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.
‘solidarity’, ‘character’, home.
Sixty or so subsequent years have corroded this innocence.
Consumer capitalism and the absence of war have together worked to
underfeed ‘solidarity’ until it has become so thin we can
see through it, and placed the values of radical individualism
(identity, fulfilment, self-discovery and so forth ) at the centre of
the board. But the warfilms of the 1950s will nonetheless be
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.
into quaintly comic evocations of community or into nostalgic recollections
of the war. (It was Brian McFarlane who suggested that Lewis Gilbert’s
stereotypical warfilm of 1953, The Sea Shall Not Have Them , could be
more aptly retitled The Sea is Welcome to Them .) Coming after the
golden period of the immediate post-war years (with Olivier’s rousing
Shakespeare, Lean’s compelling Dickens, the passionate opuses of
little visual space in Hollywood representations of the
war. Yet, according to US Justice Department figures, between 1966 and
1973, 191,840 men refused to be drafted. 34 This has never been represented. One can of course
respond by pointing out that these are warfilms, and therefore the
anti-war movement is peripheral to their narrative project. To a certain
extent this is of course true. But can the same argument be used to
Cinema, news media and perception management of the Gaza
Tokyobk, User comment on ‘Israeli strike kills
four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach’, 16 July
2014, http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israelipalestinian-children/ .
Accessed 10 September 2016.
P. Pisters , ‘ Logistics of Perception 2.0: Multiple Screen
Aesthetics in Iraq WarFilms ’, Film-Philosophy , 14 : 1
), Violent Playground (1958) and Beat
Girl (1960) (‘System as Stalemate’). Most of Powell and
Pressburger’s wartime films appear alongside Asquith’s
The Demi-Paradise (1943), Hitchcock’s The Skin Game
(1931) and Lean’s Great Expectations (1946) in ‘The
Nine Lives of Colonel Blimp’; the post-warfilms turn up in
‘Between Two Worlds’ where Powell is classified as a
Blimp (1943); and Tearle’s Dr Groom,
like his grandfather in Mandy , has affinities with Blimp, both in
his obstinacy and in his final graceful concessions. 12 White Corridors can, then, be
linked with equal plausibility both to wartime documentary and to the
warfilms of a team who positioned themselves in explicit opposition to
documentary; two important streams come together that revive the wartime
Juvenile actors and humanitarian sentiment in the 1940s
B. Jones , ‘ The Hollywood WarFilm: 1942–1944 ’, Hollywood Quarterly , 1 : 1 ( 1945 ), p. 1 .
In the 1940s awards were established for films ‘promoting
international understanding’ (Golden Globe, from 1946) or ‘embodying
one or more of the principles of the United Nations Charter’ (BAFTA
[UK], from 1949). War-themed films featuring children were often
Platoon dispute when he
wrote to Eric Pleskow at Orion Pictures in August 1984:
Notwithstanding Stone’s frustration, in fact industry chieftains
such as Pleskow were not wide of the mark in their reading of
current national sentiment. With Ronald Reagan as president, as
William Palmer notes, the early 1980s had been marked by a distinct shift in the reading and understanding of the Vietnam War.
Films such as The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now were harsh
and unyielding but they unwittingly contributed towards a new
national discourse, led by Reagan and featuring John