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.
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actors Anne Anthony Art director Arthur Author's interview Beatrice Varley Bedelia Bourdieu Brian McFarlane British cinema British Film Brodie camera career Cast Clifford Evans co-features comedy Comfort's films Costumes Cricklewood critical cultural production Daughter of Darkness David Deborah Kerr Desmond Dickinson Devils of Darkness Director of photography Douglas Fairbanks Jr drama Ellis Emmy Eric Portman film-making film's Films Studio Gainsborough genre George Hatter's Castle Jack James John Baxter John Baxter Screenplay John Comfort John Trumper Kinematograph Weekly Lance Comfort Lance Comfort Screenplay Lawrence Huntington LC Chief recordist Leading players London Lyn Fairhurst Mallinson Margaret Marjorie Rhodes Martin Mary melodrama Michael Monthly Film Bulletin Music novel obsession Old Mother Riley Parker Paul Peter Pitt Picturegoer play popular Portrait of Clare postwar praise Production company realism recalls release reviewer Richard Robert role scene Scriptwriter second features seems sequence sexual shot Silent Dust Sound star story Temptation Harbour thrillers Tony visual William