Old cities, new towns
Criminality and cruelty
in British films of the 1970s
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This chapter examines the ways in which a range of films shot in New Towns or other suburban locations in Britain during the 1970s offer evidence of shifts in representations of criminal behaviour which can be tied to the apparent modern ‘newness’ of these locations. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which the film The Offence employs location shooting and impressively designed interiors (shot in the studio) in order to evoke a rapidly changing nation which is unsure of how to police itself. The chapter develops in order to examine how far crime and gangster films of the period such as The Squeeze and Get Carter often depict cruelty being meted out to young, innocent characters, and places these representations within socio-cultural context.

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