Chapter

Postwar Challenges: National Regeneration, Huac Investigations, Divestiture and Declining Audiences

Paul Grainge, Mark Jancovich and Sharon Monteith

in Film Histories

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619061
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670888 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619061.003.0013
Postwar Challenges: National Regeneration, Huac Investigations, Divestiture and Declining Audiences

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This chapter discusses the film industry after the Second World War. When the war ended, a primary challenge for nations devastated by war was to revive their national cinema as part of the rebuilding process. A number of American-produced film histories emphasise the destruction of film industries across Europe — Germany had lost around 60 per cent of its filmmaking facilities when Berlin was bombed — and consequent American expansion into foreign markets, releasing a backlog of films made during the war. The other side of the story of postwar international cinema is surprisingly buoyant, especially by 1948 once the Marshall Plan for Europe's economic rehabilitation began to be implemented. The postwar period included a golden age of British comedy and international respect for Italian neo-realism. The chapter also includes the study, ‘With Stars in their Eyes: Female Spectators and the Paradoxes of Consumption’ by Jackie Stacey, which investigates a very specific ‘lost’ cinema audience: British women cinema-goers in the 1940s and 1950s.

Keywords: film industry; post-war filmmaking; international cinema; film history; British women; cinema audience; Jackie Stacey

Chapter.  11890 words. 

Subjects: Film

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