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1 item from 2011

Stop or we'll shoot: British cinema's portrayal of the police

11 August 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

UK films in the 1950s and 60s led the way in suggesting the boys in blue are less than trustworthy

In these troubled times, when the phone-hacking scandal has heaped ignominy on the police, it is worth pointing out that British cinema has led the way in suggesting the boys in blue are less than trustworthy. In fact, so complete was the turnaround in the two decades between The Blue Lamp, in 1950, and The Offence, from 1972, it almost constitutes a social history in its own right.

Made partly to alleviate a recruitment crisis, and partly to acknowledge a wave of teen delinquency just after the war, The Blue Lamp was the first British film made with the full co-operation of the Metropolitan police. The Met lent the makers their stations, their patrol cars and even their own officers to play small roles. The plot – a neurotic young spiv, played by Dirk Bogarde, »

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