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collective vision of a particular tradition, period, background or ‘school’. It’s logical and usual to consider even impersonal and anonymous artworks as an expression of a general consensus ( A Mirror for England , p. 4). 1 R AYMOND DURGNAT’S A Mirror for England: British Movies from Austerity to Affluence , which deals

in British cinema of the 1950s
A celebration

This book offers a startling re-evaluation of what has until now been seen as the most critically lacklustre period of the British film history. It includes fresh assessment of maverick directors; Pat Jackson, Robert Hamer and Joseph Losey, and even of a maverick critic Raymond Durgnat. The book features personal insights from those inidividually implicated in 1950s cinema; Corin Redgrave on Michael Redgrave, Isabel Quigly on film reviewing, and Bryony Dixon of the BFI on archiving and preservation. A classic image from 1950s British cinema would be Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea, the epitome of quiet English integrity. Raymond Durgnat's A Mirror for England: British Movies from Austerity to Affluence, which deals extensively with British films of the 1950s, was written in the mid-1960s and was published in 1970. In a 1947 article called 'Angles of Approach' Lindsay Anderson delivered a fierce attack on contemporary British film culture, outlining a model for a devoted politics of creation, well in line with what we would later understand as auteurism and art cinema aesthetics . The war films of the 1950s together constitute the assented-to record of the emotions and moral judgments called upon to set in order those disorderly events. The book also talks about the Festival of Britain, White Corridors, and four Hamer's post-Ealing films: The Spider and the Fly, The Long Memory, Father Brown and The Scapegoat. A number of factors have contributed to the relative neglect of the 1950s as a decade in British cinema history.

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seen throughout this book, what affected the exhibition industry also affected the general populace (and vice versa). Given the slow 239 240 Cinemas and cinemagoing in wartime Britain, 1939–45 pace of reconstruction, the CEA warned against seeing the immediate postwar period as a land of milk and honey: Many unpleasant shocks and an even greater measure of austerity may await the population of these isles. Such increase in contrast to the long awaited relief is doubly disappointing and often more depressing in its effect upon morale than many of the frightening

in Cinemas and cinemagoing in wartime Britain, 1939–45
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, producers are especially important in small, developing industries where the working conditions require greater resourcefulness and organizational prowess than may be needed in richer, more established environments. As the industrial landscape of Scottish cinema grows more unpredictable in this era of austerity and possible independence, the producer will only become more important to Scottish film-making as the need to broker multilateral, most likely trans­ nationally oriented, financial deals will become more and more pressing. Whatever the future may hold for Scottish

in Scottish cinema

restricted horizons. 14 For Melinda Mash, ‘[the dance hall] is … the site through which the characters enter into new patterns of consumption. Yet the desire to escape from a world bounded by “austerity” is tempered by another boundedness: the lack of means ever to fully escape.’ 15 Austerity is certainly in evidence as Eve bewails Phil’s profligacy in using up food which is on points (a system of supplementing rationed goods by

in The British working class in postwar film

, 1991) , p. 57. 12 Anthony Howard, ‘We are the masters now’, in Michael Sissons and Philip French (eds), The Age of Austerity 1945–1951 (Harmonds-worth: Penguin Books, 1964), p. 33. 13 Arthur Marwick, Britain in the Century of Total War: War, Peace and Social Change

in The British working class in postwar film
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groundwork for many of the issues and developments returned to in subsequent chapters of this book. In adopting this approach, which is necessarily selective in its focus, it is essential to understand Bond and Playboy as they related to broader social and cultural shifts, including changing attitudes towards sexuality and the strong economic growth which led to a consumer boom. Looking back, the 1950s has been interpreted as part of a revolutionary period of transition between post-war austerity and the rise of the permissive society in the 1960s.3 Indeed, perhaps most

in The playboy and James Bond
Open Access (free)
Pat Jackson’s White Corridors

material and human. 5 This is urban austerity England: white coats grow shabby, new equipment has to be fought for. Surgeons are fallible. ‘No hospital … will fail to give you attention if your case is urgent.’ The narrative weaves together a number of ongoing cases with two new admissions who get a contrasting quality of care. A woman arrives in casualty at an inconvenient time

in British cinema of the 1950s
Consumerism and alienation in 1950s comedies

austerity’. 19 Such duality between the consumer-based consensual rhetoric of television content and the social fragmentation necessitated by its form is further addressed in the climax of I’m All Right, Jack . After the establishment-supporting soundbites of BBC and ATV news reports, a television debate offers the people a chance to speak for themselves. ‘Argument’, claiming to put

in British cinema of the 1950s
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have appeared immune from the MacCarthyite conflicts which continued to rend the American cultural fabric at the time, there were strains and upheavals which were prevented from surfacing only by blanket suppression. The sources of strain are not hard to detect – more than a decade of rationing and austerity restrictions which acted like the lid of a pressure cooker on simmering consumer aspirations; a hegemonic disapproval

in J. Lee Thompson