Who is Lance Comfort? The short answer is that he is the most unjustly neglected director in British film history. McFarlane's lively, thoroughly researched study aims to correct this situation.
In the years between 1941 and 1965 he 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. But giant figures alone do not make an industry.
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.