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Author: Steve Chibnall

Since his first directorial commission at Welwyn Studios in 1950, Lee Thompson has directed forty-five pictures for theatrical release, covering almost every genre of the cinema. His remarkable ability to adapt his style to suit the material has made him perhaps the most versatile director ever produced by Britain. This book intends to plot the trajectory of a unique film-maker through the typical constraints and opportunities offered by British cinema as a dominant studio system gave way to independent production in the two decades after the Second World War. Thompson was born in Bristol just before the First World War. By the time Thompson left school his ambition was to be an actor, and he joined Nottingham Repertory, making his debut in Young Woodley in 1931. Thompson's opportunity to direct a play came when he received an offer from Hollywood for the film rights to his play Murder Without Crime. His debut box (or ottoman) of tricks went out on the ABC circuit as a double bill with an American film about a GI finding romance in Europe, Four Days Leave. Although the cutting room remained sacrosanct, directors of Thompson's generation had more influence over the final cut of a picture than their predecessors. The Yellow Balloon may be frustratingly limited in its social critique, but as a piece of film making, it was rightly praised for its performances and technical proficiency.

Steve Chibnall

an actor, and he joined Nottingham Repertory, making his debut in Young Woodley in 1931. Like his father, however, he also enjoyed writing, and before he was 19 had completed two plays for the stage. The first, Murder Happens was produced by his next repertory company, Croydon, and taken up by other provincial companies. His second play, Double Error , attracted the attention of the famous impresario Binky Beaumont who managed

in J. Lee Thompson
The War Books Boom, 1928–1930
Andrew Frayn

. 234 Writing disenchantment: First World War prose 24 Ibid., p. 132. 25 Eksteins, Rites of Spring, p. 294. 26 Watson, Fighting Different Wars, p. 202. 27 Ibid., p. 207. 28 Robert Graves, Introduction to Frank Richards, Old Soldiers Never Die (1933; London: Faber and Faber, 1964), pp. 1–7. 29 J. S., ‘The Return of the Soldier’, Manchester Guardian, 13 June 1928, p. 5. The adaptation was by John van Druten, whose Young Woodley (1925) was initially banned in the UK for its criticisms of the public school system. 30 John Onions, English Fiction and Drama

in Writing disenchantment
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Brian McFarlane and Anthony Slide

Featuring more than 6,500 articles, including over 350 new entries, this fifth edition of The Encyclopedia of British Film is an invaluable reference guide to the British film industry. It is the most authoritative volume yet, stretching from the inception of the industry to the present day, with detailed listings of the producers, directors, actors and studios behind a century or so of great British cinema.

Brian McFarlane's meticulously researched guide is the definitive companion for anyone interested in the world of film. Previous editions have sold many thousands of copies, and this fifth instalment will be an essential work of reference for universities, libraries and enthusiasts of British cinema.

in The Encyclopedia of British Film