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Post-War Cinema 

The Story of Film examines world cinema in the period of 1939-1952 looks at film-making during and immediately after World War II. Hollywood films shift away from soft focus and begin to ... See full summary »


Mark Cousins


Mark Cousins


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Episode credited cast:
Mark Cousins ... Himself - Presenter
Norman Lloyd ... Himself - Interviewee
Robert Towne ... Himself - Interviewee
Paul Schrader ... Himself - Interviewee
Judy Balaban Judy Balaban ... Herself - Interviewee
Haskell Wexler ... Himself - Interviewee
Stanley Donen ... Himself - Interviewee
Terence Davies ... Himself - Interviewee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Juan Diego Botto ... Narrator (voice)


The Story of Film examines world cinema in the period of 1939-1952 looks at film-making during and immediately after World War II. Hollywood films shift away from soft focus and begin to use the techniques of deep staging and deep focus as in John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) and Orson Wells's Citizen Kane (1941). It then looks at Italian Neorealism of Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica before examining the development of Film Noir in the films of Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, and Ida Lupino. American films grow more serious though romantic film remain popular. In the late 40's, American cinema is investigated for communist activities and producers, actors, and directors are blacklisted. Meanwhile in Britain, Carol Reed creates the Noir classic The Third Man (1949) Written by Shatterdaymorn

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Release Date:

1 October 2011 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Hopscotch Films See more »
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Did You Know?


Cousins claims that the more 'adventurous' American directors were working in Europe in the mid-40s despite the fact that most European film industries were crippled by the ongoing Second World war. See more »


Mark Cousins - Presenter: [about the rise of Film Noir] The romantic exuberance of Hollywood ebbed - it's paradise got a bit lost. And it showed.
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Features Shiva (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Post-War Cinema
18 June 2013 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Following World War II, American films allegedly got darker. The work of John Ford is singled out, although during an interview Ford himself denies he is aware of any such darkening.

One of the focuses of this episode is on film noir, which Cousins says is carried over from the gangster film and brought Edward G. Robinson with them. There are, of course, similarities. They both tend to have bleak, dirty cities (or at least give us that feeling).

Also covered is Communism's effect on Hollywood. This is really a strange time in American history. Looking back, it seems that many were unfairly persecuted and some talented people stopped making movies. But that is looking back. At the time, this probably made sense to many -- maybe even most -- people. We certainly do not want subversive ideas being brought to us by the people who create our pop culture, do we?

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