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February 2005, Week 4


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Leo Enticknap <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 26 Feb 2005 23:41:32 +0000
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Cheryl Herr writes:

>Does anyone know of films about the Merchant Navy (British, Canadian, US) 
>up to 1960?

British: 'Western Approaches' (UK 1943, dir. Pat Jackson; released in the 
US as 'The Raider') is possibly the most widely seen example from this 
period.  It's a propaganda film about Merchant Navy convoys bringing 
lend-lease supplies to Britain in the teeth of attacks by U-boats.  It was 
filmed entirely at sea, much of it with a three-strip Technicolor camera in 
a wooden dinghy.  'Pool of London' (UK 1951, dir. Basil Dearden), although 
not primarily 'about' the Merchant Navy (it's a thriller about a Merchant 
Navy seaman implicated in a murder while on leave in London) is also very 
interesting for a number of reasons, not least the film's candid treatment 
of the social tensions starting to brew resulting from the Attlee 
government's policy of encouraging mass immigration from the Carribbean.

US: 'I Married a Communist' (US 1949, dir. Robert Stevenson) includes 
scenes of an industrial dispute among dock workers.


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