Dramas of Social Tension and Adjustment

Alan Burton and Tim O'sullivan

in The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780748632893
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671144 | DOI:
Dramas of Social Tension and Adjustment

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Between 1950 and the early 60s, Dearden and Relph worked together on five films that were to become the focus for their subsequent reputation. These were the cycle of ‘social problem films’, beginning with ‘The Blue Lamp’ and concluding with ‘Victim’. The films combined documentary type settings with dramatic narratives to explore some of the major social issues of the day, in particular, juvenile criminality and violence, racism and racial prejudice and male homosexuality. This chapter provides a detailed analysis of these films, setting them in their contemporary context and exploring the critical reception they provoked both at the time and in subsequent film scholarship.

Keywords: Basil Dearden; Michael Relph; Social Problem Film; Youth and crime; The Police, law and order; Race and Race relations; Homosexuality

Chapter.  20318 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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