Britain Can Take It: The British Cinema in the Second World War

Britain Can Take It: The British Cinema in the Second World War

Britain Can Take It: The British Cinema in the Second World War

Britain Can Take It: The British Cinema in the Second World War

Synopsis

This book charts a momentous period through the eyes of thirteen key films. Examining scripts, reviews and box-office returns, not to mention a mass of official documentation from the Home Office and censorship archives, it places each film in its social and political context to explore the relationship between the propagandists and the film-makers.

Excerpt

For this paperback edition of Britain Can Take It we are reprinting the original text as it stands since we have found no reason to alter our interpretations of the individual films or our perspective on British cinema in the Second World War. But we are adding two new chapters at the end which round out the original book. Chapter 13 by Anthony Aldgate is devoted to Tunisian Victory and explores the tensions between British and American documentary-makers and chapter 14 by Jeffrey Richards reassesses Ships With Wings in the light of the post-war rewriting of British wartime cinema history. Both chapters originally appeared as articles in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television to which we are grateful for permission to reprint. Stills from Tunisian Victory appear by courtesy of the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum.

Since the book first appeared, several excellent studies have been published which can usefully be read in conjunction with this book. Among them are: Antonia Lant, Blackout: Reinventing Women for Wartime British Cinema (Princeton University Press); Philip M. Taylor (ed.), Britain and the Cinema in the Second World War (Macmillan Press); Clive Coultass, Images for Battle (Associated University Presses); Robert F. Moss, The Films of Carol Reed (Macmillan Press); Jeffrey Richards , Thorold Dickinson: the man and his films (Croom Helm); Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: cinema and society in Britain 1939- 1948 (Routledge); Geoffrey Macnab, J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry (Routledge) and Jeffrey Richards and Dorothy Sheridan (eds), Mass-Observation at the Movies (Routledge).

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