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Men of the World


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Director Roland Clarke
Duration 9min 36sec
Release Date 1950
Sponsor Central Office of Information for War Office
Synopsis The British Army's commitments from Gibraltar, through Suez, to Hong Kong
Text version of this film

Released in 1950, Men of the World, was produced for propaganda purposes to parade the worldwide commitments of the British Armed Forces. However the timing was significant, since it not only showed Britain's involvement in the Korean War (1950-1953), but also implicitly explained her reduced status in the world.

The Second World War had not only gravely undermined Britain's already weakened commercial and financial leadership, but also heightened the reliance on the United States as a source of military assistance. By the end of the war the Government privately contemplated the possibility that Britain would no longer be a first-rank power. By 1947 this had become a reality as the nation faced economic crisis and the apparent beginning of the end for the Empire.

The Government's decision in 1947 to grant independence to India, once considered the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, marked the gradual slide from Empire to a Commonwealth. Following India's lead, nearly all of Britain's other colonies became independent over the next two decades.

Men of the World portrays Britain as a major world power. Yet her status, limitations and dependency on American military assistance were all exposed to a humiliating degree six years later with the unsuccessful intervention over the Suez Canal in 1956.

In fact during the filming in Malaya for Men of the World, the unit was ambushed by bandits and the cameraman was severely wounded.

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