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The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph$
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Alan Burton and Tim O'Sullivan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748632893

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748632893.001.0001

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Dramas of Masculine Adjustment I: Tragic Melodramas

Dramas of Masculine Adjustment I: Tragic Melodramas

(p.89) 3 Dramas of Masculine Adjustment I: Tragic Melodramas
The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph

Alan Burton

Tim O'sullivan

Edinburgh University Press

One of the key and consistent themes in the post-war films of Dearden and Relph concerned men forced to confront new circumstances and changed expectations. This chapter surveys eleven of their films (1948 – 1970) that work in a diversity of genres settings and scenarios but that are distinguished by tragic, male narratives. These films result either in the death of the male protagonist or in his otherwise seriously compromised ending. These are not ‘social problem’ films as such, but they do address from multiple viewpoints, the contradictions and anxieties of men, dealing with and trying to face up to, the forces of personal, social and historical change.

Keywords:   Basil Dearden, Michael Relph, British post-war film, Masculinity, Male melodrama

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