Chapter 3

Genres from austerity to affluence

British cinema’s eclectic base engendered a number of key genres which displayed considerable internal differences and emphases over the decades. While eclecticism was mostly founded on economic insecurity, it did, however, produce a variety of product which makes generic analysis a particularly useful way to assess the various representations of Britishness which competed for audiences’ attention. While popular cinema is by no means the entire corpus of a nation’s output, its ability to generate certain images at a mass level, particularly when cinema-going was at its peak in the 1940s, enables us to relate films to their political and cultural context. As we have already seen, particular genres represented notions of Britishness differently: while comedy was centred mostly on figures from outside London, historical films stuck very much to famous figures from history or on the expansion of Britishness under imperialism. To take the examination further, the following two chapters will assess the dominant and less dominant generic trends over the last half century of British cinema.


POST-WAR BRITISH SOCIETY AND GENRES, 1945-60

The wartime consensus in favour of the extension of state intervention in the economy and welfare services resulted in the establishment of the welfare state by Labour, a process which was not dismantled by the Conservatives in the 1950s, even though they were in office for the entire decade. The years 1945-60 were characterised by a range of other important social and political features: after the Suez debacle British nationalism became more inward looking in the post-colonial, anti-immigration context, and the Cold War created further impetus for questioning traditional international loyalties. 1 As immigration increased, race became a source of social conflict, demonstrated by riots in Nottingham and in Notting Hill, West London in 1958, when the local black communities were attacked by white Teddy Boys. 2 Despite the levelling intentions of wartime collectivism, class society remained intact. The election of a Labour Government in 1945 did not ensure that most positions of power were subsequently held by those who

-61-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
British National Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Plates ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction: British National Cinema 1
  • Chapter 1 - He Fiscal Politics of Film 4
  • Chapter 2 - Studios, Directors and Genres 28
  • Chapter 3 - Genres from Austerity to Affluence 61
  • Chapter 4 - Genres in Transition, 1970s-90s 92
  • Chapter 5 - Acting and Stars 114
  • Chapter 6 - Borderlines I: Modernism and British Cinema 147
  • Chapter 7 - Borderlines Ii: Counter-Cinema and Independence 169
  • Conclusion 197
  • Notes 201
  • Bibliography 210
  • Subject Index 217
  • Name Index 219
  • Index of Films and Television Programmes 227
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 236

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.