In This Chapter
Depicting real life with Free Cinema and New Wave
Tracing the relationship between British TV and film
Watching the book, reading the film
Building box-office blockbusters
When screenwriter Colin Welland accepted his Oscar for Chariots of Fire (1981), he declared optimistically that ‘The British are coming!’ A full-scale invasion of Los Angeles by Brits in shorts has yet to take place, but the story of competition, complicity and collusion between the British and American film industries is as dramatic and satisfying as any Richard Curtis rom-com.
Instead of attempting to compete with Hollywood glitz and glamour, British film-makers have often taken the opposite approach by turning the camera onto the grittier side of life. Although these social realist film-makers originally saw television as the enemy of cinema, they soon came to enjoy its increased production funding.
The British film industry has survived ups and downs and continues to enjoy success in film adaptations of classic literature ...