Are English movies any good? Ricky Gervaise seems to think they are not; in an interview with Empire Magazine he says: “The Americans are just better at it than us. There’s an odd exception, but when it comes to making movies we don’t really cut the mustard. Not since about 1950.”
This has brought the patriot out of Edgar Wright, who compiled a list on his MySpace blog of 100 ‘exceptions’ since 1950. His list immediately makes one question Gervais’ statement. Here are just a handful of highlights:
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
Get Carter (1971)
Time Bandits (1981)
Shallow Grave (1994)
Son of Rambow (2007)
See the whole list here. In a display of modesty Edgar left his own films off the list, but I would have no problem at all putting Hot Fuzz and quite especially Shaun of the Dead against the best movies from any nation.
Having spent the day at Pinewood Studios, where so many great ‘American’ films have been made, and looking at some of the films on Edgar’s list – he includes Kubrick films and Straw Dogs, directed by an American – I began to wonder where the demarcation between British and American really lies. Does an American director working with an all-British crew make that film an American film? Does a British director working in Hollywood make a British film?
What are your thoughts on Edgar’s list? What are your thoughts on British film? Weigh in on our message board.