Lance Comfort

By Brian McFarlane

Lance Comfort

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5484-6
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: September 2013
  • BIC Category: The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, Individual film directors, film-makers, Film history, theory & criticism, Film and Media
  • Series: British Film-Makers


In the years between 1941 and 1965, Lance Comfort made some of the most entertaining films in Britain. There was the striking success of his second feature as director, Hatter's Castle (1941) and when he returned to this melodramatic vein in 1945 he made a series of highly proficient and enjoyable studies in obsession, including Bedelia (1946) with Margaret Lockwood as a murderess, and Temptation Harbour (1947) starring Robert Newton as a decent man in the grip of erotic attraction. Comfort's career has never been charted in full - that is, from the apprenticeship in the 1930s, through the melodramas of the 1940s to the often rewarding co-features of the following two decades. His is in many ways a prototypical career in British cinema: his very attractive body of work has been marginalised by critical focus on a few giant figures.

This is a book that will appeal to all students and researchers in British cinema, as well as to anyone with an interest in British films - and why they were the way they were - in their most productive period.


1. A place in the field
2. A long apprenticeship
3. Breakthrough - Hatter's Castle
4. 'The busiest British film director'
5. Dark achievement - six melodramas
6. Interlude: where to, now?
7. The double-bill: filming in the 1950s and 60s
8. Conclusion
Select bibliography


Brian McFarlane is Associate Professor in the English Department of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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