Winning the War: Hurst, Film and Propaganda

03/09/2019 @ 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Northern Ireland War Memorial
21 Talbot Street
Gemma Rowland

Winning the War: Hurst, Film and Propaganda

Film Screening of The Lion Has Wings

Film Screening of The Lion Has Wings on Tuesday 3rd September at 2.30pm (and on request).

In the days before the outbreak of the second world war Alexander Korda gathered three of the UK’s top film directors, including Belfast’s Brian Desmond Hurst, and secret plans were laid to prove that Britain could match Hitler on the big screen. The film was The Lion Has Wings and it propelled recruitment into the Royal Air Force and helped keep cinemas open when air-raids threatened their closure.

Filming commenced on 4 September 1939 the day after war was declared and Korda promised Churchill that he would ensure the rapid delivery of his film which proclaimed ‘This is Britain where we believe in freedom’. The film was released exactly 2 months after the declaration of war on 3 November 1939. Cinemas remained open and the RAF recruitment proved itself a year later in the Battle of Britain.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of war, the Northern Ireland War Memorial will screen The Lion Has Wings (73 mins approx) throughout the week beginning 2nd September.

  • Free event
  • Tea and coffee will be served
  • Booking not required, but do let us know if you plan to bring a group

This is the first of a series of events over the next 5 years profiling Hurst’s films and propaganda and how his films played a part in the Second World War. This was a subject close to Hurst’s heart after the cruel slaughter of his Royal Irish Rifles comrades at Gallipoli in 1915. Hurst survived and war was the spark for this former linen workers creative genius which was later honed by the legendary John Ford in Hollywood.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial will also screen the film on:

Monday 2nd September at 2.00pm

Wednesday 4th September at 1.40pm with a special introduction by Alderman Marion Smith and Bob Hurst, great nephew and great niece of director Brian Desmond Hurst

Thursday 5th September at 2.00pm

Friday 6th September at 2.00pm

Northern Ireland War Memorial

21 Talbot Street / Belfast / BT1 2LD

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