British Thrillers, 1950-1979: 845 Films of Suspense, Mystery, Murder and Espionage

McFarland. Nov. 2020. 397p. ISBN 9780786410323. pap. $75. FILM
According to musician Clinton, the British do movie thrillers better than anyone else, and the 845 British films released between 1950 and 1979 covered in this compendium represent the golden age of the genre. What constitutes a thriller? These films aren’t to be confused with horror, says the author, noting that a thriller is a film involving murder or espionage followed by intrigue, suspense, cat-and-mouse games, and double-crossing—think Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, or James Bond, or movies such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and The Odessa File, not Frankenstein or Godzilla. Dividing the volume into eight chapters by subgenre—“Espionage,” “Mystery & Murder,” “The Psychological and the Psychopathic,” “Focus on Crime Solvers,” “The Business of Crime,” “Suspense,” “Merton Park’s Edgar Wallace B-Movie Series,” and “Action and Adventure”—Clinton lists the films chronologically and gives a synopsis, a review, and production details for each film. This volume also includes a filmography, a bibliography, eight appendixes, and two indexes.
VERDICT A well-researched and comprehensive guide for film students and movie mavens alike.
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