Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain

By Dr Anna Ariadne Knight

Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5449-1
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: September 2021
  • BIC Category: Film Studies, Films, cinema, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General, Humanities / Social & cultural history, The arts / Film theory & criticism, The arts / Films, cinema


This book examines issues of censorship, publicity and teenage fandom in 1950s Britain surrounding a series of controversial Hollywood films: The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock. It also explores British cinema's commentary on juvenile delinquency through a re-examination of such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Taking a multi-dimensional approach, the book intersects with star studies and social history while reappraising the stardom of Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking at the specific meanings, pleasures and uses British fans derived from these films, it provides a logical and sustained narrative for how Hollywood star images fed into and disrupted British cultural life during a period of unprecedented teenage consumerism.


1 'Attractive and imitable': Marlon Brando and The Wild One ban in the UK
2 'Our Teddy boys are angels': Blackboard Jungle fever in the classroom
3 'He died in his own rebellion': James Dean and Rebel Without a Cause
4 'A teenage revolution': Bill Haley and the rock 'n' roll cinema riots
5 'All-singing, all-fighting man': Elvis Presley as a rock 'n' roll rebel
6 Conclusion: the rise of the Angry Young Men


Anna Ariadne Knight currently teaches history and film at Queen Mary University of London

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