Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light

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Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light
"Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light" (1941).jpg
L–R: Sydney Howard and Wylie Watson
Directed by Herbert Mason
Written by Sidney Gilliat
Produced by Edward Black
Cinematography Arthur Crabtree
Edited by Alfred Roome [1]
Distributed by Ministry of Information
Release date
  • 1941 (1941)
Running time
7 minutes 45 seconds
CountryUnited Kingdom

Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light is a 1941 British World War II public information/propaganda short film, directed by Herbert Mason and produced by Edward Black for 20th Century Fox. The film had a number of well-known actors of the period, featuring British film and stage actors, Sydney Howard and Wylie Watson. [3]


Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light was commissioned by the Ministry of Information and was designed to emphasise, in a humorous manner, the need for absolute adherence to wartime blackout regulations. A secondary consideration of the production was to present information in a way that would relieve the stress of civilians coping with nightly bombing raids in the Blitz.


Mr. Proudfoot (Sydney Howard ) is an attention-seeking bore who subjects his long-suffering wife (Muriel George) and exasperated acquaintances to endless tall tales about narrow escapes from bombs. He also teases the local blackout warden for his ridiculous pettiness when it comes to enforcing blackout restrictions.

One night Mr. Proudfoot invites a friend (Wylie Watson) over for a late night game of billiards, but is careless about his blackout. After moving the blackout screen over to let in some air, the light showing from his home provides a target for a stray German bomber. The German crew had been struggling with inclement weather and were unable to get their bearings until they see the light below, which, after some calculations, indicates they are over London.

Having unloaded a bomb over Mr. Proudfoot's district, and even hitting his house with calamitous results, the Luftwaffe bomber is shot down by RAF Hawker Hurricane fighters. Under interrogation, one of the German crew states that they were guided to their target by a light blazing from a property that allowed them to plot out an attack.

Despite his injuries, Mr. Proudfoot appears at his local pub bandaged and bruised, but is still boasting to anyone who will listen about his latest brush with death.



Filming for Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light took place in Shepherd's Bush Studios. The film includes a studio set scene of a Luftwaffe base and the interiors of aircraft cockpits, alongside authentic newsreel footage of an aerial dogfight and a downed aircraft. [4] [Note 1]

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  1. The "Jolly Anglers" pub at 314–316 Kennetside, Reading, London, was featured in location shots. [5]


  1. Sloman, Tony. "Obituary: Alfred Roome." The Independent, 12 December 1997. Retrieved: 14 August 2016.
  2. Aldgate and Richards 2007, pp. 76–77.
  3. Hobart, Tas. "Pictures and personalities." The Mercury (Hobart)|The Mercury, 10 April 1937, p. 5. Retrieved: 27 April 2012.
  4. "Notes: 'Mr. Proudfoot Shows a Light'." Media Collections Online, University of Indiana. Retrieved: 28 December 2016.
  5. "The Jolly Anglers". The Jolly Retrieved: 29 December 2016.


  • Aldgate, Anthony and Jeffrey Richards. Britain Can Take It: The British Cinema in the Second World War. 2nd edition. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2007. ISBN   978-1-8451-1445-9.