The teenaged protagonists of Charles Crichton’sHue and Cry (1947), the first of the celebrated Ealing comedies, spend time in the rubble of the bombed-out buildings in their neighborhood. This is their refuge from the monotony of home life and school. Male and female children from different classes and backgrounds meet in this separate and secure society, which Charles Barr calls “a sub-system of their own.”1 One boy does not speak at all; he only mimics the sound of the bombs falling and exploding. These characteristics have nothing to do with the plot of the film, which concerns these young people battling gangsters who are using a popular comic to pass secret messages about their criminal activities. The details are simply present. There is no direct mention of the war in Hue and Cry, yet the evidence of the war pervades the film.
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- Introduction: Don’t Mention the War
Michael W. Boyce
- Palgrave Macmillan US