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Title: Inventing England: representations of English history in Hollywood cinema
Author: Stubbs, Jonathan.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3488 6602
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the representations of English history in Hollywood cinema with a particular emphasis on popular films released between 1950 and 1964. Adopting a principally empirical and archival approach, I examine why Hollywood filmmakers and audiences have been so attracted to images and narratives from English culture, why these images and narratives have so frequently focused on England's past, and why the resulting English historical films became so prominent in the 1950s and early 1960s. My first chapter establishes a broad context for Hollywood's English historical cinema by tracing the history of Anglo-American relations from the eighteenthcentury. Further contextual material is provided in Chapter Two, which examines the presence of English historical material in the American film history up to 1950. Chapter Three examines the long script development of Ivanhoe (1952) and Knights of the Round Table (1953) and the ways in which they were redrafted to suit their changing political contexts. The remaining chapters focus on the period between 1950 and 1964. Chapter Four surveys the major production trends of the period, while Chapter Five examines the connections between the English historical films and British `runaway' production. Chapter Six analyses Around the World in 80 Days (1956) in the context of postwar American internationalism, while Chapter Seven examines a more ambiguous treatment of similar themes in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Finally, Chapter Eight looks at the construction of an ostensibly more modem image of England in Tom Jones (1963) and the first three James Bond films.I argue that American investments in the English past during the 1950s and early 1960s can be traced to three historical developments: first, the newfound acceptability of English culture as British economic and political power diminished; second, the growing resemblance between England's imperial past and America's internationalist present; and third, the efforts of the Hollywood studios to adapt to a business model where profits increasingly derived from international markets.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available