Philip Gillett
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The guns fall silent
Recollections of war
in The British working class in postwar film
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This chapter deals with the war films that were made in the context working class community. The Way to the Stars was adapted from two Terence Rattigan plays, and the lack of emphasis on class in the film means that a class perspective gives little clue as to why the film struck a chord with audiences across the social divide. A variant on the prison camp theme is The Hasty Heart set in a military hospital in Burma. Though the dialogue implies that the role of the Scotsman is working class - his impoverished background is emphasised - his class is unimportant compared to his Scottishness. With its emphasis on the mechanics of escape, The Wooden Horse became a prototype for prison camp films. There is no place for women or working-class characters in the film as the RAF prisoners are middle and upper classes.

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