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John Mills and British Cinema – Masculinity, Identity and Nation - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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John Mills and British Cinema: Masculinity, Identity and Nation

Gill Plain


Although his film career extended from the early days of sound to the British New Wave and beyond, Sir John Mills is nonetheless remembered as the archetypal hero of the Second World War. Regarded as an English ‘everyman’, his performances crossed the class divide and, in his easy transition from below decks to above, he came to represent a newly democratic masculine ideal. But what was this exemplary masculinity and what became of it in the aftermath of war? This book asks how was it possible for an actor to embody national identity and, by exploring the cultural contexts in which Mills and t ... More

Keywords: British New Wave, Sir John Mills, Second World War, hero, English everyman, national identity, cinema, social change, classic British films, masculinity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780748621071
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621071.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gill Plain, author