The Race Relations Narrative in British Film

Amanda Bidnall

in West Indian Generation

Published by Liverpool University Press

Published in print November 2017 | ISBN: 9781786940032
Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781786944191 | DOI:

Series: Migrations and Identities LUP

The Race Relations Narrative in British Film

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“West Indians and the Race Relations Narrative in British Film” revisits perhaps the three most famous middlebrow British “race relations” films of the 1950s and 60s and their star lead, Bermudan—not West Indian—actor Earl Cameron. Taken together, Pool of London, Sapphire, and Flame in the Streets demonstrate the evolving “race relations narrative” that refracted shifting popular attitudes to Caribbean settlers in the capitol. Equally important but less acknowledged in the cinematic histories is Cameron’s perceptive portrayal of “safe” West Indian characters to a mainstream British audience. This chapter’s second subject is the Jamaican actor, filmmaker, and settler Lloyd Reckord. As major feature films remained preoccupied with the impact of Commonwealth migration on white domestic life, Reckord expanded British film’s experience and knowledge of race through his short films Ten Bob in Winter and Dream A40.

Keywords: Earl Cameron; Lloyd Reckord; Rank Organisation; Basil Dearden; Pool of London; Sapphire; Flame in the Streets; Johnny Sekka; Gordon Heath; race relations

Chapter.  18996 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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