Cheer Up!
Title Details

395 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

30 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

Cheer Up!

British Musical Films, 1929-1945

by Adrian Wright

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
The first book to deal exclusively with the British musical film from the very beginning of talking pictures in the late 1920s through the Depression of the 1930s up to the end of World War II.
Cheer Up! is the first book to deal exclusively with the British musical film from the very beginning of talking pictures in the late 1920s through the Depression of the 1930s up to the end of World War II. The upsurge in production at British studios from 1929 onwards marked the real birth of a genre whose principal purpose was to entertain the British public. This endeavour was deeply affected by the very many emigres escaping Nazi Germany, who flooded into the British film industry during this decade, as the genre tried to establish itself.
The British musical film in the 1930s reflects a richness of interest. Studios initially flirted with filming what were essentially stage productions plucked from the West End theatre but soon learned that importing a foreign star was a box-office boost. Major musical stars including Jessie Matthews, Richard Tauber and George Formby established themselves during this period. From its beginning, the British musical film captured some of the most notable music-hall performers on screen, and its obsession with music-hall persisted throughout the war years. Other films married popular and classical music with social issues of poverty and unemployment, a message of social integration that long preceded the efforts of the Ealing studios to encourage a sense of social cohesion in post-war Britain. The treatmentof the films discussed is linear, each film dealt with in order of its release date, and allowing for an engaging narrative packed with encyclopaedic information.
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
Notes to the Text
Select Bibliography
Index of Film Titles

ADRIAN WRIGHT is a performer, novelist and writer. Hisprevious books with Boydell include A Tanner's Worth of Tune: Rediscovering the Post-War British Musical (2010), West End Broadway: The Golden Age of the American Musical in London (2012) and Must Close Saturday:The Decline and Fall of the British Musical Flop (2017). He has previously written on the subject of film music in his biography of William Alwyn, The Innumerable Dance (2008), and his fiction includes the Francis and Gordon Jones Mysteries series: The Voice of Doom, The Coming Day and Forget Me Not.

"Adrian Wright's excellent book is devoted to an area of British film history that has sometimes been loftily dismissed or simply fallen through the cracks...in a time of pandemic, reading a book entitled Cheer Up! about films which were themselves produced during the Depression and then the second world war is oddly uplifting. Wright's deep knowledge of and obvious affection for his subject does not blind him to the shortcomings of some of what was on offer, and one of the chief pleasures here is his deadpan dismissal of those found wanting." SPECTATOR
"Adrian Wright's 379 page tome has certainly cheered me up. It is a book which, since it arrived, I have been continually been dipping into, and once dipped, have continued reading for hours followed by watching one of the films I have read about, or searching out recordings of the various songs. It is invaluable for anyone who has an interest in films, musicals and operetta, and the research which must have been undertaken is very commendable.Very highly recommended - especially at the modest asking price of £30.00!" OPERETTA RESEARCH CENTER

Hardcover

9781783274994

May 2020

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9781787449039

May 2020

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Title Details

395 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

30 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press