millions-like-us-oct-8thAlthough this is a fictional film about the contribution of Britain’s female workforce in a WW2 munitions factory in northern England, it is made in documentary style, adding to the feel of authenticity. Patricia Roc as Celia and Anne Crawford as Jennifer play two women who have to adapt to their new surroundings away from their families. There is romance and humour to make this a very human story reflecting the experiences of many women during wartime. Also starring Eric Portman, the foreman, Gordon Jackson, an RAF pilot, and Basil Radford. (Cert U)
Dirs: Launder & Gilliat 103 mins UK 1943

Programme Notes

Millions Like Us
UK 1943 103mins Cert U

By 1943, the factories in Britain were running short of people to work on munitions production and other essential wartime work. Millions Like Us is a propaganda film based partly around the idea that young people contributing to the war effort on the Home Front were as important as their more glamorous counterparts in the armed services, especially the Royal Air Force. Also, the British class system was seen as a big obstacle to making factory work acceptable and, in particular, to women doing ‘men’s work’.

Celia Crowson, a single girl, is a reluctant entrant into factory life and the film follows her as she deals with this new existence, which involves not only love, humour and companionship but also death and loss.

In retrospect, this could be seen as the period when British people had emerging hopes of a more equitable society, where birth and privilege were less important than combining in a common cause.

“Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat are better known for their comedies but here they have produced one of the finest home-front dramas of the Second World War” Radio Times

“Telling it how it was far better than Granny ever could – with teeth, without sentiment, and a fresh memory that, for a wartime propaganda film, is less selective than you’d imagine” Billy Mowbray, Film 4.

Celia Crowson – Patricia Roc
Fred Blake – Gordon Jackson
Jennifer Knowles – Anne Crawford
Charters – Basil Radford
Caldicott – Naunton Wayne
Charlie Forbes – Eric Portman

Directors – Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder
Producer – Edward Black
Cinematography – Jack Cox
Music – Louis Levy

To be shown with
A Million Miles Away
USA 2014 28mins



“A sensitive treatment of the teacher’s problem and how music and [her] pupils helped.”

“Took far too long to get to the gist of the film but anything that raises an interest in Judas Priest can’t be bad!”

“Seemed a bit of an oddball to me.”

“What was that all about? The singing was all that was good.”

“Unattractive and dull”


“Propaganda, yes – but must have been real for many people and all too real for some.”

“A lovely dose of nostalgia [and] lovely story line.”

“I’m old enough to remember of this! Very sentimental but good for its time.”

“Loved it! I can just about remember those times, being 5yrs old in 1943.”

“An enjoyable yarn that had an easy-to-follow story but it was the historical detail that made it worth seeing for those into WW2-era films.”

“As it was made at the time, it seemed very authentic. Most enjoyable.”

“Ho, hum – where were the full credits when you needed them?”

“For me, there was no need to include a short as well as the feature, as both were fairly long.”


A:5, B:17, C:8, D:3, E:0 to give 68%