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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I watched �Turned Out Nice Again� (1941) recently out of interest following the recent documentary about George Formby. A very enjoyable film with some excellent routines and songs. I looked it up on IMDB and was struck by comments around how it was unusual in that it was a British film made during the war and set in the present, but which made absolutely no reference to the war whatsoever, either in dialogue or settings.

    Does anyone know a) why this was the case? and b) are there any other examples of films made during the war and set in that era, but which completely ignore the conflict?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Is it that unusual? Looking at these lists, I can see quite a few that don't eg Quiet Wedding, The Common Touch (though that might have some refugees), Alibi, The Night Has Eyes, Dear Octopus etc. War films weren't the box office hits that the Gainsborough melodramas were.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_films_of_1941

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_films_of_1942

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_films_of_1943

  3. #3
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    Thanks for this - very interesting. I don't know the films that you nominate, but are they all absolutely free of any war related references whatsoever? No tape on the windows, no gas masks in cardboard boxes on a string, no posters in the background, no sandbags? It isn't just that the plot doesn't acknowledge or revolve around the war, it is the complete absence of the war in any regard whatsoever despite the film being set during the present day home front. I was led to believe this was unusual for the period.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    I don't think it's standard but it's not unknown - Quiet Wedding is certainly war-free and I don't think there is a mention of it being pre-war. Same with the sequel Quiet Weekend. From 1940 there's Saloon Bar and The Flying Squad and A Window in London but I guess they may have been planned pre-war. It would have been fairly easy to shoehorn some references to rationing in, though, if the producers had wanted.

    I suppose it's a bit like the way people in Eastenders never discuss politics or football

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    Turned Out Nice Again is definitely set in the pre-War years, showing in passing as it does elements of the Depression. The interesting question would be when it was actually scripted, and whether that political element had actually stopped it being made pre-War when it would have been more topical.....and controversial. That would not have been unique; the (International) politics of Pastor Hall and the (social domestic) politics of Love On The Dole both prevented pre-War versions being made, but changing times revived the scripts and they were both made in 1940/41.

  6. #6
    Member Country: Great Britain
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    Moreover, Love on the Dole has that, I think, clumsy caveat in the titles at the start detailing that "this film recalls one of the darker pages of our industrial history. On the outskirts of every City, there is a region of darkness and poverty where men and women for ever strive to live decently in the face of overwhelming odds never doubting that the clouds of depression will one day be lifted. Such a district was Hankey Park in March 1930" - thereby distancing the events/society of the film from the contemporary through implying that 'this is the bad old days, not now and we are fighting a war for a brighter future'. I believe the screenplay was written as early as 1938.

  7. #7
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett View Post
    I suppose it's a bit like the way people in Eastenders never discuss politics or football
    Or never watch Eastenders on TV

    Someone once wondered what would happen if someone in The Archers listened to The Archers on the radio.
    Would they just get a whistle from the feedback?

    Steve

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post

    Someone once wondered what would happen if someone in The Archers listened to The Archers on the radio.
    Would they just get a whistle from the feedback?

    Steve
    Nice one that!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    I think it would be the sound of Joe's wheezing Farmer's Lung.

    Nick

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Odeon68's Avatar
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    DEAD of NIGHT [the superior supernatural compendium released in 1945,] and put out by Ealing, makes no mention of any conflict, but serves up more than enough Horrors of it's own, including an evil ventriloquist's dummy and a haunted mirror.
    Last edited by Odeon68; 07-11-12 at 08:29 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odeon68 View Post
    DEAD of NIGHT [the superior supernatural compendium released in 1945,] makes no mention of any conflict, but serves up more than enough Horrors of it's own, including an evil ventriloquist's dummy and a haunted mirror.
    Though there was some sort of ban on horror films during the war so presumably Dead of Night was made with the production team knowing it wouldn't be released until peace time (September in fact). Not sure when it was made - there's snow during one of the golfing scenes.

  12. #12
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diddly-dee View Post
    Moreover, Love on the Dole has that, I think, clumsy caveat in the titles at the start detailing that "this film recalls one of the darker pages of our industrial history. On the outskirts of every City, there is a region of darkness and poverty where men and women for ever strive to live decently in the face of overwhelming odds never doubting that the clouds of depression will one day be lifted. Such a district was Hankey Park in March 1930" - thereby distancing the events/society of the film from the contemporary through implying that 'this is the bad old days, not now and we are fighting a war for a brighter future'. I believe the screenplay was written as early as 1938.
    It was a novel by Walter Greenwood, written in 1933 and then a play directed by Ronald Gow (Mr Dame Wendy Hiller) in 1934/35.

    Steve

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Don't mention The War: It was not unusual and could be described as escapism. Ruling out the conflict, life was a dreary existence especially in unlit towns so film makers took us 'out of it' for 90 minutes or so and we were glad to pay our 1/6d.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Odeon68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    Don't mention The War: It was not unusual and could be described as escapism. Ruling out the conflict, life was a dreary existence especially in unlit towns so film makers took us 'out of it' for 90 minutes or so and we were glad to pay our 1/6d.

    I always felt escapism in cinema and elsewhere flourished in a time of crisis: even before the War, in the depths of the Depression, all-out fantasy like KING KONG [1933] scored at the box-office, both here and in the USA. Other forms of escapism like the Astaire-Rogers musicals and Busby Berkeley's output, also seem to have been very popular in such austere times...a bit like today, really: fantasy is still the biggest box-office attraction it seems.
    Last edited by Odeon68; 07-11-12 at 08:52 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    So true Odeon.

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