British Crime Film

Subverting the Social Order


British Crime Film is a celebratory and comprehensive social history of this idiosyncratic genre. Barry Forshaw focuses on the strategies used to address more radical notions than those presented in mainstream product, exploring such themes as the treatment of sex and violence, corporate crime and the maverick criminal. Covering every major - and most minor - British crime films up to and including the twenty-first century, Forshaw contextualises the films within the crime fiction that inspired them. He explores new developments including British urban crime movies and the wave of new crime/horror hybrids such as Kill List, and predicts what the future holds for the genre.
  • Palgrave Macmillan; September 2012
  • ISBN 9781137274595
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: British Crime Film
  • Author: Barry Forshaw
  • Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan

In The Press

'In this excellent book on the British crime movie, a follow-up to his valuable studies of English-language and Scandinavian crime fiction, Forshaw interrogates the usual suspects, discovers many neglected pictures, and places them all in a larger social context. It's a work to read for pleasure and instruction, and then to keep on the reference shelf.'
- Philip French, The Observer

'Crime fiction in films and literature is my meat. So Barry Forshaw's terrific book not only rekindled memories of films seen but provided clues to others yet to be revelled in. This rave has nothing to do with getting an honourable mention.'
- Mike Hodges, Director, Get Carter

'An incredible work; so thorough, so informed and at the same time so very readable and entertaining.'
- Peter James, Chair, Crime Writers' Association
'This book provides a much-needed shot in the arm for writing on British crime film. The colourful case-studies draw out the political complexities of this stalwart genre, opening up the films in insightful and often revisionary readings. Calling upon his compendious knowledge of the subject and injecting wit into his precise prose, Forshaw reinvigorates the field.'
- Steven Peacock, Reader in Film and Television Aesthetics, Programme Coordinator MA Film and Television Aesthetics, University of Hertfordshire, UK
'Barry Forshaw has penetrated the locked-room mystery of the British crime film and brought it to book ... the verdict is "outstanding".'
- Kim Newman, Author, Nightmare Movies
'Destined to become an essential volume on any self-respecting cinephile's bookshelf. Forshaw is bang-on about the British crime films you already know, but (even more importantly) makes you eager to track down and watch the lesser-known gems you haven't seen.'
- Anne Billson, The Guardian

About The Author

BARRY FORSHAW is the UK's principal expert on crime fiction, and writes extensively on film. His Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction was praised by such writers as Val McDermid, Mark Lawson and Håkan Nesser; his other work includes British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia and The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, along with books on Italian cinema, a study of Thomas Harris and The Silence of the Lambs and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. He has written for various national newspapers, edits Crime Time, and is a talking head for ITV and BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.