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October 2004, Week 1


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Leo Enticknap <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 3 Oct 2004 21:02:31 +0100
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Langford B writes:

>Corrupt unions & mobsters feature in Once Upon a Time In America (Leone,
>1984) & of coure Hoffa (DeVito, 1991)

They also feature in 'I Married a Communist' (Stevenson, 1950).

John Dougill writes:

>The Peter Sellers film I'm Alright Jack (1959) was a biting satire of
>British trade unionism.

...and also of outdated and incompetent management methods, which the film
argues stifled British economic recovery in the aftermath of WWII.  Some
pretty similar points are also made in 'The Man in the White Suit'.  The
political and economic context is explained very well in Correlli Barnett,
'The Lost Victory'.

>And his Navigators shows what happens when unions are broken by
>privatisation on British railways.....

It shows a heavily biased view of 'what happens'.  Loach clearly believes
that British Rail was some kind of utopia - it probably was if you worked
for it, but for those forced to use it as a means of transport the
situation was somewhat different.  I suspect that this wasn't an experience
that affluent film directors such as Ken Loach had to subject themselves to
very often.  For the rest of us, the refreshing absence of any national
strikes since the partial privatisation and fares which have gone down in
real terms are a welcome development, whether Loach likes it or not.  That
doesn't alter the fact that railways are an obsolete Victorian technology
and that if the government had any sense, they'd close the lot and convert
the freed-up land to motorways and airport runways, but we're now veering
off topic...


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