Winning the War: Hurst, Film and Propaganda
Film Screening of The Lion Has Wings from Monday 2nd September- Friday 6th September at 2pm (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) at 2pm (and on request) 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.