Went the Day Well?

Went the Day Well?

by Penelope Houston
     
 

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'Went the Day Well?' is one of the most unusual pictures Ealing Studios produced, a distinctly unsentimental war film made in the darkest days of World War II, and nothing like the loveable comedies that later became the Ealing trademark. Its clear-eyed view of the potential for violence lurking just below the surface in a quiet English village possibly owes much

Overview

'Went the Day Well?' is one of the most unusual pictures Ealing Studios produced, a distinctly unsentimental war film made in the darkest days of World War II, and nothing like the loveable comedies that later became the Ealing trademark. Its clear-eyed view of the potential for violence lurking just below the surface in a quiet English village possibly owes much to the Graham Greene story on which it is based, though as Penelope Houston shows, there remains a mystery about the extent to which Greene was actually involved in the scripting. Or perhaps the direction by the Brazilian born Cavalcanti, a maverick within the Ealing coterie, is the chief reason why 'Went the Day Well?' avoids the cosy feel of later, more familiar, Ealing films. This book offers an attractive and astute view of British cinema in its heyday.

In his foreword to the new edition, Geoff Brown pays homage to Penelope Houston's astute study of the film, and places the book in the context of the changing critical views of the film. Brown discusses the non-English qualities of the film's narrative, and the extent to which Cavalcanti brought a European sensibility to the film's very English setting.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781844575008
Publisher:
BFI Publishing
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Series:
BFI Film Classics Series
Edition description:
Second Edition, Revised
Pages:
72
Sales rank:
1,203,438
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.10(d)

Meet the Author

PENELOPE HOUSTON is a British film critic and journal editor. She was the first editor of the film journal Sequence, edited Sight & Sound, the journal of the British Film Institute, and was a regular contributor to the Monthly Film Bulletin. She has also been a film critic for The Spectator, deputised as critic for The Times and for The Observer and is also the author of a number of important books on cinema, including The Contemporary Cinema (1963) and Keepers of the Frame: Film Archives (1994).

GEOFF BROWN, long associated as a critic with The Times, curated BFI Southbank's Cavalcanti retrospective in 2010, edited the book collection Alistair Cooke at the Movies (2009), and has published widely on British cinema. He is an Associate Research Fellow at the Cinema and Television Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester.

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