British films of the 1960s are undervalued. Their search for realism has often been dismissed as drabness and their more frivolous efforts can now appear just empty-headed. Robert Murphy's "Sixties British Cinema" is the first study to challenge this view. He shows that the realist tradition of the late '50s and early '60s was anything but dreary and depressing, and gave birth to a clutch of films remarkable for their confidence and vitality: "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Kind of Loving," and "A Taste of Honey" are only the better known titles. "Sixties British Cinema "revalues key genres of the period - horror, crime, and comedy - and takes a fresh look at the "swinging London" films, finding disturbing undertones that reflect the cultural changes of the decade. Now that our cinematic past is constantly recycled on television, Murphy's informative, engaging, and perceptive review of these films and their cultural and industrial context offers an invaluable guide to this neglected era of British cinema.
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About the Author
Robert Murphy is Lecturer in Film Studies at Sheffield City Polytechnic. He is author of Realism and Tinsel (1989) and has contributed numerous articles to Screen and Sight and Sound.