S. P. MacKenzie

in The Battle of Britain on Screen

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623891
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651276 | DOI:

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Over the past sixty-odd years, the representation of the Battle of Britain in British cinema has undergone an evolutionary process in which established images and attitudes have developed roughly in tandem with the changing social and cultural landscape of twentieth-century Britain. Feature films such as The Lion Has Wings and First of the Few helped develop a basic narrative of events in which The Few vanquish the many with the Spitfire. In the following decade, elements were added to this basic David-and-Goliath story in Angels One Five and Reach for the Sky. More than ten years on, there emerged the most wide-ranging and comprehensive treatment of events to date, The Battle of Britain, in which a variety of problems within the Royal Air Force were touched on and some of the horrors of war illustrated while, at the same time, the essential elements of the Finest Hour image, not least the heroism of pilots battling against the odds and saving Britain from invasion, were maintained.

Keywords: Battle of Britain; Lion Has Wings; First of Few; feature films; cinema; Spitfire; Angels One Five; Reach for Sky; heroism; Royal Air Force

Chapter.  4025 words. 

Subjects: Film

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