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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.

Open Access (free)
Serious Charge and film censorship
Tony Aldgate

I N MAY 1950 the Wheare Committee recommended that a new ‘X’ category be introduced and applied to films intended for exhibition to ‘adults only’. By January 1951, the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) agreed to the implementation of an ‘X’ certificate which limited the cinema-going audience to those over 16 years of age. ‘It is our desire’, said the BBFC secretary

in British cinema of the 1950s
Stuart Hanson

features of the British cinema industry that resonate to this day. In 1913 the cinema industry established the British Board of Film Censors in response to concerted criticism of the cinema’s influence on public taste. The First World War and the associated conflicts in Europe saw the hegemony of US films established and consolidated in the post-war period through the establishment of the vertically integrated Hollywood studio

in From silent screen to multi-screen
Swedish Sex Education in 1970s London
Adrian Smith

In 1974 the British Board of Film Censors refused to grant a certificate to the Swedish documentary More About the Language of Love (Mera ur Kärlekens språk, 1970, Torgny Wickman, Sweden: Swedish Film Production), due to its explicit sexual content. Nevertheless, the Greater London Council granted the film an ‘X’ certificate so that it could be shown legally in cinemas throughout the capital. This article details the trial against the cinema manager and owners, after the film was seized by police under the charge of obscenity, and explores the impact on British arguments around film censorship, revealing a range of attitudes towards sex and pornography. Drawing on archival records of the trial, the widespread press coverage as well as participants’ subsequent reflections, the article builds upon Elisabet Björklund’s work on Swedish sex education films and Eric Schaefer’s scholarship on Sweden’s ‘sexy nation’ reputation to argue that the Swedish films’ transnational distribution complicated tensions between educational and exploitative intentions in a particularly British culture war over censorship.

Film Studies
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The role of popular culture between the wars
Christine Grandy

, but was also endorsed by the state. I argue that the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) and the Home Office encouraged the maintenance and production of this formula through their censorship of the hero, villain, and love-interest characters. By examining the films and novels that were passed by the censors in conjunction with those that were not, I show that the priorities of these censoring bodies were to maintain the role of the heroic soldier and the independent breadwinner. Narratives that produced images of the successful and independent breadwinner or

in Heroes and happy endings
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Thoughts on heroes, villains, and love-interests beyond 1939
Christine Grandy

been vastly undercut by the rise of the United States as the world’s policeman. Developments such as these after World War II mark out the media produced during the interwar period as exceptional in important ways. The interwar period also offered the government access to and control over the message of popular culture in ways that it has not seen since. As I argued in Chapter 4, the behind-the-scenes censorship engaged in by the Home Office and the British Board of Film Censors allowed the government to substantially shape and contribute to the ideology of popular

in Heroes and happy endings
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Censorship, the Home Office, and the BBFC
Christine Grandy

4 Building character: censorship, the Home Office, and the BBFC I cannot believe that any single film can have any lasting effect on the public, but the result of the same themes repeated over and over again might be most undesirable. Edward Shortt, speech to Conference of Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, 27 June 1935 W hen Edward Shortt, president of the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC), spoke to the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association in the summer of 1935, he attempted to address what he saw as the growing presence of unacceptable themes in films reaching the

in Heroes and happy endings
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Anna Ariadne Knight

attractive, multi-dimensional masculinity. This book explores the impact that these American films about juvenile delinquency 2 Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain had in Britain when the ‘youth problem’ was considered a particularly prominent social issue. In addition, it considers the legacy that the three very influential Hollywood stars Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley had on British popular culture. This study was born of a desire to understand an extraordinary episode of film censorship when the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) took the

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain
Marlon Brando and The Wild One ban in the UK
Anna Ariadne Knight

certificate by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC), who took the unanimous view that general exhibition would prove pernicious to the more impressionable among Britain’s teenagers.3 The Wild One, which told the story of a nomadic group of law-breaking motorcyclists, arrived in Britain during a period of heightened concerns about the violent nature of Teddy boy gangs. The decision taken by the BBFC did not deter Leslie Halliwell, the manager of the Rex and an erudite film essayist. Halliwell had petitioned Cambridge magistrates to grant the film a local X certificate

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain
Class, gender, and nation in popular film and fiction in interwar Britain

Popular culture became a crucial aspect of the rising consumer society in the interwar Britain. Romantic exchanges and happy endings were a defining trait of bestselling novels and popular films in 1920s and 1930s Britain. This book ties contemporary concerns about ex-soldiers, profiteers, and working and voting women to the heroes, villains and love-interests that occur in several films and novels. It addresses the role of the hero as a character who embodies traits collectively valued by readers and the audience. In books and films like Sorrell and Son, the pre-war masculine role model was re-established as patriotic soldier, breadwinner and pater familias. The male villain is the opposite of this value set, and in works such as Bulldog Drummond, he is concerned with profit and the undermining of the national economy and social well-being. The female love-interest often occupied a fairly dynamic role in bestselling novels and hit films. Women in A Star Is Born and Queen Christina are shown as giving up their careers for love and forsaking wealth and power for love. Villainesses, by contrast, seek wealth, status and power at all costs. Censorship of films by the British Board of Film Censors and of literature by the Home Office in interwar Britain contributed to the construction of a popular narrative formula. Censorship aimed to produce an idealised vision of man's and woman's place within the economy and nation. The troubles of the real world were not to have a significant place in film or fiction.