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.
premièred at the end of 1963. For Bogarde, this
prestigious endorsement of his extraordinary performance as Barrett, the
man-servant who brings the life of the aristocrat he serves crashing
down about his ears, was a career turning-point, the fulfilment of his
ambition to be recognised as a major screen actor and not simply a
matinee idol. It marked a similar culmination for its director, JosephLosey, who
it. But it does suggest that British cinema of the time was more formally
and thematically adventurous than it is sometimes given credit for.
The national cinema of the decade was, then, shot through with
sometimes unexpected variety and interesting contradictions. It has been
described as insular and parochial, but, in fact, a number of foreign voices
added a more complex colouration. The case of JosephLosey is discussed
Gentleman (1957) and Dickinson’s Queen of Spades (1948)
and Gaslight (1940).
The high estimate put on the English films of JosephLosey, the determination to disrupt the aura of reverence around the
British Documentary Movement, the questioning of the importance of Free
Cinema and scepticism about the status of The Third Man (1949) as
a masterpiece, were shared by other young critics, particularly the
is what is called the mask, a rigidity of
expression that begins to overtake a person’s face.
I am very aware of this in what I think of as his
farewell to the cinema, The Go-Between (1971), directed by JosephLosey. I can’t watch it because I find it unbearably poignant. His
face has already, to a small extent, surrendered to the mask of
Parkinsonism. Diagnostic techniques have improved since those
Juvenile actors and humanitarian sentiment in the 1940s
different countries – appeared and functioned in four Hollywood studio
pictures: Twentieth Century Fox’s suspense thriller The Pied
Piper (Irving Pichel, 1942), Universal’s romantic musical The
Amazing Mrs Holliday (Jean Renoir/Bruce Danning, 1943), RKO’s
comedian comedy Heavenly Days (Howard Estabrook, 1944) and RKO’s
family fantasy The Boy with Green Hair (JosephLosey, 1948). I
explore how these