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John Mills and British CinemaMasculinity, Identity and Nation$
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Gill Plain

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621071

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621071.001.0001

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Dead Men, Angry Men and Drunks: Post-traumatic stress and the 1950s

Dead Men, Angry Men and Drunks: Post-traumatic stress and the 1950s

(p.137) 5 Dead Men, Angry Men and Drunks: Post-traumatic stress and the 1950s
John Mills and British Cinema

Gill Plain

Edinburgh University Press

Together, the 1950s and 1960s comprise a period of national reinscription. New genres and preoccupations emerged within the British film industry as patterns of production changed in response to falling cinema attendances and the gradual withdrawal of the major combines (Rank and ABPC) from large-scale filmmaking programmes. Although actors such as Richard Attenborough and Bryan Forbes would play major roles in independent films, John Mills made no further movements in that direction after the relative box-office failure of The History of Mr Polly (1949) and The Rocking Horse Winner (1950). Instead he concentrated on acting, appearing in some twenty-one films between 1950 and 1959. These films continued to draw on fundamental characteristics associated with the Everyman figure, complicating and developing the concept of national masculinity that he had come to embody over the previous two decades. The retrenchment evident in the trajectory of Mills's career was symptomatic of British cinema as a whole. This chapter looks at three Mills films: Morning Departure, Town on Trial and Ice Cold in Alex.

Keywords:   John Mills, film industry, British cinema, masculinity, Everyman, independent films, Morning Departure, Town on Trial, Ice Cold

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