Standing of the German Cinema in Great Britain After 1945

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This is the first study available of the standing in Great Britain of the post-war German cinema, seen here as part of the wider issue of foreign-language film distribution and exhibition in the UK. An analysis of the relevant structural conditions of the industry as well as public attitudes toward non-English-language cinema is followed by a detailed reconstruction of the way films from both West and East Germany have been made available to British audiences, including an assessment of how they have been promoted both commercially and culturally. The final chapter aims at ascertaining to what extent the critical response to contemporary German features is a reflection of the general British perception of the films’ country of origin. An extensive appendix presents a list of some 800 feature films, with details of their screening on British television and in the cinema over five decades, as well a bibliography that includes the details of hundreds of film reviews, mainly from newspapers and specialist publications.


“The author provides a clear and concise account of how various cultural and economic agencies have sought to promote the cause of German film and also of how the response to these films reflects more generally held or stereotyped views about German culture. The work is based on painstaking research and reveals a good knowledge of the relevant literature. In particular the author is to be congratulated on having gathered a vast amount of review material from a wide number of sources.” – Richard Kilborn, University of Stirling

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Introduction
1. Foreign-Language Films in Britain (UK distribution and exhibition patterns; British attitudes towards foreign-language films)
2. Exhibition in Britain of Post-1945 German Films (general cinema release, television, film festivals, National Film Theatre; The Export-Union; The Goethe Institute)
3. Critical Response (West vs. East German post-war production; New German Cinema and beyond; Case Study-Heimat; films depicting social reality in West Germany; womens’ films; the perceived German style)
4. Conclusion
Appendix 1: Illustrations
Appendix 2: Film list
Bibliography; Index

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