Common Heritage – or – War in the Mediterranean (1941)

Common Heritage – or – War in the Mediterranean 

Short Documentary Film

Year: 1941
Producer John Hanau

Production Companies: Liberty Films, World in Action
Commentary by Peter Brooke, Henry de Rochefort
Editor: Ronald H. Riley
Music: Walter Legge, Hans Jurgen
US Distribution: English Films Inc. (release: 1943)

Narrated by Leslie Howard, Ken Stevenson, John Hanau

(sources: BFI; New York Times, June 8, 1943)


War in the Mediterranean is, in spite of its bellicose title, more concerned with the past of Mediterranean civilization than with the struggles going on there now. It is wistful and nostalgic and the commentary spoken by Mr. Leslie Howard has a consciously literary form and cadence. The camera muses on its way through Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Crete and Palestine, and there is regret that so much that is fair should be sacrificed to greed and exploitation. It is a gentle film, but for all its gentleness it recognizes that the war had to be fought and towards the end the guns of the Mediterranean Fleet speak out.
(The Times, February 28, 1941)