British Crime Cinema (British Popular Cinema)

British Crime Cinema (British Popular Cinema)

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 0415168708

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is the first substantial study of British cinema's most neglected genre. Bringing together original work from some of the leading writers on British popular film, this book includes interviews with key directors Mike Hodges (Get Carter) and Donald Cammel (Performance). It discusses an abundance of films including:
* acclaimed recent crime films such as Shallow Grave, Shopping, and Face.
* early classics like They Made Me A Fugitive
* acknowledged classics such as Brighton Rock and The Long Good Friday
* 50s seminal works including The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers.

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Sound, Winter 1971/72, p. 60). Significantly, none of these versions provoked anything like the storm of protest that greeted the 1948 British film. Nothing could have been less ‘fashionable’ than that. Not until Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom a dozen years later was the British critical fraternity of the time stirred to such a frenzy of disapproval by a film. The film’s script had gone through various versions since it was first submitted to the British Board of Film Censors in 1942 until it was

production it was, that ‘I regard it as an English “Scarface” and that film has been running successfully for over ten years’, were not likely to cut much ice.13 There is interest, however, in the mere attempt at a British-made film set wholly in America, and its studio-based representation of city apartments and night clubs is no more nor less false than all those MGM versions of English villages in such films as Random Harvest (1942) and The Uninvited (1944). An article in Picturegoer noted

Associated British Pathé, clearly intended the film to draw on and generate discussion on a national issue. Publicity material asked ‘Would YOU hang Mary Hilton?’ There are certain restraints however. The social milieu inhabited by Ruth Ellis seems to be exorcised from the film (except that we might expect that what is excised may always return in another register). Mary Hilton, prior to her crime, pursues one of the few legitimate and glamorous career opportunities open to women in the 1950s—the

crooks. No more snouts.’ But the film’s protagonist, Chief Inspector Johnnoe (Nigel Patrick) is unconvinced that the tried-and-tested informant system can be replaced by detective science. ‘You can’t catch the bad boys with a lot of transistorised Mechano sets’, he complains, voicing the fears of the film’s technical consultant, ex-Detective Superintendent John Gosling. The Informers may have doubts about the new methods, but it is far from sentimental in its depiction of the police and their

she remembered the detail of his appearance on his first entry to The Compasses. In the bedroom, Tommy is stripped of his finery, wearing only a shapeless jacket and trousers, his bare chest both vulnerable and shocking. Tommy’s almost abstract physicality, accentuated by framing which makes him appear naked, is balanced by the naturalistic detail of the room, with Rose framed against floral curtains wearing a patterned pinny. These two spaces are then brought together with Tommy lying in the

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