GenreDrama, War ScreenplayHumphrey Jennings Duration CountryUnited Kingdom
CastJohn Barker, T.P. Smith Release date12 April 1943 (UK) Initial releaseApril 12, 1943 (United Kingdom) Similar moviesRelated Humphrey Jennings movies
Fires were started
Fires Were Started is a 1943 British film written and directed by Humphrey Jennings, filmed in documentary style, showing the lives of firefighters through the Blitz during the Second World War. The film uses actual firemen (including Cyril Demarne) rather than professional actors.
Exterior shots were filmed on location, while the interior scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios. Jennings's first cut of the film - titled I Was a Fireman ran to 74 minutes, which was cut down to 65 minutes and released as Fires Were Started.
Film critics mostly praised the film for its realism and documentary value, despite its reconstructions. Dilys Powell, of the Sunday Times declared its authenticity to be 'moving and terrifying'.