2016 San Francisco Mostly British Film Festival: Revisiting Britain’s Golden Age Of Cinema

2016 San Francisco Mostly British Film Festival celebrated the most renowned icons of Britain’s film industry. One of the highlights is the tribute to the British film golden era.  Classics such as The Third Man (1949), Black Narcissus (1947), and Great Expectations (1946) were some of the most iconic post-war films.

Why Is The 1940s So Important?



During this time, Britain is at war with Nazi Germany. It was only after five years that the hostilities will end. The period of economic recovery was long and hard for the Brits. Also, on the onset of the war, cinemas closed due to government ordinance.

The cinemas opened was again after the government realized its potential for propaganda. By utilizing this medium, the British government expects to regain and stabilize social order.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Furthermore, television broadcasting in the 1940s is only available to the elites until the 1950s. Therefore, movie houses gained their popularity with the masses because it is one of the cheaper means of entertainment.

Where The Iconic British Fiction Films Began



Films produced during the war were primarily documentaries and commentaries related to propaganda. In 1941, filmmakers invested in fiction with propagandist stories such as 49th Parallel (1941), The Lamp Still Burns (1943) and Eating Out with Tommy Rider (1941).

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

During the country’s recovery post-war, there is a reinstatement of the Ministry of Information renaming it as the Central Office of Information. Since then, there is a shift in propaganda from war politics to promoting social changes such as labor and health. Examples of these films are What A Life! (1948) and Jet-Propelled Germs (1948).

Furthermore, it is also notable that internationally renowned masterpieces of the decade are from famous British directors Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Asquith, Coral Reed,  Terence Rattigan, and Michael Powell. Some of these films are Canterbury Tale (1944), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), and The Red Shoes (1948).


Glimpse Of History Through Movies


Fiction made from each generation reflects the environment and social conditions of that time. Many of the movies of the 1940s may be fictional, but these show a picture of the world-changing events that transpired in the past. That is the reason why these should be acknowledged and revisited such as the celebration in the 2016 San Francisco Mostly British Film Festival.

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