Britain Can Take It

Anthony Aldgate, Author Blackwell Publishers $34.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-631-13549-4
Aldgate and Richards, university lecturers in history in England, have written an instructive study of how documentary filmmakers, most notably Humphrey Jennings, Paul Rotha, Pat Jackson and Harry Watt, gave British film its true identity during World War II. Though regarded as inferior by the Ministry of Information, which directly influenced wartime British film content, these filmmakers made an impact on the course of even the most commercial movies. The authors discuss 11 key films by such filmmakers as Leslie Howard, Noel Coward, David Lean and Carol Reed that most aptly captured the sentiments and meaning of the war. Not only did the MoI accept the ideas of the documentarians, but mainstream filmmakers also incorporated the realism of documentaries in their work. A scholarly book, it is an excellent narrative as well, and although incomplete given its length, this is a highly recommended study. Photos. (March 18)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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