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The Volunteer

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Title: The Volunteer  
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Subject: Michael Powell, An Airman's Letter to His Mother, The Silver Fleet, Allan Gray, British World War II propaganda films
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The Volunteer

The Volunteer
trade ad
Directed by Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Produced by Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Written by Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Starring Ralph Richardson
Music by Allan Gray
Cinematography Frederick Ford
Edited by John Seabourne
Michael C. Chorlton
Release dates
  • 10 January 1944 (1944-01-10)
Running time
24 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Volunteer (1944) is a short black-and-white British film by the filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger for the U.K. Ministry of Information. Made during World War II as recruitment propaganda for the Fleet Air Arm, volunteer numbers rose after its release.

The films features actor Ralph Richardson starring in a West End production of Othello. Pat McGrath plays his dresser, who joins the Fleet Air Arm and becomes a war hero – as famous as Richardson himself. British film stars Anna Neagle and Laurence Olivier make cameo appearances, as does director Michael Powell and fellow British film director Anthony Asquith.

group shot of three men in naval uniform and one man in civilian dress talking to them
The director Michael Powell during filming for The Volunteer, 1943

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