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British Film Directors

A Critical Guide

Robert Shail

eBook (PDF) i

British national cinema has produced an exceptional track record of innovative, creative and internationally recognised filmmakers, amongst them Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell and David Lean. This tradition continues today with the work of directors as diverse as Neil Jordan, Stephen Frears, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. This concise, authoritative volume analyses critically the work of 100 British directors, from the innovators of the silent period to contemporary auteurs. An introduction places the individual entries in context and examines the role and status of the director within British film production. Balancing academic rigour with accessibility, British Film Directors provides an indispensable reference source for film students at all levels, as well as for the general cinema enthusiast.

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About the Author

Robert Shail is a Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Wales Lampeter. As well as publishing work on stardom and gender in British films, he was a contributor to The Cinema of Michael Powell (eds. Christie and Moor) and to the British Film Institute’s online guide to British cinema. He is General Editor of Edinburgh University Press’s International Film Directors series.


As a basic primer on Brit movie-makers with a well-argued intro, Shail's book is hard to beat. 4 stars.
- Philip Kemp, Total Film
Shail is to be congratulated for producing a useful introduction to the work of key British directors.
- James Chapman, University of Leicester, Journal of British Cinema and Television