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The Lasting Influence of the War on Postwar British Film

Authors: Boyce, M.

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About this book

Many of the most celebrated British films of the immediate post-war period (1945-55) seem to be occupied with "getting on" with life and offering distraction for postwar audiences. It is the time of the celebrated Ealing comedies, Hue and Cry (1946) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Dickens adaptations, and the most ambitious projects of the Archers. While the war itself is rarely mentioned in these films, the war and the conditions of postwar society lie at the heart of understanding them. While various studies have focused on lesser known realist films, few consider how deeply and completely the war affected British film. Michael W. Boyce considers the preoccupation of these films with profound anxieties and uncertainties about what life was going to be like for postwar Britain, what roles men and women would play, how children would grow up, even what it meant - and what it still means today - to be British.

About the authors

MICHAEL W. BOYCEAssistant Professor and Chair of the English and Film Studies Program at Booth University College, Canada.

Reviews

"With scrupulous and brilliant close analysis of key films and stars, Boyce reveals and complicates a new era of 'Britishness' in the immediate postwar years, one irrevocably marked by war trauma. In remarkably clear prose, The Lasting Influence of the War on Postwar British Film illustrates a social and historical unconscious that has largely been ignored yet emerges as a crucial period in the history of British cinema and nation (re)building." - Dina Smith, associate professor of English, Drake University

'Like Raymond Durgnat's and Charles Barr's exceptional studies of English cinema, Michael Boyce's work combines highly informed and nuanced cultural commentary with elegant close readings of individual films. Boyce offers surprising insights on a great many topics, from the strained rhetoric of accommodation and the beleaguered assertions of resistance dramatized in such 'conservative' films as Brief Encounter and In Which We Serve to the oblique, searching commentary on children displaced from their homes during the war in the adaptations of Dickens novels. Again and again, Boyce overturns received ideas about performers and genres in the austere, post-war environment, and does so in a manner that is witty, self-questioning, and alive to narrative pleasures of every sort.' - George Toles, University of Manitoba


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: Don’t Mention the War

    Boyce, Michael W.

    Pages 1-7

  • The Power of Choice: Complicating Traditional Female Identity

    Boyce, Michael W.

    Pages 11-46

  • British Masculinities: Duty, Confinement, and Stiff Upper Lips

    Boyce, Michael W.

    Pages 47-75

  • Toward a Reading of British Film Noir: Expatriates and Ancient Cities

    Boyce, Michael W.

    Pages 79-115

  • Adapting Shakespeare: Once More unto the Breach

    Boyce, Michael W.

    Pages 119-141

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-01504-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11689-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-29758-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Lasting Influence of the War on Postwar British Film
Authors
Copyright
2012
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-01504-4
DOI
10.1057/9781137015044
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-11689-4
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-29758-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 212
Topics