UK government 'propaganda' films, the library also hosted films made by the G.P.O Film Unit. Although many of these films were actually about the UK Post Office, being government funded, some of the films could more be classified as 'experimental' than 'educational'.
Sadly the 9.5mm prints didn't extend to things like 'Night Mail' but were generally rather boring educational titles, some of which were still kicking around (on 16mm) in the Central Film Library in the 1950s. I myself remember seeing some of these titles either at school or Sunday School and being shown at home (my Dad was a school teacher, later Headmaster).
Preface of the Central Film Library catalogue - August 1941
The text of the Central Film Library catalogue preface clearly explains that there had effectively been a government film library titled The Empire Film Library which had been absorbed into the more recentkly formed Central Film Library.
Whilst the newly formed Central Film Library only seemed to add new 16mm and maybe 35mm film prints, it had inherited the Empire Film Library contents which contained many 9.5mm copies of the films that had been released on 35mm and 16mm in the 1930s. So below are reproduced the various pages in the 1941 Central Film Library catalogue that include 9.5mm printed films.
Whilst 9.5mm prints of the films listed must have been
specially produced, it doesn't appear these were offered for
outright sale to the public although it is possible some prints
may have been specially produced for education authorities etc.
It is almost certain that there were many more 9.5mm titles that
had been withdrawn because of damage prior to this 1941/1942
Naturally if anyone has more information please let me Grahame Newnham have details - email: - presto @ pathefilm.uk (no spaces in real address)
The last page of titles are from the G.P.O Film Unit a few can be seen to have been printed up in 9.5mm versions
©GLN '96 INTERNATIONAL 9.5 FILM CATALOGUE - ALPHABETIC ORDER LISTING ----------------------------------------------------------- 9.5mm Number 9.5mm Film Title Class. Running Time Director Original Film Title Date B.E.455 ANIMALS OF THE EMPIRE Interest 8 mins B/W Silent ANIMALS OF THE EMPIRE ??/??/3? GB C 472 ARCTIC Interest 5 nins B/W Silent ARCTIC ??/??/3? CAN NZ.254 AXES AND ELEPHANTS Interest 9 mins B/W Silent AXES AND ELEPHANTS ??/??/3? NZ B.E. 6 BIRDS OF THE SEA Interest 9 mins B/W Silent BIRDS OF THE SEA ??/??/3? GB C.E.435 BRITISH GUIANA Interest 20 mins B/W Silent BRITISH GUIANA ??/??/33 GB C.E.401 BRITISH NEW GUINEA Interest 9 mins B/W Silent BRITISH NEW QUINEA ??/??/3? GB C.132 CANADA'S PACIFIC GATEWAY Interest 8 mins B/W Silent CANADA'S PACIFIC GATEWAY ??/??/3? CAN U.K.461 CANALS Interest 6 mins B/W Silent CANALS ??/??/32 GB C.150 CANDY FROM TREES Interest 4 mins B/W Silent CANDY FROM TREES ??/??/3? CAN U.K. 16 CATHEDRALS OF ENGLAND Interest 8 mins B/W Silent Marion Grierson CATHEDRALS OF ENGLAND ??/??/37 GB C.133 CITY OF THE FOOTHILLS Interest 8 mins B/W Silent CITY OF THE FOOTHILLS ??/??/3? CAN B.E.456 CLIMATIC REGIONS OF THE EMPIRE Interest 8 mins B/W Silent CLIMATIC REGIONS OF THE EMPIRE ??/??/3? GB B.E. 4 CLOTHES OF THE EMPIRE Interest 12 mins B/W Silent CLOTHES OF THE EMPIRE ??/??/3? GB B.E. 2 CONQUEST OF NATURAL BARRIERS Interest 10 mins B/W Silent CONQUEST OF NATURAL BARRIERS ??/??/32 GB U.K.470 COTTON AND WOOL Interest 12 mins B/W Silent COTTON AND WOOL ??/??/3? GB U.K. 70 CUPS AND SAUCERS Interest 8 mins B/W Silent CUPS AND SAUCERS ??/??/3? GB B.E.457 DAYLIGHT AND NIGHT Interest 10 mins B/W Silent DAYLIGHT AND NIGHT ??/??/3? GB U.K. 71 ENGLISH POTTER Interest 9 mins B/W Silent ENGLISH POTTER ??/??/32 GB U.K.482 FENS (THE) Interest 12 mins B/W Silent FENS (THE) ??/??/32 GB SA.302 FRUIT HARVEST IN SOUTH AFRICA Interest 10 mins B/W Silent FRUIT HARVEST IN SOUTH AFRICA ??/??/3? SA U.K. 53 GLASSMAKERS OF ENGLAND Interest 8 mins B/W Silent GLASSMAKERS OF ENGLAND ??/??/32 GB B.E. 1 HIGHWAYS OF EMPIRE Interest 5 mins B/W Silent HIGHWAYS OF EMPIRE ??/??/3? GB 637 HOW STAMPS ARE MADE Interest 10 mins B/W Silent HOW STAMPS ARE MADE ??/??/36 GB B.E.451 IRRIGATION Interest 9 mins B/W Silent IRRIGATION ??/??/3? GB 654 LETTERS TO LINERS Interest 15 mins B/W Silent LETTERS TO LINERS ??/??/37 GB 618 LOCOMOTIVES Interest 10 mins B/W Silent Humphrey Jennings LOCOMOTIVES ??/??/34 GB C.113 LUMBERING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA Interest 9 mins B/W Silent LUMBERING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ??/??/3? CAN 616 MARKET PLACE Interest 10 mins B/W Silent MARKET PLACE ??/??/3? GB NZ.256 MEAT WE EAT Interest 12 mins B/W Silent MEAT WE EAT ??/??/3? NZ 657 MESSENGER BOY Interest 8 mins B/W Silent Evelyn Spice MESSENGER BOY ??/??/3? GB B.E.452 MOUNTAIN STAIRWAY (A) Interest 5 mins B/W Silent MOUNTAIN STAIRWAY (A) ??/??/3? GB C.136 NIAGARA THE GLORIOUS Interest 9 mins B/W Silent NIAGARA THE GLORIOUS ??/??/3? CAN C.106 ON THE SKEENA RIVER Interest 8 mins B/W Silent ON THE SKEENA RIVER ??/??/3? CAN U.K. 57 OUR HERRNG INDUSTRY Interest 18 mins B/W Silent John Grierson OUR HERRING INDUSTRY (DRIFTERS)27/11/29 GB U.K.486 OUTER ISLES (THE) Interest 12 mins B/W Silent OUTER ISLES (THE) ??/??/3? GB C.102 PATHWAYS OF THE ROCKIES Interest 12 mins B/W Silent PATHWAYS OF THE ROCKIES ??/??/3? CAN IN.351 PEOPLE AND PRODUCTS OF INDIA Interest 12 mins B/W Silent PEOPLES AND PRODUCTS OF INDIA ??/??/31 GB B.E. 5 PEOPLE OF THE SEA Interest 15 mins B/W Silent PEOPLE OF THE SEA ??/??/3? GB C.471 REGIONS OF CANADA Interest 12 mins B/W Silent REGIONS OF CANADA ??/??/3? CAN 659 ROAD TRANSPORT Interest 10 mins B/W Silent Stuart Legg & ROADWAYS ??/??/37 GB U.K. 45 SEABIRDS OF THE SHETLANDS Interest 11 mins B/W Silent SEABIRDS OF THE SHETLANDS ??/??/3? GB B.E.453 SEAPORTS OF THE EMPIRE Interest 8 mins B/W Silent SEAPORTS OF THE EMPIRE ??/??/3? GB U.K.467 SEASONS Interest 5 mins B/W Silent SEASONS ??/??/3? GB C.143 SEASONS OF CANADA Interest 10 mins B/W Silent SEASONS OF CANADA ??/??/3? CAN U.K.483 SHEEP SHEARING Interest 5 mins B/W Silent SHEEP SHEARING ??/??/3? GB NZ.252 SOLID SUNSHINE Interest 10 mins B/W Silent SOLID SUNSHINE ??/??/3? GB 621 SORTING OFFICE Interest 10 mins B/W Silent Edgar Anstey,Watt 6.30 COLLECTION 01/11/34 GB U.K.487 SPRING ON THE FARM Interest 10 mins B/W Silent Evelyn Spice SPRING ON THE FARM ??/??/34 GB U.K.466 STAKE NET FISHING Interest 4 mins B/W Silent STAKE NET FISHING ??/??/3? GB U.K. 74 STEEL WIRE AND NAILS Interest 12 mins B/W Silent STEEL WIRE AND NAILS ??/??/3? GB 636 STORY OF STAMPS Interest 10 mins B/W Silent STORY OF STAMPS ??/??/3? GB 619 STORY OF THE WHEEL Interest 10 mins B/W Silent Humphrey Jennings STORY OF THE WHEEL ??/??/34 GB U.K. 81 ST. JAMES PARK Interest 10 mins B/W Silent Marion Grierson ST. JAMES PARK ??/??/34 GB C.137 WINTER WITCHERIES OF NIAGARA Interest 9 mins B/W Silent WINTER WITCHERIES OF NIAGARA ??/??/3? CAN (54 entries ) Notes:
1. Whilst all the films listed above were in the Empire Film Library (later The Central Film Library), those with a number beginning with 6xx wre made by the G.P.O. Film Unit
2. The letter prefix of the reference number appears to identify the origin of the particular film - so we can see 'IN' fir India; 'C' for Canada; 'NZ' for New Zealand; 'SA' for South Africa etc.
3. The dates are normally the date of the first public screening.
4. All the 9.5mm prints liated are silent films, they are almost all mute prints of original sound films.
5. It's really 'Peoples And Products Of India" - did they call them 'typos' in the 1930s?
A FEW NOTES:
"MESSENGER BOY" - this is an 8 minute extract from the 1937 GPO Film Unit's 18 minute sound film "A JOB IN A MILLION", a film intended for school leavers in the lean days of the 1930s, directed by Evelyn Spice, edited by Norman McLaren with photography by S.Onions and music by Brian Easdale. This drama-documentary about a Cockney lad's hopes is a perfect example of the breakthrough engineered by the GPO Film Unit - a realistic, compassionate portrait of working-class life at a time when most directors would have played it for laughs. (Post Office Video & Film Library catalogue 1987-1988 - VHS cassettes!)
"OUR HERRING INDUSTRY"
- this is an 18 minute extract from the 1929 Empire Marketing
Board ( New Era) 50 minute silent film "DRIFTERS",
the famous film of the Lowestoft North Sea herring fishery fleet,
directed and edited by John Grierson at the beginning of his
career. Photographed by Basil Emmott and produced by Stephen
Tallents. It follows the passage of the boats outward bound,
views in detailed successive operations with the nets and ends
with the return to harbour and the quayside auction of the catch.
This film probably marks the beginning of the real British
'documentary' film movement.
"SORTING OFFICE" - this is actually a shortened silent version of the 15 minute "6.30 COLLECTION" (sometimes catalogued as "SIX-THIRTY COLLECTION"), made by the G.P.O. Film Unit, filmed on 35mm in early 1934 by cameraman J.D. Davidson, directed by Edgar Anstey and Harry Watt who also probably edited, sound recording by John Cox and produced by John Grierson. It shows work at the London West End District Sorting Office. The G.P.O. Film Unit had just got sound recording equipment, experimenting with 'music' over the titles produced by a trumpet augmented by the sound of a film rewinder, office typewriters, pieces of sand paper, a pair of cymbals, a triangle and blowing into a beer bottle! Most of the other sound is authentic, recording the actual sounds of the sorting ioffice. I am impressed by the automation used in the letter sorting back in 1934, much the same still in the late 1950s when I visited a local main sorting office (Portsmouth?) with a school party.
"ROAD TRANSPORT" - this is actually a shortened silent version of the 17 minute "ROADWAYS" made by the G.P.O. Film Unit, filmed on 35mm in 1937 by cameramen Jonah Jones & H.E. (Chick) Fowle, directed by William Coldstream & Stuart Legg, Visatone-Marconi sound recording by George Diamond, music by Ernst Meyer and produced by Alberto Cavalcanti. The film begins with a brief look at a Post Office despatch department, but soon moves on to an overall review of road transport. Up to three years previously there were no driving licences. Despite the country roads looking fairly quiet, we are told there are 6000 road deaths a year! The message is limited driving hours and proper tests for transport drivers!
Watch the full length version of the John Grierson classic "The Drifters" on You Tube (The silent 9.5mm extract in the library was "Our Herring Industry")
Watch a 16mm sound copy of the G.P.O. Film Unit - "6.30 Collection" on YouTube (The silent 9.5mm copy in the Empire Film Library was "Sorting Office")
Watch an extract from the G.P.O. Film Unit - "A Job In A Million" on YouTube (The silent 9.5mm copy in the Empire Film Library was "Messenger Boy")
|Want to see vintage G.P.O. Film Unit films?
The British Film Institute have produced
some excellent DVD boxed sets, with
informative booklet, and two DVDs
There are three sets I think, each has up
to about twenty vintage films, some now
classics. Try Amazon.co.uk etc.
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Created 21 January 2020 ........... Last updated: 05 February 2020 .............
95flmcatempire.htm ................ ©MMXX Grahame .L. Newnham
05Feb2020 - "A Job In A Million" YouTube link & a bit more info added