Needs 5 Ratings

London Terminus (1944)

Documentary depicting all the various different jobs that go to keep Waterloo Station running, illustrated via the device of one of the porters and his girl going to the local news cinema to watch a film about the station.

Director:

(as George Cooper)

Writers:

(scenario), (scenario) (as Max Munden)
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Documentary depicting all the various different jobs that go to keep Waterloo Station running, illustrated via the device of one of the porters and his girl going to the local news cinema to watch a film about the station.

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Genres:

Documentary | Short | War

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Release Date:

1944 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Lively evocation of a bygone era
23 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

Tis is quite a lively and intelligent little film - there is practically no dialogue (the entire opening sequence being effectively shot as a silent film with background soundscape, and the main body of information being conveyed in the form of a portentous voice-over from the documentary the characters are supposedly watching), but it achieves humour and interest via its visual sequences. I watched it as an accompanying short to a feature film at the National Film Theatre in London, which is itself situated under Waterloo Bridge only a few minutes' walk away from the station, it was fascinating to see how much -- and how little -- the terminus has changed over the last sixty years. (The newsreel cinema on the station concourse has long gone, alas, and I believe the subterranean freight tunnels are nowadays the location for experimental theatre productions.)

There are inevitable resonances with John Schlesinger's great 1961 documentary for British Transport Films, "Terminus" (also shot at Waterloo Station), but of course this production actually came first.


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