Taking the subject chronologically from the 1890s to when the book was initially published in 1989, this book analyses those films specifically concerned with working-class conditions and struggle, and discusses them within the context of the debate on the social significance of the feature film. It concentrates on films which depict labour organizations and political activists, as well as life in working-class communities and actors with working-class identities such as James Cagney.
Reviews of the original edition:
‘…fills a gap in film studies…the study of social and labour history, and the development of popular culture in Britain and the United States.’
Table of Contents
1. Showmen and the Nature of the Movies 2. Towards Significance in the Silent Era 3. ‘The Sociological Punch’ of the Talkies 4. ‘The Propaganda Mills of the 1930s’ 5. ‘The Faintest Dribble of Read English Life’ 6. ‘The Wartime Drama of the Common People’ 7. The Post-war Age of Anxiety 8. British Working-Class Heroes 9. The National Experiences in Britain and America 10. Workers and the Film. Index of Films. Index of Names