Introduction
in Idols of the Odeons
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An impressionistic view of cinemagoing in the 1970s, contrasted with the 1950s, when picture houses would typically host films starring a recognisable ‘British stalwart’. The chapter goes on to discuss the elements that created a screen persona of that era, including the studio politics and the role of their publicity machines. A further issue is the decline of cinemagoing as television became the country’s most popular medium. The progressive dominance of US-backed films, a development stimulated by the ‘Eady levy’ is debated, together with critical reaction of the period to any perceived undermining of the ‘national identity’ on-screen. The introduction also considers the impact of such journals as Sight and Sound and Films and Filming on shaping perceptions of post-war British cinema. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the actors within this book were instrumental in both creating and undermining a national myth.

Idols of the Odeons

Post-war British film stardom

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