This is a list of documentaries about housing and the welfare state of which I am aware and some of which I am in the process of reviewing:-

Watch old films here

Housing Problems – 1935

Cathy Come Home – 1966 – Ken Loach – Landmark housing drama – my own review

Dan Cruickshank:At Home with the British (on Youtube)

The Cottage / The Terrace / The Flat

Where we live now – Five writers look at our surroundings 1979

A series of five films broadcast in the week beginning Monday 19th February 1979

City of Towers – Christopher Booker

Three streets in the country – Michael Frayn / Dennis Marks

New Town, Home TownColin Ward

Architecture for EverymanPatrick Nuttgens (download & play)

The Country and the City – Youtube –  Raymond Williams

[with thanks to Alan Powers of the University of Greenwich for confirming the titles and the order.]

The Home Front: Housing the People, 1850-1990 – BBC 1989 and book – Patrick Nuttgens

Building Sights – Personal reflections on the best 20th Century architecture in Britain. GB, BBC Tx BBC2 1988-1996

From Here to Modernity – 2001

High Rise Dreams – Youtube

High Rise Dreams – 2004 – BBC4 – Notes

Homes for Heroes – 2005 – Youtube

Homes for Heroes – 2005 – BBC4 – Post war architecture clips

Utopia London – 2008 – London and Modernism and the LCC – my own review

Review here –

NEWS Here’s one to watch British Council documentaries 1930-1950

British Council Films

Homes for Workers 1939 – Youtube

Recommended to me by Andrew Drury of HATC

A journey in the footsteps of the architecture writer Ian Nairn – Jonathan Glancey

Outrage – Glancey 1

Outrage – Glancey 2

Outrage – Glancey 3

Outrage – Glancey 4

From Leeds into Scotland – Ian Nairn

Saving Britain’s Past – Streets in the Sky – Tom Dyckhoff– one of a series of seven half-hour documentaries.

The New Jerusalem

Narrated by Robert Lindsay and well researched this quartet form a fascinating glimpse into 40 years of the Welfare State (made 1995) and a timely reminder of what we are about to lose with the dismemberment of the NHS.

A Place in the Class

Safe in their Hands

For Richer for Poorer

A Home of your own

Flight from Utopia Pt1 – Patrick Nuttgens – forty years of northern townscape – 1984

A wonderful series about the Northern cities and their recent history with numerous shots of Park Hill and Hyde Park (as was) in Sheffield along with Gleadless Valley.  A must for anyone with an interest in Sheffield.

Flight from Utopia Pt2 – Patrick Nuttgens

The Sixties – Episode 4 – 1982 – narrated by James Bolam.

A long searching look at the icons of the 1960s including system built housing which fared less well including the Leaky Road flats in Leeds aka Hunslett.

T. Dan Smith – BBC North East – 1986

The Making of Modern London – Housing – Gentrification of Barnsbury and Canonbury in Islington covered.

The Making of Modern London – Office life – London Wall and office life in the 1960s and 1970s.

A Vision of Britain – Prince Charles 1988 – Dir Nick Rossiter

The Great British Housing Disaster – 1984

Thamesmead 1970 – thanks to Darryl of the 853 blog


I hate the Sixties BBC 2004

The London Nobody Knows – James Mason

The Sixties: Getaway People Pt1&2 – James Bolam

Buildings That Shaped Britain – Modernism – Simon Thurley

The NHS – A difficult beginning

Greg Dyke on Nye Bevan – 1.31GB

Andrew Marr’s History of modern Britain – Advance Britannia – 547MB

3 Minute Culture – Maxwell Hutchinson on 1980s architecture

Trellick Tower – Charlie Luxton

2 Responses to “Film”

  1. Laura Vaughan Says:

    Wonderful resource! I’ll be sharing this with my MSc Advanced Architectural Studies students.

  2. Colin Ross Says:

    An extraordinary collection. I am particularly grateful for Booker’s “City of Towers” a programme that drastically changed my views on post war architecture when it was first broadcast and which I have longed to see again. Thank you.

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