Christmas Under Fire

1941 film by Harry Watt

Christmas Under Fire is a 1941 British short documentary film created for the Crown Film Unit of the Ministry of Information. It was conceived as propaganda primarily for an American audience, to raise support for the Allied cause during the Second World War. Produced in the context of German bombings of British cities, it depicts the resilience of British civilians despite the hardships they suffered during Christmas 1940, by showing the continuation of Christmas traditions in the face of the disruptions caused by war.

Directed by Harry Watt. Written by Quentin Reynolds.

Quentin ReynoldsEdit

  • It is Christmas day. I am leaving London tonight and flying to New York. I'm taking with me a film dispatch, the story of Christmas in England in the year of the blitz, nineteen hundred and forty. Perhaps you'd like to see it.
  • For the first time in history no bells in England to celebrate the birth of the savior. No church bells are allowed to be rung in England if they do it will mean that the invader has come.
  • We think of Christmas as a night of stars. We think of a brilliant moon giving light to a tired world. This year in England people prayed for a dark and windswept night on nights like these the German bombers stay at home. A story night is an ally of England a non-belligerent that demands no rules of cash and carry.
  • That first Christmas the shepherds watched and guarded. Today in England even the shepherds are in some kind of uniform.
  • On Christmas Eve England does what England has done for a thousand years: she worships the Prince of Peace.

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