1916, 35mm, 47 minutes, Black & White, Silent, Propaganda, Cecil M Hepworth
The interviewees all support the war - as this is propaganda - but each one, by virtue of his job and background, approaches the situation from a different angle. Cecil M Hepworth, a film pioneer, shot his 36 subjects (which included government ministers, a priest, a poet, two actors and the inventor of the machine gun) in a government office especially fitted out for the task, using several different backdrops. Lloyd George, uniquely, appears to have been filmed in a working office. Asquith, Lloyd George’s predecessor as prime minister, is also interviewed so Hepworth may have bagged 2 premiers, Lloyd George having succeeded Asquith in December 1916. Neither of them appear on Reel 3 of the interviews (the only reel that gives details of an interviewee’s job or governmental role) and filming took place from September 1916. Lloyd George could have been Secretary of State for War or Prime Minister, although the fact that he appears to be in his own office perhaps suggests he has achieved the top job.
Note: 'Hepworth Cinema Interviews – I, II and III' is available to view on the BFI Player