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Thread: Diana Pine

  1. #1
    Junior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Diana Pine was the main female film director of the Crown Film Unit in the late 40s, early 50s. She's credited, for example, with such shorts as Dollars and Sense and Faster than Sound, both 1949. Although she directed two or three more shorts after the CFU closed in 1952, she then seems to fade out of the record. Does anybody know anything about her, either before, after or during her time at Crown? I'm currently researching Crown and it would be a great pity if her contribution was omitted.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    I know she was in competition at Cannes Film Festival: 1953 - ROYAL HERITAGE - In Competition – Short Films Director. I don't know if she attended, there were currency restrictions at the time that made foreign travel for UK citizens problematic.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
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    WHY AN M.I.5 Man watches Miss Pine

    WHAT Miss Diana Pine does is
    neither your business nor mine.
    Actually, she makes films—films, that
    you and I pay for, but will probably
    never see.
    If we ever do get a look at them,
    it won't be for at least another fifty
    And they're so important that M.I.5
    (Secret Service) agents watch them
    through every stage—never very far
    from Miss Pine's elbow.
    They are in the laboratories as the film
    is developed; they watch the checking of
    every foot of celluloid; and when the
    pictures are edited they gather up every
    snippet cut out.
    The films show stage-by-stage
    developments of Britain's
    top top-secrets: harnessing
    of the atom and
    perfection of 3,000-mile -
    an-hour rockets a m o ng
    Green -eyed, brownhaired
    Miss Pine, 5ft. 4in.
    tall and in her early thirties,
    is the director of the
    special Crown Film Unit
    producing them.
    • • •
    AFTER the films have
    been cut, the odds and
    ends are taken back to the
    research establi s h m e n t
    where the film was made—
    and burned.
    Only one copy of the film
    is printed. It, too, is
    stored at the atom station
    or the rocket site where it
    was filmed.
    From time to time it is
    taken out of storage and
    sent by special messenger
    to a tiny, green-walled
    room in a badly lit Whitehall
    basement—the cinema
    in M.I.5 headquarters.
    The audiences at these
    special shows are handpicked—
    usually l e a d i ng
    scientists or Allied defence
    The cinema, which seats
    forty-eight in eight rows of
    six s e a t s each, is an
    " austerity " model—and so
    are the films, except to the
    experts. Not one person in
    a thousand would be any
    wiser if he saw the whole
    film through.
    Yet when I asked to see
    one, so that I could see how
    your money and mine was
    being spent, I was told:
    " Certainly not. No such
    permission can be granted."

    THE films are planned at
    special conferences between
    Miss Pine and the
    h e a d s of the research
    establishments. T h e n the
    technicians take over.

    The Unit has visited all
    Britain's atom stations, including
    the new �7,000.000
    plant nearing completion
    at Sellafield, Cumberland.
    To get round the country,
    a two-vehicle convoy is
    used and there's no name
    painted on the side.

    When Miss Pine and her
    convoy get inside the " red
    areas" of Britain's research
    stations, where
    security precautions are
    keenest, the Intelligence
    officers move in. " But
    most of the things I see
    mean absolutely nothing
    to me," says the director.
    ~Ronald Bedford
    ~Daily Mirror February 16th, 1950

  4. #4
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Well, here are Diana's dates from BMD and probate records:

    We can see that she was born as Diana Gubbins, daughter of barrister Charles Frederick Ross Gubbins and his wife Eleanor Mabel Oxland. Diana changed her name to Diana Pine-Gubbins by deed poll in 1946. I don't think she ever married. She appears to have been living in Dorking at the time of her death.

    It seems that Diana worked sporadically and freelance on various projects from the 1950s - such as mentioned at the BFI:


  5. #5
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    A little more here about Diana from a publication by Goldmark Gallery:


  6. #6
    Junior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Thanks folks for all your comments and information which, I'm sure, will prove useful. I suppose I'm still perplexed by why Diana Pine essentially drifted off the scene in the 1950s whereas many of her male colleagues, Jackson, Lee, Leacock et al went on to bigger and better things. A conundrum!

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