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Fixing the past in English war films

faithful discharge of mutual obligations to the crew, to the service and – though no one would ever put it like that – to the country and the necessity to defeat fascism. Much more, however, is made of saving lives and losing them than of cutting down or up the enemy. Compass Rose rescues sailors (including Scandinavian merchantmen), their lungs clotted with machine oil; in pursuit of a U-boat which they

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Pleasantville and the textuality of media memory

conservative standpoint, left-wing ‘feminazis’ and other ‘Visigoths in tweed’ had come to police cultural value and personal behaviour, representing nothing short of an emergent ‘totalitarianism’ or ‘McCarthyism’ of the left. The language of fascism infused the standard bromides emanating from the cultural right. Pleasantville replayed these fascist and McCarthyite invocations

in Memory and popular film
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The cinematic afterlife of an early modern political diva

as a determined reaction against Franco’s Spain, with Elizabeth of England and Philip of Spain standing in for modern democracy and fascism respectively. In the pivotal scene of the film, before the actual battle begins, we see Flora Robson’s Elizabeth spoon-feeding frail Lord Burghley with ‘good English broth’. This underscores the Queen’s self-fashioning as the mother of England. At the same time, we can

in The British monarchy on screen
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An allegory of imperial rapport

Victorian defender of constitutional monarchy) 8 points out that the film’s success in the United Kingdom is partly due to its theme of equality, always dear to British hearts: ‘At the heart of the film lie two linked themes. One involves Britain’s ideas of hierarchy, the other its wartime heroism and rejection of fascism.’ 9 The social divide between the main characters is

in The British monarchy on screen
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entanglement with the German armaments industry with the sanitised picture of American involvement in the Second World War offered by the US media, and indeed by Hollywood. Brief visual reference is made in the footage to Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998), as well as books by Stephen Ambrose and Tom Brokaw –​all of which, argued Stone, celebrated the military contribution of the USA while overlooking both the willingness of US industrialists to do business with the Third Reich, and the overwhelming contribution of the Russian people to the defeat of fascism in

in The cinema of Oliver Stone