Harry Watt (United Kingdom)

Harry Watt was born in 1906 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied at Edinburgh University, but failed to complete his degree. In 1932 he joined John Grierson at the Empire Marketing Board Film Unit. Watt gained first valuable experience assisting John Taylor on Robert Flaherty's film Man of Aran (1934). In 1936, on Grierson's recommendation, he became a director for the newly-established London unit of the American newsreel series March of Time. For the GPO Film Unit, Watt went on to direct most of Night Mail, best-remembered of all the 1930s documentaries.
He continued his film work during wartime in Crown Film Unit, his surely most remembered film from that time is Target for To-night (1941) was the first British documentary to reach a wide audience in commercial cinemas. He later joined Alberto Cavalcanti in Ealing studios. After the war he made two African sagas Where No Vultures Fly(1951) and West of Zanzibar (1954). The films were very popular and became two of Ealing's biggest box-office successes. His last cinema films, two minor ventures made in Norway and Denmark, emerged in 1961. Harry Watt died in 1987 in Amersham, UK.


  • Night Mail - together with Basil Wright
    25´, UK, 1936
  • The Saving of Bill Blewitt
    25´, UK, 1937
  • North Sea
    32´, UK, 1938
  • Squadron 992
    26´, UK, 1939
  • The First Days
    23´, UK, 1939
  • Dover Front Line
    UK, 1940
  • London Can Take It! - together with Humphrey Jennings
    9´, UK, 1940
  • The Front Line
    6´, UK, 1940
  • Christmas Under Fire
    10´, UK, 1941
  • Target for Tonight
    48´, UK, 1941
  • Nine Men
    68´, UK, 1943
  • Fiddlers Three
    88´, UK, 1944
  • The Overlanders
    91´, UK, 1946
  • Eureka Stockade
    103´, UK, 1949
  • Where No Vultures Fly
    107´, UK, 1951
  • West of Zanzibar
    84´, UK, 1954
  • The Siege of Pinchgut
    100´, UK, 1959
  • Vidunderhunden bara
    37´, Norway, 1961
  • Den hvide hingst
    90´, Denmark, 1961

DAFilms.com is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

Doc Alliance Members