Part of Blitzed: a three film season about British Men, Masculinity & the 1950s
DOORS 6:30PM (7PM START) TICKETS £8 ADV (CLICK HERE) £10 ON THE DOOR
Screening and extended introduction by Richard Hornsey, author of The Spiv and the Architect: Unruly Life in Postwar London, putting post-war London life and its strange undercurrents in context.
Edward Dmytryk, 1949
Dr Clive Riordan (Robert Newton) has a problem. His wife Storm (Sally Gray) is engaged in a dalliance with American Bill Kronin (Phil Brown). How best to deal with it? The only way a post-war British man can: kidnap the adulterer, trap him in a Blitzed building and hold him until you’ve filled a bath with acid to dispose of his body. But then a strange dynamic springs up between the men, with Clive delivering Bill’s daily poison to the bunker in a hot water bottle.
Edward Dmytryk, a master of noir, made this thriller when banished to the UK as a victim of McCarthyism; as a result, it has an outsider’s keen eye for British manners and folly and offers especially insightful commentary on the rise of America and the decline of the British Empire. With a bone-dry wit that masks a chilling premise, this is a darkly humourous story of murder that shows how British men coped with the dawning realisation of post-war impotency.
Blitzed: A three film season about British Men, Masculinity and the 1950s
As Britain’s ‘finest hour’ faded in the collective memory in 1950s, British masculinity stood at the crossroads. With the decline of Empire, a decimated home front and troubling youth menacing the headlines, what was a chap to do? This series explores the way that British men faced (or repressed) these ruptures. In Obsession, we a homosocial triangle forms as one man traps another in a Blitzed building. In Cast a Dark Shadow, Dirk Bogarde hints at his sexuality, murdering a series of brides for his own dark reasons. In Hell Drivers, Stanley Baker plays an ex-convict making good at a gravel company, showing a new masculinity that has nothing to do with honour and everything to do with commerce.
Join us for three films that show British men trying to control the queer forces – in the culture and within themselves – brought on by the rupture of the War and the start of a new, changed manhood.
other films in this season: