Race & Class in the Films of Basil Dearden

Dearden and his clapper.

3,951 words

For decades now, I’ve been waiting for someone to package an oversized picture book called The Films of Basil Dearden. The 1970s would have been a good time for that, since Dearden died in ’71 (car accident), and this mid-rank British director was in need of appreciation. Great big coffee-table books about cinema were then much in vogue (Truffaut/Hitchcock, The Citizen Kane Book, Flesh and Fantasy). But now, in this current era of poorly designed, unillustrated e-books, I’m not exactly holding my breath.

Dearden has had a fair, if marginal, reputation in America, but on his home ground critics have been dismissive, often hilariously so:

His films are decent, empty and plodding . . . [1]

Dearden typifies the traditional...

Contains Mention
Feb 18th 2020
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