Examines an all too often neglected period of postwar British cinema and popular culture.
Ripping England! investigates a fertile moment for British satire—the period between 1947 and 1953, which produced the films Passport to Pimlico, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and The Lavender Hill Mob, as well as the seminal radio program The Goon Show. Against the postwar background of fading empire, universal rationing, and the implementation of a welfare state, these satires laid the foundation for a new British cultural identity later fleshed out by the Angry Young Men, the Movement Poets, the Social Realists, and those involved in the satire boom of the 1960s, which lives on even to this day.
The peculiarity of these satires and the British identity they shaped is better understood when seen in relief against postwar cinematic cultures of Italy, France, and the United States. Roger Rawlings places postwar British film in the context of contemporaneous European national film movements and contrasts it with Hollywood’s comedies and satires of the same period. British satires of the late forties and early fifties held up a mirror to a nation that was in the throes of change, moving from a colonial empire to an inward-turning island culture. Ripping England! looks at the all too often neglected miracle of postwar British cinema and popular culture.
Roger Rawlings teaches film studies at Palm Beach State College and is the Director of Programming at YipTV.com.
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