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Anthony Asquith$
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Tom Ryall

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719064524

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719064524.001.0001

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Post-war films 1 – genre and British cinema

Post-war films 1 – genre and British cinema

Chapter:
(p.96) 5 Post-war films 1 – genre and British cinema
Source:
Anthony Asquith
Author(s):

Tom Ryall

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719064524.003.0017

This chapter sheds light on the post-war British film industry and the turn Asquith's career took during these times. He was well established as one of the British cinema's leading directors on the basis of a diverse output: the middlebrow drama adaptations of Shaw and Rattigan, lowbrow genre films including a comedy thriller and a costume melodrama, patriotic war pictures and documentary dramas. Asquith resumed his directing career with While the Sun Shines (1947), and his next film, The Winslow Boy (1948), was a Rattigan adaptation in which he corraborated with Korda's revived London Films and British Lion. The Importance of Being Earnest, a version of Oscar Wilde's famous play from the 1890s, was his first film in colour. Asquith's genre exercises from the early 1950s, though containing much of interest – innovatory narrative structures, imaginative mise-enscène, lyricism, and poetry, the radical ideological questioning of war – remain little-known films on the periphery of the mainstream British cinema of the time.

Keywords:   British film industry, middlebrow drama adaptations, lowbrow genre films, patriotic war pictures, documentary dramas

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