Brian McFarlane
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While none of the four highlighted directors ever made a certifiable masterpiece, the skills deployed in their most popular films in the 1940s now suggest that there was more to their talents than has been critically allowed. Further, they now seem in some ways like barometers registering changing mores and changing generic tastes – whither the melodrama and the ‘quality’ film – in a crucial period of British film-making. Close examination of their films, including the stars who featured in them, has proved illuminating in such matters, as well as in the industrial and cultural climate of their making.

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