A celebration

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.

Open Access (free)
Bryony Dixon

A NUMBER OF factors have contributed to the relative neglect of the 1950s as a decade in British cinema history. It was a complex and unhappy decade in England and its films appear to have little contiguity or popular profile. The conventional back-of-a-postage-stamp view of British cinema history takes a strange skip and a jump when it comes to the 1950s. Much is made of the

in British cinema of the 1950s
Ian Mackillop and Neil Sinyard

Saturday, 5 December 1998 at the British Library in London. It was a study day consisting of lectures about British cinema in the 1950s: most of these are printed here, with an equal number of new essays which have been written since. In the evenings of the week preceding the study day, seven films were screened. They appeared under the headings of ‘Festive Fifties’ ( The Importance of Being Earnest , in a sparkling new print

in British cinema of the 1950s
Isabel Quigly

wonderful way of earning, not perhaps a living, but at least a crust. Soon afterwards I was asked, out of the blue, to be film critic of the Spectator , and entered what now seems a very foreign country indeed, the film world of the 1950s, in which I stayed for ten years. It was a past separated from us today not just by the changes in films and film-making, but by the social upheavals between then and now

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)
Reconstruction and reconciliation; confrontation and oppression
Kjell M. Torbiörn

2 Europe’s 1950s: reconstruction and reconciliation; confrontation and oppression If … the European Defence Community should not become effective; if France and Germany remain apart … That would compel an agonising reappraisal of basic United States policy. (John Foster Dulles)1 Summary Reconstruction in Western Europe, completed by the early 1950s, led to unbounded optimism about future economic growth and to a strong desire for closer integration. Following the creation of the Council of Europe in 1949 among ten West European countries, six went further in

in Destination Europe
Consumerism and alienation in 1950s comedies
Dave Rolinson

F OR EVERY 1950S British comedy assimilated into the academic canon, there are many which have fallen into obscurity, reinforcing the alleged disposability of the form. One of the highest-profile casualties is The Horse’s Mouth (Ronald Neame, 1958), which was justly celebrated at the time for Alec Guinness’s performance as aggressively antisocial artist Gulley Jimson

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)
Fixing the past in English war films
Fred Inglis

. Such a task can only be brought off, of course, at those few historically privileged moments since the invention of film at which popular sentiment, technological recording systems, and the forced march of quotidian eventuality can be made to fit together with comparatively little interpretative play or slippage. These conditions held pretty tightly in the 1950s. War itself had provided a comprehensive account of

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)
Sequence and the rise of auteurism in 1950s Britain
Erik Hedling

T HE 1950s REPRESENTS an upheaval in European film history. The financial losses of the Europeans, as compared to the Americans on the popular market, caused drastic changes within the European film industries, leading up to the continental government-subsidised film industries of the present. Even if the historical reasons for the changes in European film policies were mainly

in British cinema of the 1950s
Robert Giddings

THOMAS’S A Tale of Two Cities of 1958 occupies a secure if modest place among that bunch of 1950s British releases based on novels by Dickens, including Brian Desmond Hurst’s Scrooge (1951) and Noel Langley’s The Pickwick Papers (1952). 1 When all the arguments about successfully filming Dickens are considered it must be conceded that his fiction offers significant qualities that

in British cinema of the 1950s
Open Access (free)
Melanie Williams

straightforward statement of social protest on the part of its makers, which is partly due to the casting of Diana Dors, a notorious and flamboyant British film personality of the 1950s, in the role of Mary Hilton. Hailed as the only sex symbol Britain has produced since Lady Godiva, Diana Dors was a precocious teenager who had made her first film appearance at the age of 15 as a spiv’s mistress in The Shop at

in British cinema of the 1950s