John Mills
‘Do push off, there’s a good chap’
in Idols of the Odeons
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The chapter commences with an overview as to how John Mills did not accord with the standard image of the post-war male film star and how his popularity derived from his apparent ‘ordinariness’. The sheer scale of the actor’s career is discussed, together with how he achieved major stardom as the archetypal ‘Everyman’ during the Second World War. The October Man is considered in terms of post-war British film noir and showcasing Mills’s talent for conveying barely suppressed angst. By the 1950s Mills was frequently cast as officers and towards the end of the decade Town on Trial and Ice Cold in Alex displayed his authority figures as flawed, complex individuals. Tunes of Glory is evaluated as possibly the actor’s definitive performance and the chapter ends with When the Wind Blows, as an ironic reflection of Mills’s wartime pictures.

Idols of the Odeons

Post-war British film stardom

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