Stanley Baker
The British Brando?
in Idols of the Odeons
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The chapter details how Stanley Baker differed from most British screen villains of the 1950s and depictions of working-class characters. The Cruel Sea established the actor as a cinematic anti-hero of note but a contract with the Rank Organisation offered typecasting. Hell Drivers marked a change in role to flawed hero and Baker’s work for Val Guest consolidated his appeal as the authority figure and self-doubting ‘tough guy’ with Hell Is a City and Yesterday’s Enemy. During the 1960s Baker worked as an independent producer while his collaborations with Joseph Losey – in particular Eva and Accident – were deconstructions of the masculine screen identity. The last ten years of Baker’s career were marked by a succession of B-films but also intriguing character performances for Michael Winner and on television.

Idols of the Odeons

Post-war British film stardom

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