'Fire, Blood and Steel': memory and spectacle in "The Guns of Loos" (Sinclair Hill, 1928)

Michael, Williams (2011) 'Fire, Blood and Steel': memory and spectacle in "The Guns of Loos" (Sinclair Hill, 1928). In, Hammond, Michael and Williams, Michael (eds.) British Silent Cinema and the Great War. Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 118-133.


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The Guns of Loos (Sinclair Hill, 1928, henceforth Loos) is set against the backdrop of the eponymous battle of 1915, as two soldiers, John Grimlaw (Henry Victor) and Clive (Donald McArdle) find their mental and physical fortitude tested on the battlefield. Public and private spheres meet and compete as both men are also fighting to win the affection of Diana (Maddeline Carroll in her screen debut), a Red Cross nurse in England. All this is juxtaposed against the growing tension of a workers’ dispute at Grimlaw’s Steel Works, which now operates as a munitions factory. This chapter explores the ways in which the film’s complex iconography addresses the mythic Home/Front divide, particularly through the duality of its protagonists, and issues of history, remembrance and modernity, as the audiences of 1928 were invited to recall the events of 1915.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9780230292628 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions : Faculty of Humanities > Film
ePrint ID: 199417
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
4 October 2011Published
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2011 10:34
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:45
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/199417

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