The 1940s House

The 1940s House

DVD - 2004
Average Rating:
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MPAA rating: Not rated.
One modern family takes on the challenge of domestic life on Britain's home front in 1940s house, a re-creation of a World War II household. This time-travel experiment covers the period from the outbreak of war in 1939 to Victory Day in 1945, compressing the events of six wartime years into two months. Though the military threat is metaphorical, the privations are real and the pressures create tensions nonexistent in modern society.
From blackout curtains and bomb shelters to rationing and bombing raids, one modern English family recreates the domestic conditions of wartime in the 1940s.
Publisher: [United States] : PBS Home Video, 2004
ISBN: 9780793695140
0793695147
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 3 hr.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Nineteen forties house

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xaipe Jan 21, 2016

"1940s House" is a British reality show with style. It sets a 21st century family down in the middle of a recreated WWII London. The program begins setting the stage with a house typical of the 1940s which they filled with furniture, cooking utensils, and all memorabilia from this period. Everything in the house was faithfully reproduced.

The family to occupy it is a father who is a 1940s buff and has filled his own home with 1940s memorabilia. The mother is the one who bears the main brunt of the housework involved. Joining them is their divorced daughter and her two young sons. Everyone is fitted with a 1940s wardrobe and taught how to run a household without modern conveniences. They also have to cope with shortages, rationing, blackouts, and air raids with sound effects and vintage radio broadcasts. They must put in an air raid shelter which they build themselves to duplicate the ones used in the 1940s.

If this all sounds boring, it isn't. It has the charm, innocence, and unselfish outlook of the time and deals with extreme frustrations with good humor. At the same time, there is a "Wartime Cabinet" which monitors the family and decides when there will be an air raid or when the family is having it too easy.

There is none of the sleazy voyeurism of most realty shows. I was amazed at the hardships that were faced during this time. Toward the end, there was no soap, shampoo, toilet paper, and little food or basic amenities which people take for granted now. I was fascinated by the daily life of this family and their tenacity and ability to cope. This is one of several reality style shows produced by PBS and BBC and I look forward to seeing them all.

p
Pixem
May 15, 2014

Offers a fresh perspective I never thought about much. A lot of material out there covers the actual war and politics, and it is all glorified.

Watching the family see first-hand the hardships of the time and know what it is actually like? Very useful documentary for those wanting to understand the setting better.

m
Mike117
Oct 09, 2012

Given the premis and one commenters inthusiasm I placed a hold. I would like to see the transformation they all have to learn.
Lights out and no computers or TV c/w games hookup.
Does anyone remember black and white tv? No blood splatters and usually no holes in clothing?
The good guy was the hero and the bad guy was the villain. There was a death penalty used on the bad guys that deserved it for their crimes. Todays laws it's hard to find anyone guilty of anything.resembling crime.
Yes i'd like to see how society has changed by comparison of both 40's and 2010's and imagine their shock at what we have become.

VioletteRed Jul 11, 2012

What a fascinating and insightful look into survival during hard times - especially for women! What I love about this particular series was how it ultimately transformed each family member to more conscientious and confident living (the children express their imagination and innovation more, the daughter becomes more confident, the grandmother learns to really economize and everyone eats a bit healthier and lives a bit more in harmony with each other). And as compared to 1900 house or Frontier house this home life is not so dramatically far removed from modern society or the collective consciousness.
One of my favorite in the "House" series by PBS :D

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