Cut from Anglophilia to Anglophobia. Hollywood's Changing Perceptions of the British

Carl Mora


When I was a boy in New York City during the post World War II 1940s, there was an annual cinematic event that brought all the neighborhood kids out to the local movie palace  . This hallmark occasionwas the screening of thedouble feature of Zoltan Korda's The Four Feathers (1939)and Drums (aka The Drum, 1938), two spectacular action-packed depictions of the halcyon days of the British Empire, replete with proverbial stiff-upper-lipped Englishmen suppressing troublesome colonials in the Sudan and India. These films were produced by Zoltan's brother, Alexander Korda, the most important purveyors in the 1930s of what were called "empire films." The genre of "empire films" achieved its highest popularity in the 1930s, "a decade when the empire was, in fact, on the eve of post-colonialism."

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