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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.

Open Access (free)
Pat Jackson’s White Corridors
Charles Barr

W HITE CORRIDORS , a hospital drama first shown in June 1951, belongs to the small class of fictional films that deny themselves a musical score. Even the brief passages that top and tail the film, heard over the initial credits and the final image, were added against the wish of its director, Pat Jackson. Jackson had spent the first ten years of his career in documentary, joining the GPO Unit in the

in British cinema of the 1950s
David MacDougall

Cavalcanti, although none are named in the film’s credits (British Film Institute 2008 : 48). The British Film Institute lists the following makers of Night Mail ( 1936 ), one of the most famous films of the period (British Film Institute 2009 : 40): Directors (uncredited): Harry Watt, Basil Wright Assistant director (uncredited): Pat Jackson Cameras: Jonah Jones and Chick Fowle Producers: Basil Wright, Harry Watt

in The art of the observer
Abstract only
Keith Beattie

and why it got better there. That was the way Cav trained people’.12 Harry Watt, who worked as a director with Jennings and Pat Jackson on The First Days, and with whom Jennings co-directed London Can Take It! (1940), wrote in his autobiography that ‘British ­documentary films would not have advanced the way they did without Cav’s influence’.13 Elsewhere Watt reinforced the point when he stated that ‘the arrival Beattie_01_Chps.indd 3 06/10/2009 15:14 4  humphrey jennings of Cavalcanti in the G.P.O. Film Unit was the turning point of British documentary

in Humphrey Jennings
Fires Were Started and The Silent Village
Keith Beattie

), described the development of the form in relation to a split in the mid-1930s between Grierson and his followers who favoured non-theatrical exhi­ bition of documentary, and Cavalcanti, Jennings, Pat Jackson, Jack Lee and himself who felt that theatrical distribution was the most Beattie_01_Chps.indd 87 06/10/2009 15:14 88  humphrey jennings viable way to reach a large audience for their work.21 Watt described the form in terms of ‘“taking true events”, using real people, but also using “dramatic licence” to heighten the tension and the story-line’.22 Jennings

in Humphrey Jennings
Jonathan Rayner

. (The recognisable, guilty submarine as a target for revenge exists in pre-war film treatments of U-boat warfare in World War I, in Mare Nostrum; Rex Ingram, 1926, and U-67; William Nigh, 1931.) The U-boat’s unheralded attacks are viewed with revulsion, and their laying of traps (sending false distress signals in Convoy, and lurking near survivors in lifeboats in Western Approaches; Pat Jackson, 1944, to torpedo ships which come to the rescue) is treated with abhorrence. Conversely, subterfuge in countering them on the part of Allied sailors (stopping engines and

in The naval war film
Mathew Thomson

White Corridors . 16 Directed by Pat Jackson, who brought some of the grittier style of his background in the left-leaning documentary movement, the film for once identified the NHS as a state service, and it updated the moral dilemmas of medicine to speak to this setting. There is indeed ‘a clear optimism about the scope and efficiency of the NHS’. 17 The important point, however, is that this kind of direct reference to the service remained remarkably rare. Even when it comes to White Corridors , the film

in Posters, protests, and prescriptions
Ian Mackillop
Neil Sinyard

Pat Jackson; Brian McFarlane’s heartening tribute to that staple diet of the double bill, the British B-movie; Stephen Lacey’s analysis of the close interaction between theatre and film in the British cinema of this decade; Kerry Kidd’s reading of Women of Twilight that fascinatingly reconstructs the sexual politics of the time. As well as revaluing large areas of British cinema, the book offers surveys of other cinematic

in British cinema of the 1950s
Robert Murphy

as that comparing Pat Jackson’s masterpiece of wartime realism, Western Approaches (1944), with Don Chaffey’s pre-Roman epic, Jason and the Argonauts (1963). But this was an ageing and shrinking readership, and for the academic mind unprepared to follow the convoluted logic of Durgnat’s method, the book must have seemed inexcusably haphazard and untidy. Durgnat warns us in his introduction that he

in British cinema of the 1950s
Abstract only
Keith Beattie

appreciated that openness’.34 Beyond the resonances of Jennings’ work within specific films and other cultural productions, his legacy can also be gauged in terms of the forms he helped establish and popularise, among them the reconstruc­ tive mode of the story-documentary. Caryl Doncaster’s claim, published in 1956, that the ‘dramatised story documentary is one of the few art forms pioneered by television’ overlooked the development of the form during World War II in the work of Harry Watt, Pat Jackson and, in particular, Humphrey Jennings.35 Writing in his memoir

in Humphrey Jennings