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‘Do push off, there’s a good chap’
Andrew Roberts

good film, well-made and well-acted under appalling conditions. But I feel if we’d been allowed to delve more deeply into the characters of the men themselves it could have been a great one’ (Mills 2001 : 296). Ten years later Mills often stood for a crisis of masculine identity. In her definitive account of his film work, Gill Plain argues that in the 1950s ‘it was to Mills that British cinema turned for its portrayals of frustration, incompetence or impotence’ ( 2006 : 5). As early as 1941 Anthony Asquith employed Mills’s genial voice and unthreatening physical

in Idols of the Odeons
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Neil Sinyard

, in her role as a heroine dressed as a boy 5 Sex comes to British cinema: Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret in Room at the Top 6 The price of wealth: Mary Peach, Laurence Harvey and Donald Houston in Room at

in Jack Clayton
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‘Stand by, number one’
Andrew Roberts

in The Fallen Idol (1948). If the adult world within the Embassy is one of ‘marital strife, adultery, obsession and hysteria’ (Evans 2005 : 84), then the police are not the archetypal genial law guardians of post-war British cinema but unapproachable oppressors. Detective Ames says little, but his glowering presence, looming down over the frightened eight-year-old Phillippe (Bobby Henrey) embodies the terror of the unknowable adult world. It was The Archers who gave Hawkins his first post-war screen role of merit as the sardonic and manipulative government PR

in Idols of the Odeons

Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.

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‘You’ve gotta laugh’
Tony Whitehead

on the grounds that both of them have worked largely within a recognisable contemporary milieu, sometimes – more convincingly, as in Robert Murphy’s British Cinema of the 90s – as evidence of their status as great talents and great survivors, who have maintained active careers partly by their willingness to work for television as well as Whitehead_01_Chps.indd 2 29/3/07 15:53:02 introduction 3 6 the cinema. Yet more often than not, indeed almost without exception, once the two directors are shoehorned together in the same category of ‘socially conscious film

in Mike Leigh
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Christopher Meir

. 104), ‘generic hybridity’ (Hill, 2011, p. 169), or ‘cross over cinema’ as I have chosen to do following the ex­­amples of Christine Geraghty (2005) and Andrew Higson (2003, pp. 91–92), it is the most typical form of Scottish cinema. Significantly, it is also the form of cinema most typically found in British cinema generally. Scottish cinema as seen in this book fits very easily into this mould, a realization which is at odds with the reputation the nation has accrued in British cinema studies circles as being home to an art cinema that distinguishes it from its

in Scottish cinema
Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Asquith
Tom Ryall

This chapter explores the notion of ‘art cinema’ in Britain during the 1920s and considers the cultural context in which British film-makers worked, the ideas and attitudes towards the medium and the intellectual atmosphere in which directors such as Hitchcock and Asquith began their careers. Many discussions of the distinctiveness or non-distinctiveness of British cinema throughout its long history situate the nation’s films in a kind of cultural limbo flanked on one side by the commercial entertainment of American cinema, and, on the other, by the European ‘art

in British art cinema
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The British Brando?
Andrew Roberts

Born on 28 February 1928, Baker first achieved stardom as Lieutenant Bennett in The Cruel Sea . Typecasting as a villain then ensued but by the late 1950s, his work with Cy Endfield, Joseph Losey and Val Guest had established him as British cinema’s first working-class leading man. In the 1960s he alternated production work – most famously with Zulu – with some of his most complex roles for Losey. He died from cancer on 28 June 1976, shortly after he was nominated for a knighthood. Figure 4 Stanley Baker in Hell Drivers (1957) The archives of

in Idols of the Odeons
Open Access (free)
Sequence and the rise of auteurism in 1950s Britain
Erik Hedling

from its pages, and also two later editors of Sight and Sound , Gavin Lambert and Penelope Houston. It also acquired a certain cult status. In the words of Brian McFarlane, ‘considering how short-lived it was – a mere fourteen issues between 1947 and 1952 – it acquired a firm niche in the history of British cinema criticism. Across the intervening decades, one found tantalizing references to it in the

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Brian McFarlane

Introduction There is nothing new in proposing the 1940s as arguably the enduring high point in the history of British cinema. Books continue to appear about the great names of the period, such as David Lean and Michael Powell; but, as well as the ‘quality cinema’ associated with these directors, there was also a popular output from film-makers who have not yet been subject to such detailed treatment. There are also excellent books that focus on the period at large,1 but they are apt to be more concerned with the prestige arm of British film or with thematic

in Four from the forties