The films of Thorold Dickinson (1903-1984), now being rediscovered, engage with major issues including national identity, the post-colonial world, and political violence - and they also show a rare mastery of style, a thrilling eroticism, a preoccupation with the psychology of betrayal. But the director of Gaslight, The Next of Kin and The Queen of Spades was also an editor, documentarist, trade unionist, film producer (for the British Army and the UN), pioneering academic and controversialist. His adventurous and truly global involvement in film took him to Paris in the heyday of silent cinema in the 1920s, to Stalin's USSR in 1937, to the Spanish Civil War, to Africa, India, Israel and America.
This book gives a lively, multi-angled account of Dickinson's works, life and times, conveying a sense of his own voice and fascinating character. It includes a richly detailed introduction, a film-by-film discussion of Dickinson with Scorsese, vivid personal memoirs of the director, a dossier of Dickinson's original writings and interviews from 1924 to 1973 (some never previously published), critical essays on all the feature films, and a ground-breaking reference section. The book draws on extensive archival research and close consultation with those who knew Dickinson well.
Contributors include: Martin Scorsese, Gavin Millar, Lutz Becker, Charles Barr, Laura Marcus, Kevin Jackson, Kevin Gough-Yates, Ian Christie, Gregory Dart, Hillel Tryster, Janet Moat. -- .
Philip Horne is Professor of English at University College London. Peter Swaab is Reader in English at University College London -- .