Dramas of Masculine Adjustment I: Tragic Melodramas

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 Masculine Adjustment I: Tragic Melodramas

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One of the key and consistent themes in the post-war films of Dearden and Relph concerned men forced to confront new circumstances and changed expectations. This chapter surveys eleven of their films (1948 – 1970) that work in a diversity of genres settings and scenarios but that are distinguished by tragic, male narratives. These films result either in the death of the male protagonist or in his otherwise seriously compromised ending. These are not ‘social problem’ films as such, but they do address from multiple viewpoints, the contradictions and anxieties of men, dealing with and trying to face up to, the forces of personal, social and historical change.

Keywords: Basil Dearden; Michael Relph; British post-war film; Masculinity; Male melodrama

Chapter.  33287 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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