The Contemporary Age—1940–Present

  • Stephen GlynnEmail author


This chapter examines the declining but more diverse representations of horseracing in the period after 1945. It explores how the postwar genre quickly developed a harder ‘emergent’ edge to its explorations of the gambling and jockey milieux, notably tapping into contemporary concerns over the socialisation of troublesome youth. Conversely, its comic strand retreated into ‘residual’ modes, replaying music-hall formulas or else apeing earlier Ealing fare. From the 1960s the horseracing film slipped from the regular canon, but outriders have remained, still mining enduring criminal and comic tropes while hybridising with the biopic and coming-of-age drama.


Postwar cinema Realism Comedy Youth Biopic 


  1. Babington, B. (2002). Launder and Gilliat. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Barr, C. (1977). Ealing Studios. Newton Abbot: Cameron and Tayleur.Google Scholar
  3. Chibnall, S. (2000). Purgatory at the End of the Pier: Imprinting a Sense of Place Through Brighton Rock. In A. Burton, T. O’Sullivan, & P. Wells (Eds.), The Family Way: The Boulting Brothers and British Film Culture. Trowbridge: Flicks Books.Google Scholar
  4. Chibnall, S., & McFarlane, B. (2009). The British ‘B’ Film. London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clarke, T. E. B. (1974). This Is Where I Came In. London: Michael Joseph.Google Scholar
  6. Docherty, D., Morrison, D., & Tracey, M. (1987). The Last Picture Show? Britain’s Changing Film Audiences. London: BFI.Google Scholar
  7. Donegan, L. (2008). Shergar: The Final Word. London: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  8. Durgnat, R. (1970). A Mirror for England: British Movies from Austerity to Affluence. London: Faber & Faber.Google Scholar
  9. Falk, Q. (2000). Travels in Greeneland: The Complete Guide to the Cinema of Graham Greene (3rd ed.). London: Reynolds & Hearn.Google Scholar
  10. Gardner, C. (2004). Joseph Losey. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Glynn, S. (2013). The British Pop Music Film: The Beatles and Beyond. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grieff, L. K. (2001). D.H. Lawrence: Fifty Years on Film. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hall, S., & Jefferson, T. (Eds.). (2006). Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Sub-Cultures in Post-War Britain (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Harper, S., & Porter, V. (2003). British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Harper, S., & Smith, J. (2012). British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Huggins, M. (2003). Horseracing and the British 1919–39. Manchester: Manchester University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Landy, M. (1991). British Genres: Cinema and Society, 1930–1960. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Leavis, F. R. (1955). D.H. Lawrence: Novelist. London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  19. McKibbin, R. (1979, February). Working-Class Gambling in Britain. Past and Present, 82, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mills, J. (1980). Up in the Clouds, Gentlemen Please. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.Google Scholar
  21. Mundy, J. (2007). The British Musical Film. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Perry, G. (1981). Forever Ealing: A Celebration of the Great British Film Studio. London: Pavilion Books.Google Scholar
  23. Pitt, C. (1996). A Long Time Gone: History of Defunct Racecourses Since 1900. Halifax: Portway Press.Google Scholar
  24. Richards, J. (1997). Basil Dearden at Ealing. In A. Burton, T. O’Sullivan, & P. Wells (Eds.), Liberal Directions: Basil Dearden and Postwar British Film Culture. Trowbridge: Flicks Books.Google Scholar
  25. Richardson, T. (1993). Long Distance Runner: A Memoir. London: Faber & Faber.Google Scholar
  26. Robertson, J. C. (1989). The Hidden Cinema: British Film Censorship in Action, 1913–1975. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Ryall, T. (2005). Anthony Asquith. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Semenza, G. M. C., & Hasenfratz, B. (2015). The History of British Literature on Film 1895–2015. London: Bloomsbury.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shail, R. (2012). Tony Richardson. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Sinyard, N. (1986). Filming Literature: The Art of Screen Adaptation. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  31. Smith, J. (1974). The Social Architecture of The Rocking Horse Winner. In G. Barrett & T. Erskine (Eds.), From Fiction to Film: D.H. Lawrence’s ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’. Los Angeles, CA: Dickenson.Google Scholar
  32. Vamplew, W. (2016). The Turf: A Social and Economic History of Horse Racing (2nd ed.). London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  33. Vamplew, W., & Kay, J. (2005). Encyclopedia of British Horseracing. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Young, J. J. (1999). D.H. Lawrence on Screen: Re-visioning Prose Style in the Films of ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’, Sons and Lovers, and Women in Love. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations