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Churchill: A Life on Film

British Pathé Opens the Vault

british-pathe-logoSir Winston Churchill dominated 20th century politics and in 2002 was named the greatest Briton of all time. During this time British Pathé’s cameras provided the world with a unique, visual insight into his character. In honour of the 50th anniversary of his death, British Pathé have catalogued their 476 films and 27 stills relating to Churchill and arranged them on a single navigable web page. To visit the site, please CLICK HERE.

Pathé was a producer of newsreels, cinemagazines, and documentaries from 1910 until 1970 in the United Kingdom. It was founded in France in 1896 by Charles Pathé and his brothers, who pioneered the development of the moving image. Pathé adopted the national emblem of France, the cockerel, as the company trademark. French Pathé began its newsreel in 1908 and opened a newsreel office in London in 1910.

During the First World War, the cinema newsreels were called Pathé Animated Gazettes, and provided newspapers with competition for the first time. After 1918, British Pathé started producing a series of cinemagazines, in which the newsreels were much longer and more comprehensive. By 1930, British Pathé was covering news, entertainment, sport, culture and women’s issues through programmes including the Pathétone Weekly, the Pathé Pictorial, the Gazette and Eve’s Film Review.

Pathé eventually stopped producing cinema newsreels in 1970 as television became the dominant news source. During the newsreels’ run, the narrators included Bob Danvers-Walker, Dwight Weist, Dan Donaldson, André Baruch, and Clem McCarthy, among others.

To learn more about Winston Churchill, please visit www.winstonchurchill.org.

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