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Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema$
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John Orr

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640140

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640140.001.0001

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Running man 2: Carol Reed and his contemporaries

Running man 2: Carol Reed and his contemporaries

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter 3 Running man 2: Carol Reed and his contemporaries
Source:
Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema
Author(s):

John Orr

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640140.003.0004

Carol Reed is part of a wider movement in which fugitive film is just one dimension, the historic moment of romantic realism in British film, which is over, we could argue, almost as soon as it has begun. Romantic realism has three main components, all variations on the new mimesis: the wartime documentary series of Humphrey Jennings; the combat drama-documentaries of Reed, David Lean and others; and the wider remit of the fugitive genre which includes at a tangent two of Lean's most popular films, Brief Encounter and Great Expectations (1946). The transformation of romance into realism is, in literary terms, a descent from high to low. The fable is often the instrument of romantic disenchantment used by the disillusioned romantic. Hence that disenchantment is itself romantic, as They Made Me a Fugitive and The Third Man demonstrate. This chapter also looks at Reed's two espionage films The Man Between and Our Man in Havana and considers some of his contemporaries and successors.

Keywords:   Carol Reed, romantic realism, Humphrey Jennings, David Lean, fable, romantic disenchantment, They Made Me a Fugitive, The Third Man, espionage films, The Man Between

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