Blitzed: British Men, Masculinity and the 1950s

As Britain’s ‘finest hour’ faded in the collective memory in 1950s, British masculinity stood at the crossroads. With the decline of Empire, a decimated home front and troubling youth menacing the headlines, what was a chap to do? In Obsession, we a homosocial triangle forms as one man traps another in a Blitzed building. In Cast a Dark Shadow, Dirk Bogarde hints at his sexuality, murdering a series of brides for his own dark reasons. In Hell Drivers, Stanley Baker plays an ex-convict making good at a gravel company, showing a new masculinity that has nothing to do with honour and everything to do with commerce.

 
 

Obsession (1949)

London, 1949, a city still full of strange forces hiding in the shadows of Blitzed buildings. Join us to discover the queer forces lurking and what was done to repress them in this strange homosocial noir. Get tickets.
 


Cast a Dark Shadow

Before Victim, Dirk Bogarde starred in another risky tale of queer desires and murder. Join us for a discussion investigating Bogarde's star image, and how he pushed his matinee idol appeal, revealing something stranger than 1950s audiences could sense... Get tickets


Hell Drivers

Stanley Baker was the perfect new man for the 1950s: butch, beefy and all about gravel. Join us as we discuss how the 1940s, a decade of self-sacrifice, shaded into a new era of commerce in the 1950s and why Stanley Baker's was the perfect man for the age.
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