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Separate Tables, separate entities?
Dominic Shellard

Terence Rattigan, ‘Introduction’, Collected Plays: Volume Two (Hamish Hamilton, 1953), p. iv. 4 Geoffrey Wansell, Terence Rattigan (Fourth Estate, 1995), p. 252. 5 Wansell, Rattigan , p. 253

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Author:

This is a comprehensive critical study of Anthony Asquith. The author sets the director's work in the context of British cinema from the silent period to the 1960s, and examines the artistic and cultural influences within which his films can be understood. Asquith's silent films were compared favourably to those of his eminent contemporary Alfred Hitchcock, but his career faltered during the 1930s. However, the success of Pygmalion (1938) and French Without Tears (1939), based on plays by George Bernard Shaw and Terence Rattigan respectively, together with his significant contributions to wartime British cinema, re-established him as one of Britain's leading film makers. Asquith's post-war career includes several pictures in collaboration with Rattigan, and the definitive adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1951), but his versatility is demonstrated effectively in a number of modest genre films including The Woman in Question (1950), The Young Lovers (1954) and Orders to Kill (1958).

Recollections of war
Philip Gillett

), Cockleshell Heroes (d. José Ferrer, 1955) and Reach for the Sky (d. Lewis Gilbert, 1956). 4 Myths were being reinforced or remade for a new generation. By the 1960s, the cycle had run its course and the Cold War became the preoccupation of film-makers, notably with the James Bond series. The Way to the Stars (d. Anthony Asquith, 1945) was adapted from two Terence Rattigan plays. It was made before the war

in The British working class in postwar film
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Tom Ryall

and Underground – had MUP_Ryall_01_Chap 1 8 7/26/05, 10:04 AM introduction 9 been based on his own original scenarios but his 1930s films were mainly adaptations of novels. Ironically, in the light of his assertion, the two films which rehabilitated his career towards the end of the decade were adaptations of theatrical works by major writers both of whom were closely involved in the process of adapting their own work for the screen. Yet Pygmalion (1938) and French Without Tears (1939), based on plays by George Bernard Shaw and Terence Rattigan respectively

in Anthony Asquith
Tom Ryall

variety of elegant costumes including her famous mink-lined raincoat. The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) Like The V.I.P.s, The Yellow Rolls-Royce has been traced back anecdotally to incidents in Terence Rattigan’s life. One version suggests that ‘the idea had come to him as he sat in his own Rolls in a London traffic jam, speculating on the looks of hatred, compounded with envy, he received from the occupants of other cars in the jam’.34 Another refers to Rattigan and Asquith coming across General Allenby’s Rolls-Royce while MUP_Ryall_07_Chap 7 152 7/26/05, 10:08 AM the

in Anthony Asquith
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Hawling like a brooligan
Andrew Roberts

diametric opposite is the upright Anthony Steel, while More ploughed a furrow in the centre; raffish yet dependable. But Margaret Hinxman of Picturegoer saw him as ‘one of those rare personalities, “an actor’s actor”’ ( 1956 : 15) and after seeing Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea onstage, Kenneth Tynan declared that ‘Kenneth More is our best answer to Marlon Brando so far’ (Tynan and Tynan 1994 : 67). Several years later, the actor was also offered – but turned down – the role of Claudius by Peter Hall (MacKillop and Sinyard 2003 : 10). One of the keys to More

in Idols of the Odeons
Tom Ryall

representation was animated action, and its primary means of expression was editing or montage.22 Asquith’s undoubted cinematic credentials forged in the silent period, exemplified in films such as Underground and A Cottage in Dartmoor, and his realist credentials, established in the wartime films, provide an interesting background against which to gauge his post-war ‘theatrical adaptation’ period. MUP_Ryall_06_Chap 6 125 7/26/05, 10:07 AM 126 anthony asquith The Winslow Boy (1948) The Winslow Boy was originally conceived of by Terence Rattigan as a film based on an

in Anthony Asquith
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Where to, now?
Brian Mcfarlane

Earnest, 1952) and, especially, Terence Rattigan (from French Without Tears, 1939, through such popular successes as The Way to the Stars, 1945, The Winslow Boy, 1948, and The Browning Version, 1951). Like Reed, he floundered somewhat after the mid1950s, and he ended his career in all-star portmanteau productions like The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), which seemed a long way from the perceptive chamber pieces of the 1940

in Lance Comfort
Tom Ryall

of the grittier, ‘realist’ plays and films which emerged in the theatre and cinema of the 1950s, the work of both artists began to look a little old-fashioned and perhaps out of touch. Rattigan’s work was challenged by the plays of John Osborne and Shelagh Delaney, by Look back in Anger (1956) and A Taste of Honey (1958); indeed after attending the first night of the former, Rattigan had suggested that Osborne was effectively saying, ‘Look, Ma, I’m not Terence Rattigan.’17 In a similar vein, Asquith’s glossy, international films of the 1960s, The V.I.P.s and The

in Anthony Asquith
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Tom Ryall

element to set beside the overtly heterosexual preoccupations of MUP_Ryall_03_Chap 3 53 7/26/05, 10:05 AM 54 anthony asquith Asquith’s previous films. Indeed, homo-eroticism is an important element in the literary reflection on the war identified and explored in some detail by Paul Fussell in his book, The Great War and Modern Memory.20 Its understated presence in the film also raises issues about Asquith’s own personal dispositions, evoked subsequently in his adaptations of the work of overtly homosexual artists such as Oscar Wilde and Terence Rattigan. Moscow

in Anthony Asquith