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Fires Were Started

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fires Were Started
Still from the documentary "Fires Were Started".jpg
Still from the documentary Fires Were Started
Directed byHumphrey Jennings
Written byHumphrey Jennings
Produced byIan Dalrymple
StarringWilliam Sansom
George Gravett
Phillip Wilson-Dickson
Fred Griffiths
Loris Rey
Johnny Houghton
T. P. Smith
John Barker
CinematographyC.M. Pennington-Richards
Edited byStewart McAllister
Music byWilliam Alwyn
Distributed byCrown Film Unit
Release date
12 April 1943 (UK)
Running time
65 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom

Fires Were Started is a 1943 British film written and directed by Humphrey Jennings. Filmed in documentary style, it shows the lives of firefighters through the Blitz during the Second World War. The film uses actual firemen (including Cyril Demarne) rather than professional actors.


Exterior shots were filmed on location, while the interior scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios. Jennings's first cut of the film was titled I Was a Fireman and ran to 74 minutes. This was cut down to 65 minutes and released as Fires Were Started.

Critical reception

Film critics mostly praised the film for its realism and documentary value, despite its reconstructions. Dilys Powell, of the Sunday Times declared its authenticity to be 'moving and terrifying'.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Winston 1999, p. 66.


  • Winston, Brian (1999). Fires Were Started. BFI Film classics. London: BFI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85170-773-0.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 September 2020, at 10:17
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