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Transformation and Tradition in 1960s British Cinema

Richard Farmer, Laura Mayne, Duncan Petrie, Melanie Williams

Hardback (Forthcoming)

An in-depth reassessment of the nature and significance of British cinema and the British film industry during the 1960s

Over half a century on, the 1960s continue to generate strong intellectual and emotional responses – both positive and negative – and this is no less true in the arena of film. Making substantial use of new and underexplored archive resources that provide a wealth of information and insight on the period in question, this book offers a fresh perspective on the major resurgence of creativity and international appeal experienced by British cinema in that dramatic decade.

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Introduction, Duncan Petrie and Melanie Williams

Chapter 1: Distribution and Production: The British Majors, Duncan Petrie
Chapter 2: American Involvement in UK Production, Duncan Petrie
Chapter 3: Public Support in a Changing Climate, Duncan Petrie
Chapter 4: The Vertically Integrated Independent, Laura Mayne
Chapter 5: Low Budget Independent Production, Laura Mayne

Chapter 6: Screenwriting, Melanie Williams
Chapter 7: Directing, Melanie Williams
Chapter 8: Production Design, Melanie Williams
Chapter 9: Costume Design, Melanie Williams
Chapter 10: Cinematography, Duncan Petrie and Melanie Williams
Chapter 11: Editing, Melanie Williams

Chapter 12: Film and Television, Richard Farmer
Chapter 13: Film and TV Advertising, Richard Farmer
Chapter 14: Film and Pop Music, Richard Farmer


About the Author

Richard Farmer is Lecturer in Film and Media at the University of East Anglia. He has published widely on British cinema and is the author of two monographs: The Food Companions: Cinema and Consumption in Wartime Britain, 1939-45 (2011) and Cinemas and Cinemagoing in Wartime Britain, 1939-45: The Utility Dream Palace (2016).

Laura Mayne is an Associate Lecturer at the University of York. Her research specialism is in post-war British cinema with an emphasis on industrial history, institutional practices and production cultures, and she has published widely on these subjects. She is currently working on her first monograph, titled Slumdogs and Millionaires: The Story of Film4.

Duncan Petrie is Professor of Film at the University of York. His publications include Creativity and Constraint in the British Film Industry (1991), The British Cinematographer (1996), Screening Scotland (2000), Contemporary Scottish Fictions (2004), Shot in New Zealand (2007) and Educating Film-Makers (2014).

Melanie Williams is Reader in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia. Her publications include the monographs David Lean (2014) and Female Stars of British Cinema (2017) and the co-edited collections British Women’s Cinema (2009) and Ealing Revisited (2012).


Scholarly and authoritative, yet lucid and intelligible, this is a timely new assessment of British cinema's most vibrant decade. The authors' collective approach provides valuable insights which demonstrate there was much more to 60s film culture than the Beatles and Bond. Undoubtedly one of the most important contributions to British cinema history of recent times.

- Professor James Chapman: editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

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