Monday, April 22, 2013

All That Mighty Heart: London in 1962

Back in May of 2010 I included a link to the blog Crying All the Way to the Chip Shop and a post about the 1962 film All That Mighty Heart in a Six of the Best. Looking for something else, I rediscovered that post and the film the other day.

The post describes All That Mighty Heart well:
A day-in-the-life film about London shot on a hot summer day in 1962 full of gleaming red buses driven by men with shiny Brylcreemed hair, pretty young housewives in modern new shopping centres, tennis at Wimbledon, cricket at Lords, kids enjoying a day at London Zoo and making sandcastles on the banks of the Thames (really!), all shot in vibrant you-never-had-it-so-good colour.
And the London Transport Museum site tells us it was the last film shot by "Oscar-winning David Watkin" for British Transport Films before he graduated to features. It also points to the soundtrack of radio programmes to mark the progress of the day.

All That Mighty Heart presents what John Major once described as his aim - "a country at ease with itself". It's not just that Fred Trueman is opening the bowling at Lord's and John Arlott is describing him: it's that the film shows a world where calm authority (and more in the shape of NCOs than an office class) is in charge and people are free to work and play.

We are taught to regard Britain in the early 1960s as a repressed country waiting impatiently for the Beatles. But as presented here, it looks an appealing place.

You could described All That Mighty Heart as a Conservative film, except that this uncomplicated enjoyment of the world we find ourselves in is precisely the quality that modern Conservatism has lost.

Not just a trainspotting film then.


Unknown said...

I quite enjoyed this film. I was actually searching for historic London Transport videos when I found this. Unbelievable how sunny it is in every clip. Good film.

Anonymous said...

Loved this charming documentary. Those lovely RT buses and ‘38 underground trains….really comfy seats in those days. BUT…..Sundays were really boring then everything closed!