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.
consensus. 7 And so they are,
if we come to them expecting the malicious energy and suave black comedy
of his masterpiece. But a masterpiece casts a long shadow, and at least
four of Hamer’s post-Ealingfilms – The Spider and the
Fly , The Long Memory , Father Brown and The
Scapegoat – deserve to be brought out from under. None of them
wholly works and the last of them was reduced to a mutilated
friend, the writer Richard Hughes, whose best-known novel, A High Wind in Jamaica , published in 1929, was turned into a post-Ealingfilm in 1965 by Alexander Mackendrick. Hughes introduced him to the delights of the Talyllyn narrow gauge railway operated since 1951, in pre-Beeching days, by amateurs, and that was the spark. The first preserved railway in the world ran, and still runs, from the edge of Snowdonia National Park to Abergynolwyn seven miles away.
For his screenplay, Clarke chose instead a quintessentially English rural setting for his fictional branch
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.