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Night Mail


One of the most acclaimed entries in the British documentary film movement, following the Royal Mail rail delivery service at it makes its way from London to Glasgow

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One of the most critically acclaimed and best-loved films produced within the British documentary movement, Night Mail tells the fascinating story of the Travelling Post Office from Euston to Glasgow and the workers who operated it. 

Given a modest budget of only £2,000 and conceived as a routine film promoting Post Office services, the collective talents of the GPO film unit turned out an ambitious and inventive fusion of image, sound, music and poetry that became an instant classic and archetype of the genre. 

The memorable final section of the film, featuring Benjamin Britten's innovative score and verse by WH Auden timed to the rhythms of the train, is justly famous, and perhaps the most lyrical final sequence in the history of documentary film.

  • The Way to the Sea (UK, 1936) (features verse by Auden and music by Britten)
  • Spotlight on the Night Mail (UK, 1948)
  • Thirty Million Letters (UK, 1963)
  • Night Mail 2 (UK, 1986) (updated version of Night Mail featuring poetry by Blake Morrison)
  • Fully illustrated booklet with essays by author Blake Morrison, film composer Miguel Mera and more
Additional Information
More Information
SKU 5035673008331
Catalogue Number BFIVD833
Subtitle A film by Harry Watt and Basil Wright
Product contents 1 disc
Year 1936
Director Harry Watt and Basil Wright
Format DVD
Publisher(s) BFI
Countries United Kingdom
Aspect ratio 1.33:1
Colour Black & White
Sound Sound
Subtitles English Hard of Hearing
Language(s) English
Running time 23 min + 93 min extras
DVD region 2
Certificate Exempt
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