British Cinema of the 1950s
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British Cinema of the 1950s

By Ian Duncan MacKillop
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Book Description

This book offers a startling re-evaluation of what has until now been seen as the most critically lacklustre period of the British cinema. Twenty writers contribute essays that rediscover and reassess the productions of the Festival of Britain decade, during which the vitality of wartime film-making flowed into new forms. Topics covered include genres such as the B-film, the war film, the woman's picture, the theatrical adaptation and comedy; also social issues such as censorship and the screen representation of childhood. The book includes fresh assessments of maverick directors such as Pat Jackson, Robert Hamer and Joseph Losey, and even of a maverick critic, Raymond Durgnat. There are also three personal views from people individually implicated in 1950s cinema: Corin Redgrave on Michael Redgrave, Isabel Quigly on film reviewing, and Bryony Dixon of the British Film Institute on film archiving and preservation. In its evocation and coverage of a fascinating time when the national cinema enjoyed an unprecedented popularity amongst home audiences, this volume offers the most exhilarating survey yet of 1950s British film. In its provocative challenge to conventional wisdom about this decade's movies, the book will prove indispensable to students of the cinema at all levels and a stimulating companion for the critic and the historian.

Table of Contents
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • A 1950s timeline
  • Celebrating British cinema of the 1950s ian mackillop and neil sinyard
  • Critics
  • Raymond Durgnat and A Mirror for England robert murphy
  • Lindsay Anderson: Sequence and the rise of auteurism in 1950s Britain erik hedling
  • Mirroring England
  • National snapshots: fixing the past in English war films fred inglis
  • Film and the Festival of Britain sarah easen
  • The national health: Pat Jackson’s White Corridors charles barr
  • The long shadow: Robert Hamer after Ealing philip kemp
  • ‘If they want culture, they pay’: consumerism and alienation in 1950s comedies dave rolinson
  • Boys, ballet and begonias: The Spanish Gardener and its analogues alison platt
  • Intimate stranger: the early British films of Joseph Losey neil sinyard
  • Painfully squalid?
  • Women of Twilight kerry kidd
  • Yield to the Night melanie williams
  • From script to screen: Serious Charge and film censorship tony aldgate
  • Housewife’s choice: Woman in a Dressing Gown melanie williams
  • Adaptibility
  • Too theatrical by half? The Admirable Crichton and Look Back in Anger stephen lacey
  • A Tale of Two Cities and the Cold War robert giddings
  • Value for money: Baker and Berman, and Tempean Films brian mcfarlane
  • Adaptable Terence Rattigan: Separate Tables, separate entities? dominic shellard
  • Personal views
  • Archiving the 1950s bryony dixon
  • Being a film reviewer in the 1950s isabel quigly
  • Michael Redgrave and The Mountebank’s Tale corin redgrave
  • Index
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