The Flip Side of the 1960s

Wheeler Winston Dixon

in Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780748623990
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653614 | DOI:
The Flip Side of the 1960s

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Peter Collinson's The Penthouse (1967), a key British noir film of the 1960s, followed in the tradition of Joseph Losey's more restrained dramas of claustrophobic domesticity gone horribly wrong in The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967). London in the early 1960s was typically depicted as a zone of carefree abandon in such films as Richard Lester's Help! (1965), A Hard Day's Night (1964), and his sex comedy The Knack...and How to Get It (1965). But beneath the gloss and the electricity of the era, an undercurrent was readily detectable. Pop stardom proved to be utterly transient, and as drugs and disillusion set in, the mood became more somber. Perhaps the most nihilist film of the 1960s British new wave is Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup. No consideration of film noir in the 1960s would be complete without a few thoughts on Hammer Films, most famous for their color gothic horror films, many directed by Terence Fisher.

Keywords: Peter Collinson; The Penthouse; film noir; Joseph Losey; claustrophobic domesticity; The Servant; London; Blowup; Hammer Films; Terence Fisher

Chapter.  15038 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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