Video : Planes of Hindustan (1940)

Planes of Hindustan was one of the earliest World War II documentaries to be made in India and it was the second to be produced by the company Wadia. The film has rare footage of No.1 Squadron (Indian Air Force) from early 1940, However further information is missing on details available in the film. We have taken the effort to use the power of Youtube to provide additional “Annotations” on the film. There are a total of 27 annotations provided. The Annotations work only with a desktop computer and will not show up on iOS devices.

I have been tracking the existance of a film titled “Planes of Hindustan” for many years. After hearing many stories about the footage present in the film, I finally had an opportunity to view it when the Imperial War Museum Collection Website hosted it in 2011.

The film has rare footage of No.1 Squadron from early 1940, However further information is missing on details available in the film. We have taken the effort to use the power of Youtube to provide additional “Annotations” on the film. There are a total of 27 annotations provided – little known tidbits and facts that the normal visitor to the IWM page would never know.

TECHNICAL DATAYear:1940
Running Time:11 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):35mm
Colour:B&W
Sound:Sound
Footage:1013 ft

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Assistant Editor Hardy, Marcella
Cameraman: Pathy, P V (Dr)
Commentary: Radcliffe Genge, G
Director: Radcliffe Genge, GFilm Editor: Pathy, P V (Dr)
Music Performer Melody Trio
Production company: Wadia Movietone
Sound recordist: Tata, Burjore M

Synopsis

Documentary on life in the Indian Air Force (IAF) culminates with a plea to Indian audience for more and better planes for the IAF.

At the headquarters of the Indian Air Force in the Punjab, Hawker Harts of 1 Squadron stand on the airfield representing the only armed unit of the Crown entirely officered by Indians. Squadron-Leader Mukerjee and his pilots, all Cranwell-trained, climb into their Harts and fly in formation. Over views of the quarters, bar and canteen similar to RAF barracks, commentary describes excellent facilities enjoyed by men and also their families. Meals are served on Royal cypher crockery in the airmen’s mess, officers have their own room and a baby is weighed at the Child Welfare Centre. Parachutes are packed prior to supply canisters being dropped: a Hart drops a bomb with perfect accuracy, over remark that “the British Empire has already shown it knows a thing or two about accurate bombing”. Another Hart swoops low to pick up a message from the ground and reconnaissance photos are taken. Back on the ground the planes are serviced and men relax off-duty in the gymnasium, playing hockey and swimming. “Famous” Vickers Valentia transport bomber is used for travels to and fro; Squadron-Leader takes off in Blenheim. Film from Universal and British Movietone News of a Battle of Britain dogfight is used to stress need for more planes and more men in addition to the 10,000 who have already volunteered in order to defend India from attack, suggested by final sequence of army air cooperation against unspecified enemy beyond hills.

Production: Bombay Board of Film Censors certificate dated 24 September 1940 precedes film and indicates length as 1110 ft.

Richard Osborne  wrote an Analysis of the film that and can be downloaded from : http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/2027 and https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/9930/

 

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