New Book Explores the British Crime Film

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A new book exploring the underbelly of the British crime film, from Brighton Rock to The Long Good Friday, has been written by a University of Worcester lecturer.

Studying the British Crime Film examines a variety of films and the way in which various aspects of British society are portrayed.

Dr Paul Elliott said the idea for the book came out of a third year module he was teaching on the Film Studies degree at the University of Worcester.

“The module was called Underworld UK which explored crime films and marginalised communities,” he said. “I realised there hadn’t been much theoretical or historical work focused on the dark underbelly of many British films.”

Dr Elliott takes a crime per chapter and examines the way in which films depict attitudes, how they represent various members of society, and what it says about British society as a whole.

The book highlights classics such as Brighton Rock (1947) and The Long Good Friday (1980) to more recent and relatively under-explored releases like Essex Boys (2000), Sexy Beast (2000), and Harry Brown (2009).

“There was a never-ending cycle of material as there are always new films being produced,” said Dr Elliott. “I have tried to address films that people would not ordinarily have thought about.”

He added: “My students had a massive input into the book and are acknowledged in the opening pages. I wanted to get my students thinking about films and how they relate to real like. Crime films always say a lot about British society.”

The book is published by Auteur Publishing and is available from Amazon.