All entries for May 2008

May 24, 2008

Georg Simmel

Georg Simmel

Gerog Simmel

This image and quote is from the Emory University site. Please note the significant differences in translation! 

In DD 201 Simmel  is used in book 3 on Social Change.  Simmel was an important sociologist writing on the changes wrought by modernity in relation to the city at  the start of the 20th century. Simmel's essay'The Metropolis and Mental Life' has become a sociological classic. simmel is particualrly helpful when considering social change and the ways in which social interactions  in  the rapidly growing cities were changing  people's social behaviours in quite radical ways. 

The deepest problems of modern life flow from the attempt of the individual to maintain the independence and individuality of his [sic] existence against the sovereign powers of society, against the weight of historical heritage and the external culture and technique of life. (Cited Social Change p 19)

Who's Who? Quiz on Sociological Theorists in DD201

Who's Who? Quiz on Sociological Theorists in DD201


As part of you revision exercises you will find it useful to memorise some of the main theorists that you have started to become familiar with. See if you can remember which ideas the following theorists are associated with. If you can link these ideas into the issues which the course books are dealing with in relation to their ideas.

Try and write down from memory what you can remember about their core ideas then click on the links to refresh your connections.  

Social Theorists

Karl Marx : Not yet open  

Max Weber  

Ferdinand Toennies  

Pierre Bourdieu

Michel Foucault

Henri Lefebvre : Not Yet open

Manuel Castells : Not yet open

Émile Durkheim :  Not yet open

T. H. Marshall : Not yet open

Anthony Giddens :  Not yet open

Georg Simmel

Jürgen Habermas : Not yet open 

May 19, 2008

British Cinema and Society: Chronology 1997–2010

British Cinema and Society: Chronology 1997-20010

Return to British cinema hub page

Return to contemporary British cinema hub page

Please note still under construction but current links may still be useful to visitors so opened as a 'work in progress'


This section takes us from the inception of the Tony Blair led 'New Labour' government which initially was interested in a 'Third Way' approach following on from the  work of the sociologist Anthony Giddens up until a likely time of the next election. currently the tide seems to be turning against 'New' Labour which seems to have lost its zeal as well as its ideological perspectives.

From the perspective of cinema the period has seen many interesting changes and film. Many artidcles and references to them can be found on the Contemporary British Cinema hub page. This chronolgy follows earlier ones in providing links to external events of which one of the most significant has to be "9'11". Cinema often provides a social and cultural barometer of mood changes in the country and it will be interesting to see what tensions are explored in the next couple of years.  With the growth of the concept of 'Cultural Industries' the links to film and cultural policy should also be of interest. 

Chronology 1997-20010

Major Historical Events
Major Film Industry Events
Main films Produced

May 2nd: Tony Blair and
'New Labour' landslide election victory

Chancellor Gordon Brown frees
Bank of England to set interest rates free of government interference 

Chris Smith Secretary of State for New Department of Culture Media and Sport previously the Department of National Heritage  

Boyle: A Life Less Ordinary

Madden: Mrs. Brown

Potter: The Tango Lesson

Ramsey: Kill the Day

Winterbottom: Welcome to Sarajevo

Creation if British Independent Film Awards (BIFA)

Kapur: Elizabeth

Leigh: Career Girls

Ritchie: Lock, stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Sofley: Wings of a Dove

1999 Joint Tory and Labour Cultural Policy sees opening of Millenium Dome Shakespeare in Love wins 7 Oscars

Jordan: The End of the Affair

Leigh: Topsy Turvey  

Michell: Notting Hill

O'Donnell: East is East


Rozema: Mansfield Park


UK Film Council established along with Regional Screen Agencies

The New Cinema Fund replacing the BFI production board

Premiere Fund was also founded at the UK Film Council to support the more commercial end of British filmmaking

May 2nd: Towards a Sustainable Film Industry. Key Film Council Policy Document.

British Directors Hub Page

Pawlikowski: The Last Resort

June: Second Labour election victory

September 11:Attacks destroy World Trade Centre in New York 

October 7th. US War against Afghanistan begins

Digital Television Project established

Funding the UK Film Industry

McGuire: Bridget Jone’s Diary

Winterbottom: 24 Hour Party People

Loach: The Navigators

Launch of the Broadcasting and Creative Industries' Disability Network (BCIDN)

Chadha: Bend it Like Beckham

Greengrass:Bloody Sunday

Hüseyin: Anita and Me

Mackenzie: Young Adam

Leigh: All or Nothing

Loach: Sweet Sixteen

Ramsey: Morven Callar

2003 February: US & British and some others invade Iraq

July: Communications Act 2003. this removed other regulatory bodies and established Ofcom

BBC on Three Years of the Film Council

Parker says British film Industry Needs shake-up

Frears : Dirty Pretty Things

Hodges: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead 

Cole :Calendar Girls


Leigh: Vera Drake

Loach: Ae fond Kiss

Gleenan: Yasmin

Pawlikowski: My Summer of Love

Potter: Yes

2005 May 2005: Third Labour election victory
June: James Purnell new Minister of Broadcasting announces review into UK Film funding 

Dibb: Bullet Boy

Frears: The Queen

Mireilles: The      Constant Gardner

Winterbottom: A Cock and Bull Story

Wright (J): Pride and Prejudice

April: United 93 by British director Paul Greengrass

Arnold: Red Road

Frears: The Queen

Loach: Wind That Shakes the Barley

Meadows: This is  England

Williams: London to Brighto

Winterbottom: The Road to Guantanamo

June 17th Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister

July Northern Rock financial statement hints at future problems of the credit crunch

The project of digitising all British media broadcasting begins in Whitehaven in Cumbria

October: The Day the Music Industry died. Radiohead offer pay what you think download

Helen Mirren wins Best Actress for The Queen at the Oscars

Broomfield: Ghosts

Corbijn: Control

Gavron: Brick Lane

Kapur: Elizabeth the Golden Age  

Loach: It's a Free World

Winterbottom: A Mighty Heart

Winterbottom: Genova

Wright: Atonement

Weitz:The Golden Compass


January: James Purnell is replaced by Andy Burnham as Britain's Secretary of Culture

Liverpool European Capital of Culture

Feb: UK Film Council submission to Future Framework of State Funded Public Service Broadcasting

February. Tilda Swinton wins Oscar for Best Supporting Actress

Atonement wins Bafta Best Film

This is England wins Bafta Best British Film

Leigh: Happy-Go-Lucky

Maybury: The Edge of Love



May 16, 2008

Contemporary British Broadcasting Hub

Contemporary British Broadcasting Hub


This page is primarily designed for those studying the OCR Contemporary British Broadscasting Unit as part of the Media Issues and Debates Paper.  

British Broadcasters 

The Changing Nature of TV in an "On Demand" Era. There is no doubt we arein the middle of a media revolution.   There are a massive range of new media technologies coming into the market place. The digital grail is the notion of 'convergence' where people will be able to slip seamlessly from one format to another and where all information will be digitally encoded in order for this to happen. The reality of course is somewhat different with format wars and different standards ensuring that this doesn't happen easily. The most popular legal music system iTunes doesn't allow downlaods in mp3 format for example. This entry has started to examine how TV might emerge out of all these changes. Whatever else the future is very uncertain and quite a lot depends on what kind of content and services the audiences want as new possibilities emerge. This entry provides maps for the digitisation programme in the UK.

ITV Heavily Fined for Phone Scam by Ofcom

British Broadcasting Going Digital

BBC 2006 Guide to the new broadcasting technologies. (Please note Freesat isn't in here)

2012: Going Digital. This entry looks at the path laid out for British broadcasting to go entirely digital by 2012. 

Chronology of Developments in digital Free TV  in the UK

Finally Freeview Looks as Though it will Deliver High Defintion TV. A November 2007 entry which takes a look at the latest information on whther Freeview will deliver HD (High Definition) TV. 

Digital Radio Mondiale Comes to Devon. This entry looks at an experiment being carried out by the BBC to create digital radio on the old AM or medium wave channels. If successful this could open up even more bandwidth to new services. The system is different to the DAB one which is currently going to replace all the FM stations.

A survey of broadband usage from November 2007. The access to high-speed broadband networks (we are taling several times the speeds currently available in the UK) is going to be a benchmark for societies at the top of the media tree. Increasingly what will be accessed on domestic screens is going to be provided by these networks - indeed the notion of TV itself is becoming eroded by this tendency. This entry starts to explore these problems and provides links into a range of views.  

Digital Projection: Foundation of a New Exhibition System in the UK? This entry looks at the new digital projection systems currently being installed  in  cinemas around Britain.  This is  not just an issue for the Conetempoary Britiish Cinema Unit although it is a part of that as well.  The onset of  high definition mobile recording , tranmission and  prejection systems  will offer those  exhibition spaces which we think of as cinemas  the possiibility to project live  events from sporting events to rock concerts. There will be excellent  screen and audio facilities  and could provide an exciting form of entertainment  which will compete with films as well as broadcast TV by providing access to live performances with unscripted narratives and plenty of excitement. The fact that these will be one-offs rather than the replication of the same film hundreds of times offers exhibitors and investors a much more stable financial income. Expect to see the 2012 Olympics in a cinema near you!

Freesat Launched May 2008 UK

This entry provides links into stories about the launch of the free satellite TV service backed by a consortium led by the BBC and ITV. It means that there will no longer be dependency upon the Rupert Murdoch owned right-wing  Sky-TV which has so marred the broadcasting environment of recent years.

'Murdoch-vision' has managed to outbid other stations for both Hollywood films and for major sporting events and then clawed back the money by charging higher premiums to the consumer and higher prices to the advertisers. It is the onset of Sky which has destroyed football as a 'sport of the people' and turned  it into a 'sport' for the rich. Money flooding into football clubs and overpaid "celebrities" is primed by Sky's buying power.  Anybody buying into Sky is effectively supporting this powerful commercial agenda.  Take a lesson out of the coming recession and get rid of your subsription!

Freesat will provide a range of free TV stations available right across the country. Furthermore  increasing amounts of the content  will be in HD (High Definition) and finally public service broadcasting will be on an even playing field with the commercial power of Sky. Sky's position was created when the Conservative party created an open door for commercial power in the 1990 bradcasting act. The New Labour Party of Tony Balir was so pusillanimous that Blair went crawling to Murdoch before the 1997 general election to get Murdoch's approval and assure him that so-called "New-Labour" wouldn't offer any challenge to Murdoch's powerful position in both press and broadcasting. 

Public Service Broadcasting

Public Service Broadcasting. An introduction to the concept and a range of good quality external links are provided.  

Should the TV License Fee be Topsliced?  

BBC: Moving to a Multicasting Environment and Creating a Vibrant Digital Public Sphere for the 21st Century

The BBC Scandal: Public Service Broadcasting Undermined? Posted in July 2007 this entry is a response to the scandals which emerged from inside of the BBC at the time. That certain individuals have seen fit to act illegally and irresponsibly should not be allowed to undermine the principles of Public Service Broadcasting. That scandals like this have emerged is in part an individualistic response to the presures being exerted by the crass managerialist policies which are so undermining the public sector and quasi-public sector at the moment, from SATS exams to so-called "performance-management". all of this involves people trying to artificially create better numbers and place a veneer of 'quality' upon services. See the scandal emerging in Kingston University in May 2008 for another good example of this. Currently there is a quasi-Stalinist mode of mangerialist thinking which creates a series of outcomes which de-professionalises and results in artificial figures carefully manufactured and manipulated which is reminiscent of Stalinist tractor output meeting all its targets. The fact that most of them didn't work very well wasn't something measured so it wasn't an issue!

History of Television Broadcasting

Timeline of British TV.  Link to a Screenonline chronology of developments in British TV.

Is ITV Going Down the Tubes? This entry looks at the recent scandals around ITV and notes its shrinking shareprice. It raises a number of issues including: 

  • Is there really a need for a company like ITV nowadays?
  • How can ITV reinvent itself to become influential in British Broadcasting assuming that the term broadcasting remains meaningful?  

May 15, 2008

One of Our Aircraft is Missing, 1942: Dir. Powell and Pressburger

One of Our Aircraft is Missing, 1942: Dir. Powell and Pressburger


The film was being made in early 1942 and was reviewed by The Monthly Film Bulletin (Volume 9 no 100 April 1942). As a propaganda film it functioned on several different levels. The crew was mixed by region and class with a Yorshireman from Halifax and Welshman both of whom were 'chapel' (although not averse to a glass of Bols when being rescued by the Dutch) as well as a more middle-class 'skipper'. The story is about the crew of a Wellington medium bomber who are on a bombing mission to Stuttgart to bomb the Mercedes-Benz factory. They are shot down and parachute into Holland where the Dutch locals decide they are genuine British aircrew and help them to escape. After a series of adventures where they are in constant danger of discovery they eventually make their way back to Britain. The film opens with a story of 5 Dutchmen in the summer of 1941 being executed by the Nazis for helping British aircrew to escape. The information was released by the Dutch government in exile. The film was dedicated to the Dutch at the end.

The film was nominated in the American Academy Awards and it was in general very well made with David Lean as its editor which helped Lean to become joint directer of In Which We Serve with Noel Coward later in 1942.  Lean already had the reputation of being the best editor in the UK at the time. Cinematopgaphy was also handled by Ronald Neame and there was an Oscar nomination for Special Effects. (Strangely the Screenonline entry for Neame doesn't credit One of Our Aircraft is Missing. The associate cinematographer was Bob Krasker later to become renowned for his work in The Third Man (1949). As can be seen the film was given a high priority in terms of having one of the best teams of film-makers / technicians available in the UK at the time.

Democratisation and Documentarism

In the new edition of Britain Can Take It (2007) the chapter dealing with Class and Nation p 315 notes that it is 'commonplace' that the two major changes introduced into British cinema during the war years were democratisation and documentarism.  Here they note that the critic Roger Manvell first introduced this idea pointing to 1942 as a turning point for the production and reception of this type of film. Given that One of Our Aircraft is Missing takes both aspects of this analysis on board and was already being shot in 1941 we can place the shifts in society earlier than this. Furthemore Powell and Pressburger took this on board even earlier with The 49th Parallel (1941). This film emphasises the importance of tolerance and democracy in Canada and links this with religious tolerance and democracy in the USA. This gives some indication of the underlying importance of the USA in helping to break down class boundaries in the UK. Why after all should Americans risk their lives to defend a system which was still rich in feudal vestiges, and in thrall to aristocracy when that was the sort of thing their grandparents and greatgrandparents had escaped from in Europe itself? It was something that was also alluded to in the Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and also A Canturbury Tale (1944). In many ways reading Powell and Pressburger's wartime output as films aimed primarily at American eyes and sentiments rather than gung-ho empire stuff explains what might seem to be a little wayward in their approach. 

Full Synopsis

Wellington Bomber

A Wellington Bomber  

The film's opening sequence is an abandoned Wellington bomber which is still flying and gradually losing height. It eventually flies into a pylon exploding. The viewer is taken back fifteen hours when the aircrews at the airbase are given their mission for the night.  Later we see the planes taking off into the darkness at around 9.30 pm on a summer evening expecting to be return around 4.00 pm.

In the bomber 'B for Bertie'we are cleverly introduced to all the crew and their posts as the skipper checks that all the communications are functioning. Their mission is to target the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart. As they cross the dutch coast they are met by some anti-aircraft fire, and they are instructed to keep a sharp eye out for Nazi fighter planes. As they fly past Mannheim they are again met by anti-aircraft fire and they respond by sending down a few bundles of leaflets. 

As they draw near the target we see a city straddling a river with several fires going in one area. The Bomber circles once and then makes a bombing run and they head for home. Just as they are about to radio to base their plane is hit by anti-aircraft fire and they lose an engine. The pilot decides to try and make it on just one engine and they plot the shortest route home. The single engine starts to struggle and the plane gradually loses speed and height. Eventually they decide to bail out over Holland.  Their plan before they jump is to land near a railway line which they can then all follow so that they will be able to meeet up.

The film cuts to the scene the next morning. Five of the crew are amongst some trees with one having climbed up to spy out the land. They are missing one member of the crew. They are interuppted by some children from a nearby farm playing with their dog.  The skipper of the plane was a diplomat before the war and had some rudimentary Dutch and slightly better German. They were able to communicate with the children and establish they are friendly.

The film cuts to the crew waiting in a farm house while the local inhabitants are discssing what to do in another room. The local teacher who is a good English speaker enters keen to establish that they are actually British and not Nazis in disguise acting as agents provocateurs. Once they have established that they are bona fide British aircrew then they are invited to sit down to  an excellent meal. After that an escape plan is worked out for the. In the first instance they dress up as both Dutch men and women and cycle to the local Catholic church a few kilometres away. All the time the Nazis are out looking for them as we see an armoured vehicle tearing up the country road. Eventually the Nazis come to the church but the locals bluff it out. The group are then taken to a football match where by more than simple coincidence they meet their missing comrade who is a professional footballer who is playing for the visiting village team. 

United once again and narrowly avoiding being given away to the Nazis by a Quisling they hide in a lorry which is going to the port to get some supplies via Mrs de Vries who is a leading member of the Dutch resistance who is masquerading as a Quisling too. She has arranged for a boat and after hiding them under the noses of the Nazis. When there is an airraid this gives them a chance to escape by rowing past a swing bridge and then out to a buoy a few miles off shore which is there to provide shelter for Nazi aircrew who had to bail out.

The escape is dangerous and one of the crew is badly injured as they row fast to make a getaway. They make it to the buoy where there are two German aircrew who have signalled for the Nazi 'E' boats to come and rescue them.  The crew of B for Bertie have cut the Buoy adrift and are eventually rescued by a British fast patrol boat. 

The closing scene is the crew once again lined up ready to go on a mission only this time the planes behind them are the new Lancaster bombers, which were much larger, faster, with a longer rangeand better defended next stop Berlin says the film's last line, nowhere in Germany will now be a safe haven.  The significance is clear, they will be be back to free the oppressed Dutch and the other occupied countries of Europe. The Lancaster bombers were released in early 1942 which situates the film as being placed in the summer of 1941

Dutch Resistance Carnation Day June 1940

Dutch Resistance needed to be passive and symbolic. In June 1940 there was a mass 'Carnation Day' as an identification with the Dutch monarchy.  

The Bombing of Nazi Germany

The film was made at a time when Britain was getting fed up with 'taking it' and needed a morale booster that it was dishing it out a bit as well. The idea that Germany was beginning to receive some punishment from the air after all the trials and tribulations of the London Blitz and the bomber raids on many other British cities it would have helped audiences to feel that progress was beginning to be made with regard to the prosecution of the War. According to the BBC website by February 1942 British Bomber Command had realied how inaccurate its bombing attempts were and it therefore decided to go for an 'area' bombing approach: 

... in February 1942, Bomber Command was instructed to shift the focus onto the 'morale of the enemy civil population'. This new policy came to be called 'area bombing'.
The aiming points thereafter, for bombing raids, were no longer military or industrial installations, but a church or other significant spot in the centre of industrial towns. And since fire was found to be the most effective means of destroying a town, the bombers now carried mainly incendiary bombs. [Detlef Siebert]

By the time the film was released it was certainly being 'economical with the truth' as the impression given by the film was one in which civilians got a dose of leaflets as 'B' for Bertie was on its way to Stuttgart with the end of bombing a factory clearly associated with the Nazi war effort. There could be no moral dilemmas established amongst the British population there. Presumably a film pronouncing proudly a wartime policy of  destrying significant numbers of civilians wouldn't go down so well especially in the United States. 

Rear Gun Turret Wellington bomber

Rear gun turret of a Wellington bomber, Powell and Pressburger did a good job representing the cramped and dangerous conditions for the aircrew.

Continental Resistance

A core element of the film was promoting the bravery and determination of populations under Nazi occupation in this case it was the Dutch who were were being given fine coverage. A crucial speech from Mrs Jo de Vries who has organised the escaping aircrew a boat, quite literally from under the Nazis noses is particularly important in helping to promote the British bombing campaign later to be joined by the Americans: 

You see, that's what you are doing for us. Can you hear them running for shelter, can you understand what that means to all the occupied countries, to enslaved people having it drummed into their ears that the Germans are masters of the earth, seeing these masters running for shelter, seeing them crouching under tables and hearing that steady hum, night after night, that noise which is oil for the burning fire in our hearts.  (Jo de Vries in One of Aircraft is Missing)

It is a speech aimed primarily at British and American ears it both justifies the bombing of cities and brings hope that this will crack the morale of the Nazis who at this stage in the war haven't faced a military set-back of any significance.


Some of the analysis from the small amount of properly critical analysis available on this film does have a few small inaccuracies. The analysis from the Screenonline reviewer suggests the following piece of textual analysis:  

The low position of the camera, looking admiringly up at the airmen, reinforces their heroism.

In fact this introductory sequence to the crew is not quite accurate as there were different camera positions used depending on the task of the crew. The low angles were used on the pilots who naturally sat in a higher place within the aircraft.

Another slight inaccuracy I have noted is in  some comments by Murphy  (Realism and Tinsel, 1992 p 21). Having quoted the paragraph above spoken by Jo de Vries taken from the film Murphy comments that it was found to be counterproductive to bomb in occupied countries. Whilst this was certainly the case it is not a relevant comment in relation to this film as B for Bertie was bombing Germany. When the allies did bomb targets in occupied territores like Rotterdam it tended to be large and important  targets like the port areas which were easy to hit. Alternatively there were some very special raids on prisons holding important resistance leaders. These were well planned and usedd 'pathfinder' planes to ensure accuracy.

As well as being a useful film on the home front One of Our Aircraft is Missing providing tangible evidence of a fight back, can be seen as being designed with American audiences in mind. As Murphy has pointed out once the Nazis had invaded the rest of Europe a number of films featuring resistance to the Nazis were developed. One of Our Aircraft is Missing made with the help of the Dutch government in exile was one of these. The film is cleverly made to feel real by the use of real Dutch people including children so the the dialogue scenes are realistic. any visitor to the fenlands and Licolnshire will also notice the Dutch influenced vernacular architecture for it was Dutch engineeers who helped reclaimed these low lying parts of the country from the sea.

The film was convincingly made overall although one reviewer has commented that it didn't hang together very well at times. This was the case when the local Quisling came into the house of the villagers after the football match. It was a little bit too staged. It was done to clearly make a point particularly I think to American audiences who would have been unaware of many of the issues in Europe for at the time the film was being shot America hadn't entered the war, although they had by the time it was released.

In many ways the film functions as a mirror of Powell and Pressburger's 49th Parallel (1941). This too was clearly made with the American market in mind and follows the attempted escape of the survivors of a U-Boat crew. Whereas in The 49th Parallel the local  Canadian population including the German emigrés in the Hutterite community engage in a convincing and hostile way with Nazi ideology each cameo in One of Our Aircraft is Missing brings out a facet of the determination of resistance to the Nazis. At the same time there is no hatred of the ordinary German in the film, quite the reverse. Two of the air-crew of the Wellington bomber have had German girlfriends and one has even visited Stuttgart and knows its history and has a smattering of German language. This good German bad Nazi pattern was an important feature of propaganda films aimed at America for there was a large German speaking population in America  who needed to be influenced. Of course Pressburger the scriptwriter had worked in Germany for many years and was very familiar the real situation on the ground which meant that these aspects of the scripts were handled from experience. Millions of Germans of course were not Nazis. 

During the escape the aircrew have to takke on a viariety of guises in order to pass unnoticed. At one point one of the crew who is an actor in peacetime dresses up as a Dutch woman whilst those staying as men put on clogs in order to pass as locals. Moor (2005 p 52) conflates these activities with those of the son of one of those helping them get away who after being bribed by the Quisling to take records to the Nazi guards swaps them for some of the Dutch National anthem, clearly in a way designed to get the Quisling into trouble thus brining in a sense of humour to the film as well as underscoring that the vast majority of the population were trying their best to resist in any way they could just as the crowd of villagers all moved off from the football match thus 'confusing' the Nazis. Sadly Moor's reading of this becomes an attempt to fit activities often taken on in real life as "...instances of role-playing and rebranding" which:

inch towards a postmodern sensibility... (Moor, 2005 p 52)

One of the more ridiculous comments I have seen about a Second World War film! Naturally postmodernists can read texts how they like and generate lots of rather aberrant meanings for themselves, however it takes us a long way from what I strongly suspect Powell and Pressburger had as preferred readings. As someone who as a teenager read many of the escape stories of the time these seemed obvious things to do suited to the times. It is hardly nanotechnology to note that society is a set of social constructions which can be subverted. Identity is thus always potentially malleable. The point is that the attempts by the Nazis to reconstruct Dutch society were continuously being undermined even at the micro-level.  

Audience Reception

Murphy in Realism and Tinsel (p 20) implies that this film along with others he had identified in the resistance cycle didn't do very well at the box office however the entry on the film in the IMDB differs from this analysis.

According to IMDB Academy Awards page for 1943 the film received a nomination for best writing original screenplay. In the same year the 49th Parallel received a nomination for best film as well as winning an award for 'Best Writing Original Story' category. This film also received a 'Best Writing: Screenplay' nomination. One of Our Aircraft is Missing gained a 'Special Effects' nomination.  

Academy Awards, USA
Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1943 Nominated Oscar Best Effects, Special Effects
Ronald Neame (photographic)
C.C. Stevens (sound)

Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger

Table taken from IMDB entry to One of Our Aircraft is Missing

Stuttgart 1945 

Stuttgart 1945

By 1945 it was hard to tell one German city from another. They had all been turned into rubble by the relentless Allied air raids. Ironically the bombing of these cities didn't have a great deal of effect on the industrial capacity of the country, for under Albert Speer's reorganisation many of the industries were dispersed away from poulation centres. Many of the those considered most valuable were sited underground where tunnels had been dug out by slave labour from the occupied countries. Others were in the countryside. Industrial production increased until 1944. The other irony of the bombing of industrial cities was that the populations of these had never put the Nazis into power. The Nazis never won a popular free vote in any of the major industrial cities on their way to power. The real centres of Nazi support in small town Germany were relatively unscathed. 

What Really Was the Situation in Holland During the War? 

Film maker Paul Verhoeven has a very different perspective on the realities of the war. Interviewed for the Daily Telegraph about his recent film about collaboration in the Second World War Black Book he comments:

There were some good Resistance people," argues Verhoeven, "but there were a lot of people who didn't do anything. In 1942, the Dutch had nearly accepted being part of Germany; that was the general tone at that time. Then, after Stalingrad, it started to dawn on people that it might go the other way. And then those who'd been working with the Germans and had filthy hands started to move as fast as possible to the Resistance." (My emphasis: Verhoeven in Daily Telegraph)

Verhoeven is known for being outspoken and the Dutch Resistance Museum provides a good basis of knowledge. The section on the Second World War gives a good overview of the pressures exerted by the Nazis including the mass evacuation of the coastal regions to build a defensive wall. 

Select Bibliography

Aldgate, Anthony and Richards, Jeffrey. 2007(New Edition). Britain Can Take It. London: I. B. Tauris 

Moor, Andrew. 2005. Powell and Pressburger: A Cinema of Magic Spaces. London: I. B. Tauris 

Murphy, Robert. 1992. Realism and Tinsel. London: Routledge 


Screeonline: Cast and Credits for One of Our Aircraft is Missing

Screenonline: One of Our Aircraft is Missing

Screeononline: Powell & Pressburger the War Years  

Senses of Cinema Powell & Pressburger  

BBC timeline for Holland  

May 11, 2008

Kondratieff Long–Wave Economic Cycles and Aesthetic Movements

Kondratieff Long-Wave Economic Cycles and Aesthetic Movements

Kondratieff Long-Wave Economic Theory

The Kondratieff long-wave theory is originally a Marxist economic theory is based upon the idea that there are longer-term or deep economic cycles within the capitalist mode of production. These cycles occur  around every fifty years. What marks each cycle is that in the early period of the cycle there is a rapid expansion of some new industry which revives a previously stagnant cycle. As the cycle matures it becomes increasingly hard for companies to extract a good rate of profit from these now aging and highly competitive industries. As the cycle progresses new technologies become available. But before they are invested in or encouraged by changes in the regulatory regime the older system must have entered a deep crisis in which the rates of profit have dropped dramatically and in which investors are standing to one side as there is a loss of confidence in the old. Joseph Schumpeter wasn't a Marxist but he thought the theory was significantly important.  It helped contribute to his ideas of  "creative destruction" in which the old gets swept away and the new is ushered in.  Schumpeter was originally based in Austria and then held the chair of econimics in Bonn. With the rise of Nazism moved to Harvard and taught there from 1932-1950. 

It seems likely that as pressures build up towards the end of these long economic cycles the emergence of new technologies happens and at the same time there are underlying aesthetic shifts taking place. These shifts are likely to happen sometime before the turning point and the start of a new Kondratieff is reached.  Michael Hardt has an interesting take on the development of Kondratieff cycles in relation to media

What the Tables Show

The tables below show an initial mapping of post-Enlightenment modernity using social, political , economic,cultural (SPEC) modes of citizenship as an evaluative indicator and also mapping changes in the aesthetic dominant which periodises both ‘modernism’ and also ‘postmodernism’. As capitalism progresses the growth and role of cultural industries is changing moving towards a greater importance of the ‘symbolic’ aspects of the economy the mapping explores Frederic Jameson’s argument is that ‘Postmodernity’ is the the convergence of the economy of signs with the growth of capitalism itself.

Modernism to ‘Postmodernism’ & Modernity to ‘Postmodernity’, mapped against Kondratieff Long-Wave Cycles as identified by Agnew and Knox.

Table One 1790-1913


Turning Points

1790 -1825 /6

1826-1847/ 8

1848-1873 / 4


1893 -1913

Industrial revolution

Industrial Revolution downswing

Victorian boom

Victorian Depression

Imperial Boom

Leading Industries Agnew +Knox


Steam Engine


Steam engine

Railways,Coal,steel, steam motor, (electric telegraph develops )



Cultural Industries



Classical Symphonies,

Birth of Public museums,

Publishing (small),

Spa Resorts,

Ornamental Gardens,



As in previous Box +

Growth of art and design for industry. Railway tourism for the wealthier classes.

As in previous box +

Mass Travel and Tourism;

Seaside Resorts;

Growth of the public museum;

Growth of publishing, popular newspapers ; Impressionism;

Crystal Palace Great Exhibition;

Public libraries;


Photography + previous box


Late-Romantic movements

Paris Exhibition Growth of Department Stores.

New technologies developed in publishing and recording.

Early Cinema+ previous box

Primitivism and spread of modernist movements celebratory.

Growth of Graphic Posters.

Viennese Secession

Dance Halls.

Growth of sales of domestic reproductive technologies

Political Citizenship +

Political Structures

Landowning +


Public Sphere.

Herder develops cultural nationalism

GB 1832 Reform

Industrial Bougeois enter Parliament, shift away from landowners.

Growth of cultural nationalism. Revolutions of 1848.

Previous box +Beginnings of shift to white male emancipation end of slavery in USA.

Previous box+ Beginnings of first wave feminism & beginnings of social democracy.

Continuing struggle for women’s emancipation. Strong social democracy in Germany - sells out to imperialism.

1905 Russian Revolution.

Reforms amongst peasantry in Russia

Economic citizenship

Rights to trade established much earlier.

Basically a liberal model begins

Liberal model develops, Landowners lose economic controls.

Liberal Model develops.

Growth of intellectual property rights.

Liberal Model Market rights develops.

Bismark develops first social model.

Liberal model market rights. develops now linked to possibility of social citizenship

Social Citizenship

Highly repressive Poor Laws in GB.

Growth of Public Health and factory acts.

Bismark establishes social rights to buy social stability.

Bad health of recruits in Britain for Boer War leads to foundation of LSE and recognition for need of social reforms.



Not relevant for most people

Not relevant for most people

Educational reform

Growth of Public Cultural infrastructures.

Continuing Educational reform and growth of public infrastructures.

Continuing Educational reform and growth of public infrastructures.

Main aesthetic





Growth of German Enlightenment



Hints of early modernism ( Turner )

Late Romanticism

Early Modernist - eclectic themes on plurality of change.


Consolidating Modernist - Growing ‘mid-brow’

Mass Entertainment and ‘low-brow’ mass entertainment

Late romantic,


Bourgeois mainstream modern

‘ Radical’ modernism begins

Mass Entertainment grows especially cinema


Class Differentiated

Class Differentiated

Class Differentiated

and intellectual differentiation

Class and intellectual differentiation

Class and intellectual differentiation

Table Two: 1913-The Present


Turning Points

1913 -1940 / 45-

1945 - 1966

-1966 / 67-1989/90

( Shifts to ‘Postmodernity’ ? )

1990 - Onwards

Interwar depression

Postwar boom

Postwar Depression

Post-Soviet inspired boom

Leading Industries Agnew +Knox

Motor Vehicles,

petro-Chemicals, aerospace, telephony

Semiconductors Biotechnology

Cultural Industries

Growth of Hollywood

Countermodern - modernism


Dance Halls and Variety

Beginnings of Jazz. Record sales reach 100 million in USA 1921

+ Previous box

High Modernism Cannonised

Brutalist Architecture

Pop culture begins as emancipatory from previous atrophied cultural forms.

1950 onwards mass installed base of B+W TV and telephones. Mass record sales.

Fragmentation of popular culture.

Rapid growth of cultural industries and primary fusion of culture with the economic sphere.

Dehierarchisation within companies.

Colour TV mass installed base.

Videos + Home PCs.

Gardens + Interior design grow in domestic environment

Development of the World-wide web Convergence of technologies and ability to digitalise many media forms growth of forms. Rapid growth of economy of signs.

Political Citizenship +

Political Structures

Women’s emancipation reached in most industrial countries by the end of the period.

First largely unsuccessful attempts at social democratic governments in Europe also proportional representation but in immature democracies.

First post-capitalist country.

Pan-European political consensus around the need to develop social citizenship. Growth of social democracy in Europe + plus large communist parties in Italy and France. More post-capitalist countries.


Civil rights in USA.

Civil rights + anti-war West + E. Europe. Break up of post-war consensus.

Neo-liberal dominant in the west.

Collapse of SU.

Growth of identity politics.

Increasing disillusionment with liberal democratic forms . But liberal democracy becomes hegemonic in EU.

Growth of politics as a ‘postmodern’ spectacle

Continued growth of ‘soundbite’ politics and communications management ‘spin’.

Continuing growth of political disillusionment reflected in either loss of turnout or else an uneven growth of authoritarian populism and far right parties across much of western Europe.

Economic citizenship

First Planned economy.

New Deal precursor of post-war Keynsianism

Keynsian interventionism.

Growth of post-capitalist planned economies with strong central regulation.

Reversion to market led economies, neo-liberalism as dominant economic model deregulation.

Full neo-liberalism becomes muted, shift to social-liberal model, economic resposibility for self individualised.

Social Citizenship

Growth of social democracy and redistributinal discourse in industrial countries.

SU has established better formal conditions.

Post-war welfare states across Europe to counter the better situation for workers in SU.

Reduction of social citizenship in the West.

Collapse of SU leads to considerable hardship for many in the E. Europe.

Social Liberalism emphasises individual responsibility and new meritocratic discourse. New Managerialism instituted.



Continuing Educational reform and growth of public infrastructures. Launch of BBC

Continuing Educational reform and growth of public infrastructures.

UK keeps to hands off arts system.

BBC TV + Growth of ITV

Increasing concern within systems of representation to represent alternative histories and emergent and / or minority identities.

Growth of discourse about cultural citizenship, and at international level moves to inscribe cultural rights.

Main aesthetic


Bourgeois mainstream, grows including cinema.

Radical modernism largely excluded from cinema

Mass entertainment strongly linked to cinema

Radical modernism isolated as ‘high culture’.

Mainstream modern moves to TV and radio.

Mass entertainment moves to radio then TV growth of pop


/ Pirate Radio / Radio one as mainstream response. Growing number of TV channels. Satellite channels

Mainstream Po-mo, continuous commodification and subsumption.

Repression of class.


Class and intellectual differentiation

Music becoming generationally based rather than by social class

Growing youth market becoming more differentiated intellectually identity cultures

Cultural hybridity

Differentiated audiences remodelled as ‘lifestyle’ rather than by social class.

Age has become more important.

Forms of hybridisation

British Cinema and Society: Chronology 1939–1951

British Cinema and Society: Chronology 1939-1951

Return to british cinema hub page

Preface: This page is still under development. Many of the film links are the same as an earlier page British Cinema of the Second World War which will be restructured. The grid system providing links and reminders of the context of developments in British cinema and politics and society in general seems to be a more effective way to proceed. It has also been decided to develop the chronology linked to changes in national government rather than by decades as this will better reflect the changing contextual moods within the country. 


This is one of a projected series of chronologies which provide visitors with the opportunity to gain a panotpical overview of developments within British Cinema from the outbreak of the Second World War until the present day. A key aspect of the project is to allow visotors to quickly cross reference the social attitudes expressed in films and references to responses from the audiences of the time as well as responses from critics. As other entries are developed links will be made to articles on the films. It is always important to get a quick overview of the course of events in gneral to contextualise the film industry in general and indvidual films within this. The years chosen cover the period of World War Two through the Atlee led Labour landslide visctory and subsequent Government. The start of the welfare state as well as the years of post-war austerity in a country nearly bankrupted by the war. 1950 saw the return of a Labour government but it only had a very narrow majority and was soon to fall to a Conservative party about 18 months later who in turn had 13 years uninterrupted in power. 

Chronology of course is not history films do need a context in which to be able to be able to devlop a fuller understanding of them, as Robert Murphy has rightly commented:

With film aesthetics are never enough. Viewed in isolation 'In Which We Serve', 'Brief Encounter',even 'The Red Shoes' degenerate into kitsch. Films need a context, whether as the work of a particular director, the product of a studio or... as a part of a cycle of films emerging from a particular society over a particular period.  (Murphy, 1992 p 233)

Chronology 1939-1951

Major Historical Events
Major Film Industry Events
Main films Produced

March: Czechoslovakia invaded by Nazi Germany. Britain made an alliance with Poland. 

August: Russia and Germany sign non-agression pact.

September third. Britain declares war on Nazi Germany after Nazis invade Poland.

'Phoney War' in western Europe starts. At sea the Nazi pocketbattleship Graf Spee is defeated at the Battle of the River Plate.

September: The Great Evacuation 

After the outbreak of war only 6 films in production were completed. another 11 were made in the rest of the year.

Immediate governmental response to the outbreak of war was to close the cinemas. When mass bombing raids didn't materialise they were reopened.  

British Cinema of the Second World War


Hitchcock: Jamaica Inn

Korda: The Four Feathers

Korda: The Lion Has Wings

Let George Do It

Powell and Pressburger: The Spy in Black

Reed: The Stars Look Down

Woods: They Drive by Night


April Hitler invades Norway

May 1940. 'Phoney War' ends as Nazis attack Belgium and Holland on 10th. 

Churchill takes over as British Prime Minister after the Nazis successfully invade Norway.  

28th May: Belgium surrenders.

26th May - June 4th British and French troops evacuated at Dunkirk.

22nd June: France surrenders. 

30th June - September: Battle of Britain

September London Blitz begins. 

51 British films released. 24 were comedy / comedy-thrillers. 

2/3s of the releases were from 6 companies (Gainsborough / Ealing / British National / Warner Bros / Butchers /Pathé)

Hitchcock: Rebecca

The Stars Look Down (1939 Released January 1940) Carol Reed

Britain at Bay: (1940) Harry Watt (Often attrubuted to J. B. Priestley) [Documentary]

Night Train to Munich (1940) Carol Reed [Nazi Opression in Central Europe]

The Thief of Bagdad (1940) Ludwig Berger /Michael Powell /Tim Whelan [Alexander Korda producer]

The Proud Valley (1940) Penrose Tennyson [Ealing]

Pastor Hall (1940) Boulting Bros [Nazi oppression in Central Europe]

Freedom Radio (1940) Anthony Asquith[Two Cities]

Let George Do It (1940) Marcel Varnel

Pimpernel Smith (1940) Leslie Howard

Britain at Bay (1940) Harry Watt [GPO Film Unit / sponsor MOI documentary]

Tomorrow is Theirs (1940) James Carr [Ministry of Information documentary]

They Also Serve (1940) Ruby Grierson [Gender & Work documentary]

Westward Ho! (1940) Thorold Dickinson [Documentary]


June 22nd Nazis attack Soviet Union

December: Japanese Fleet attack America at Pearl Harbour

47 British films released. 31 from the 6 studios mentioned under the 1940 entry)

Most popular film of the year was 49th Parallel.

Target for Tonight (1941) Harry Watt. [documentary]

The 49th Parallel (1941) Powell & Pressburger

Words For Battle (1941) Humphrey Jennings

That Hamilton Woman (1941) Alexander Korda 

The Young Mr. Pitt (1941)  Carol Reed

Ferry Pilot (1941) Pat Jackson [Documentary]

Cottage to Let (1941) Anthony Asquith 

Ships With Wings (1941) Segei Nolbandov [Ealing]

Love on the Dole (1941) John Baxter

Eating Out With Tommy Trinder (1941) Desmond Dickinson

Jane Brown Changes her Job (1941) Harold Cooper  [Gender & Work]

Ordinary People (1941) Jack Lee & J.B. Holmes


May RAF organise the first 1,000 bomber raid attacking Köln

June 1942. US win the Battle of Midway

October British Army wins Battle of El Alamein

Mass murder of  Jews at Auschwitz begins 

Massacre at Lidice  

The Beveridge report published. This was the founding document of post-war social policy.  

45 British films released. The majority were about the war. 13 / 16 comedies has war thmes. Several others were 'heritage' films. Independent companies like Two Cities make an impact. 

Independent Producers established by Arthur J. Rank

Howard: First of the Few

Went the Day Well (1942) Alberto Cavalcanti [Ealing]

Listen to Britain (1942) Humphrey Jennings [Documentary]

One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942) Powell and Pressburger 

In Which We Serve (1942) David Lean / Noël Coward [Two Cities]

The Foreman Went to France (1942) Charles Frend [Ealing]

The Goose Steps Out (1942) Will Hay, Basil Dearden [Ealing]

Thunder Rock (1942) Boulting Bros

The Next of Kin (1942) Thorold Dickinson [Ealing]

Night Shift (1942) Paul Rotha [Gender & Work, Documentary]

The Countrywomen (1942) John Page [Gender & the War Effort]

Men of Tomorrow (1942)  Alfred Travers


February German Army at Stalingrad surrender. First major Nazi defeat.

Italy surrenders to the Allies

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) Powell and Pressburger

The Silver Fleet (1943) Gordon Wellesley and Vernon Sewell [Produced by the Archers - Powell and Pressburger]

Fires Were Started (1943) Humphrey Jennings

The Silent Village (1943) Humphrey Jennings

The Bells Go Down (1943) Basil Dearden [Ealing]

The Demi-Paradise (1943) Anthony Asquith[Two Cities]

Millions Like Us (1943) Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat [Gender & Work]

We Dive at Dawn (1943) Anthony Asquith 

Nine Men (1943) Harry Watt [Ealing]

San Demetrio London (1943) Charles Frend [Ealing]

The Man in Grey (1943) Leslie Arliss [The first "official" Gainsborough costume melodrama]

Journey Together  (1943) John Boulting [ RAF Film Unit in 1943 as a public information film]


D-Day invasion of Nazi occupied France

The 'Butler' Education Act

William Haley becomes director General of the BBC 

Rank takes over Two Cities production company

Batty: The Battle for Warsaw (UK / Poland)

Clayton: Naples is a Battlefield (Documentary)

A Canterbury Tale (1944) Powell and Pressburger

This Happy Breed (1944) David Lean [Two Cities]

Fanny by Gaslight (1944) Anthony Asquith [Gainsborough melodrama was made to cash in on the success of The  Man in Grey]

Love Story (1944) Leslie Arliss 

Henry V (1944) Laurence Olivier  [Two Cities]

Western Approaches (1944) Pat Jackson [Documentary Feature]

The Way Ahead (1944) Carol Reed [Two Cities]

The Eighty Days (1944) Humphrey Jennings 

Waterloo Road (1944) Sidney Gilliat

Two Thousand Women (1944) Frank Launder

The Halfway House (1944) Basil Dearden [Ealing]

Champagne Charlie (1944) Alberto Cavalcanti [Ealing / Musical]

Madonna of the Seven Moons (1944) Arthur Crabtree


May 7th: Germany surrenders.

July 5th: General election, Labour majority of 150 seats.  

August 24th: Japan surrenders after atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  

Arliss: The Wicked Lady

Boulting: Journey Together

Crabtree: They Were Sisters

Lean: Brief Encounter

Powell & Pressburger: I Know Where I’m Going

The Way to the Stars (1945) Anthony Asquith [Last Wartime Feature Film: Two Cities]

Immediate Post-War films 

I Know where I'm Going (1945 December) Powell and Pressburger

Brief Encounter (1945) David Lean  

The Wicked Lady (1945) Leslie Arliss [Gainsborough  melodramas.]

They Were Sisters (1945) Arthur Crabtree [Gainsborough melodrama] 

The Seventh Veil  (1945) Compton Bennett

Homes for the People (1945) Kay Mander [Documentary]

Rationing in Britain (1945) Graham Cutts

Dead of Night (1945) Alberto Cavalcanti / Robert Hamer / Charles Crighton / Basil Dearden [Ealing] 


National Insurance Act

New Towns Act 1946 

Bank of England Nationalised

July 21st Bread Rationing introduced

Squatters settle in disused military bases 

39 films released

Jennings: A Defeated People

The Way We Live (1946) Jill Craigie [Postwar Planning - documentary: Two Cities]

The Way From Germany (1946) Terry Trench [Crown Film Unit - Documentary]

I See a Dark Stranger (1946) Frank Launder [Individual Pictures. Comedy Spy Thriller]

Piccadilly Incident (1946)  Herbert Wilcox  [This melodrama was the second most successful film of 1946 at the box office, after The Wicked Lady]

A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Powell & Pressburger ['Begun towards the end of the war as a propaganda exercise to encourage Anglo-American understanding']

Caravan (1946) Arthur Crabtree  [Gainsborough Melodrama]

The Magic Bow (1946) Bernard Knowles [Gainsborough, 'biopic': the end result is aimed far more at fans of Stewart Granger Gainsborough costume melodrama than to anyone seriously interested in Paganini's own work.]

Hue and Cry (1946) Charles Crighton [Ealing comedy]

Men of Two Worlds (1946) Thorold Dickinson [Two Cities]

Great Expectations (1946) David Lean [Cineguild Independent Producers. Literary Adaptation]


January-March. Extraordinary winter freeze combined with power cuts. Followed by serious floods in the thaw. 

April 1947: Raising of the School Leaving Age to 15.

Coal industry nationalised

August 1947: India receives its independence 

Government attempts to reduce imports lead to punitive taxes on Hollywood films

Hollywood boycotts UK market 

Rank restructures his interests to increase production 

Cavalcanti: They Made Me a Fugitive (Spiv)

Hamer: It always Rains on a Sunday (Melodrama / Social Real)

Black Narcissus (1947) Powell & Pressburger

Brighton Rock (1947)  John Boulting: Spiv

Fame is the Spur (1947) Roy Boulting  

Good-Time Girl (1947) David Macdonald [Gainsborough Melodrama]  

Jassy (1947) Bernard Knowles  [Gainsborough Melodrama]

The Odd Man Out (1947) Carol Reed [Two Cities]

Captain Boycott (1947) Frank Launder [ Individual Pictures. Biopic]

Holiday Camp (1947) Ken Annakin


February: Criminal Justice Act: abolishes hard labour / penal servitude / flogging

July 5th: Vesting day for the NHS. The new social security legislation also came into force.

21st July bread rationing ended 

Electricity industry nationalised 

24th June 1948 Blockade of Berlin. Berlin Airlift goes on until 1949.  

Lean: Oliver Twist

Children of the Ruins (1948) Jill Craigie [Documentary]

The Fallen Idol (1948) Carol Reed [ London Film Productions]

The Red Shoes (1948) Powell & Pressburger [One of Powell & Pressburger's best-loved films, 'The Red Shoe' , released in 1948, is perhaps the definitive ballet movie.]

The Winslow Boy (1948) Anthony Asquith [ London Film Productions, British Lion.  Based on real life story]

Daybreak (1948) Compton Bennett [ General Film Distributors. Brit Noir]

London Belongs to Me (1948) Sidney Gilliat [Individual Pictures. 'Never quite clear whether it's a suspense thriller, a psychological drama, a comedy or a slice of social realism.']


Sterling Crisis and devaluation of the Pound Sterling.

Gas industry nationalised 

NATO founded

96 films released

Harold Wilson President of the Board of Trade attempts national film policy

National Film Finance Corporation (NFFC) established 

The Third Man (1949) Carol Reed  [London Film Productions]

The Blue Lamp (1949) Basil Dearden

Boys in Brown (1949) Montgomery Tully

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) Robert Hamer [Ealing Comedy]

Passport to Pimlico (1949) Henry Cornelius [Ealing Comedy]

Whisky Galore! (1949) Alexander Mackendrick [Ealing Comedy]

The Queen of Spades (1949) Thorold Dickinson [ABPC /World Screenplays. Pushkin short story]

The Spider and the Fly (1949) Robert Hamer [Mayflower Pictures Corporation. Thriller]

Diamond City (1949) David MacDonald [Gainsborough. Based on the Western but set in South Africa / Colonial Adventure?]


Feb 23rd 1950: General Election. Labour majority of 6 

Klaus Fuchs arrested as a spy

82 films released

Lee: The Wooden Horse

Deardon: The Blue Lamp (Social Problem Films)

Odette (Biopic / War)

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) Frank Launder

The Pool of London (1950) Basil Dearden [Ealing]

1951 Oct 25th 1951: General Election. Conservatives majority of 17. 

Boulting: High Treason (Anti-Communist)

Boulting: The Magic Box

Man in a White Suit (1951) Alexander Mackendrick [Ealing Comedy]

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)  Charles Crighton  [Ealing  Comedy]

Hotel Sahara (1951) Ken Annakin [Comedy-Drama]

Return to British cinema hub page

May 08, 2008

ITV Heavily Fined for Phone Scam by Ofcom

ITV Heavily Fined for Phone Scam by Ofcom

Ant and Dec the Scamsters

This is a fine example (excuse the pun) of not getting what you pay for. Well you never did actually and the ability of shysters to get punters to part with their money on a legal scam is fairly amazing. This little fiasco really takes the cake. Grade A mistake (whoops there's another pun).  

The fine may not be as high as Ofcom could have imposed, but the media regulator's verdict on ITV's misconduct is still damning.
The fine of £5.675m is almost three times the previous record - the £2m incurred by GMTV for its own phone vote scandals - and well above recent widely-reported predictions of £4m. (BBC analysis on the Ofcom fine on ITV)

The media regulator said the fine was by far the highest ever imposed and reflected the seriousness of ITV's failures and their repeated nature. (BBC report of the fine on ITV)

ITV has revealed that The Catherine Tate Show was robbed of a prize at the 2005 British Comedy Awards. (BBC on ITV admitting Ant & Dec should not have received award)

Freesat Launched May 2008 in UK

Freesat Launched May 2008 in UK

Thompson and Grade Freesat

Thompson and Grade launch Freesat (Guardian image)

Freesat was announced as early as September 2005 however its announcement of a launch in 2006 seems to have been a little premature.

Freesat's real value to ITV and the BBC is that its satellite technology will allow them to screen many more channels than the 47 currently available on Freeview, the free-to-air digital terrestrial platform.
Crucially, Freesat will also have much greater capacity for screening shows in HD. Analysts have compared the move to HD pictures with the transition from black and white to colour TV. (Daily Telegraph 05/05/08)

Channel Five is expected to join Freesat in the near future, once programming rights issues had been resolved. For now the service will features BBC, ITV and Channel 4 networks. (Guardian)

Murdoch on Murdoch (Times on Sky versus public service broadcasting)

Freesat will allow consumers to get unlimited, as well as high-definition, digital television for a one-off payment, starting at £49.99, plus an £80 installation fee.
The service will carry exclusive high-definition coverage of England’s home football games and FA Cup matches from next season — a plan that prompted immediate criticism from the satellite broadcaster Sky, which is 39.1 per cent owned by News Corporation, parent company of The Times.
Freesat, which is backed by a £6 million marketing campaign, says that it will be better than the existing Freeview service because it will provide many more channels and cover almost the whole of the country. (Times article)


BBC Video report on the launch of Freesat

BBCs Mark Thompson upbeat as Freesat Begins

2005: Free Satellite War begins 

Digital  Spy article on Freesat

May 2008

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