Britain and the Cinema in the Second World War by Philip M. Taylor (eds.)

By Philip M. Taylor (eds.)

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British National continued as 'a second-rate production concern with a casual output of pictures'S until the outbreak of war. Earlier in 1939 they had been joined by John Baxter, a young director who had been responsible for a number of interesting and low-budget populist films such as Doss House (1933), Song of the Plough (1933), Music Hall (1934), Flood Tide (1934), The Small Man (1935) and Hearts of Humanity (1936). Baxter's 34 Britain and the Cinema in the Second World War presence, combined with the outbreak of war, seems to have galvanised British National into action.

J. Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire, The First of the Few (1941). A similar change occurred at Teddington, where Warner Brothers The British Film Industry 37 switched from low-budget thrillers and farces to a much smaller number of quality productions. In 1941 they released Thorold Dickinson's celebration of British democracy, The Prime Minister, as well as Atlantic Ferry, a romance set against a background of early transatlantic steam ferries, with topical references to the benefits of Anglo-American friendship.

Shelter life had by then become a social norm in its own right and people were saying that they found it impossible to sleep normally in a bed. Even when all due allowance is made for the golden glow of nostalgia, it is clear that the life of the shelters appealed to many precisely because it was a communal life, a life of interdependence where sharing could reinforce a sense of security. 13 Rationing and food control could have the same impact. Profiteering and conspicuous consumption, which had stirred up such strong feeling in the first world war, were far less important in the second.

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