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The Volunteer
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Directed byMichael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Written byMichael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Produced byMichael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
StarringRalph Richardson
Pat McGrath
CinematographyFrederick Ford
Edited byJohn Seabourne
Michael C. Chorlton
Music byAllan Gray
Release date
  • 10 January 1944 (1944-01-10)
Running time
24 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Volunteer (1944) is a short black-and-white British film by the filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger for the U.K. Ministry of Information. Made during World War II as recruitment propaganda for the Fleet Air Arm, volunteer numbers rose after its release.

The films features actor Ralph Richardson starring in a West End production of Othello. Pat McGrath plays his dresser, who joins the Fleet Air Arm and becomes a war hero – as famous as Richardson himself. British film stars Anna Neagle and Laurence Olivier make cameo appearances, as does director Michael Powell and fellow British film director Anthony Asquith.

The film is available as a supplement to the Criterion DVD of 49th Parallel.

The director Michael Powell during filming for The Volunteer, 1943
The director Michael Powell during filming for The Volunteer, 1943