I AM OFTEN ASTOUNDED AND HUMBLED WHEN READING THE acknowledgments included in the works by academic authors. Such acknowledgments often run into lists of dozens of individuals who have given support, advice, criticism, and other forms of assistance to those authors. I cannot tell whether it is arrogance, insecurity, or latent paranoia that prevents me from showing, or often even discussing, my material before it is ready in the form of a manuscript that—I think at least—is ready and, hopefully, worthy of publication. Thus, I do not have a list of individuals to thank for their cooperation, interest, contribution or even simple forbearance. I must, humbly, accept full responsibility for this work with all its flaws and, I trust, strengths. The opinions, unless otherwise cited and confirmed in the bibliography, are mine.
That said, it would be unworthy of me not to register the fact that, many generations of writing and rewriting ago, this work began as my doctoral dissertation at Northwestern University. It is completely appropriate that I acknowledge the members of my doctoral committee, and I willingly and happily do so. My thanks go to (now) Emeritus Professor Jack C. Ellis, Professor T. W. Heyck, Associate Professor Chuck Kleinhans, and Associate Professor James W. Schwoch. In particular I would like to single out Professor Jack Ellis, who was my thesis supervisor and whose seminar course in British wartime cinema first alerted me to the possibilities of studying the films of the period, and inspired me to do so.
This is also an appropriate place in which to acknowledge a debt that goes back further than my period at Northwestern University. I wish to register my gratitude to my first teacher of film, Mr. Peter Jeffery of the Western Australian Institute of Technology (and now Murdoch University). Peter introduced me to the academic study of