"The author’s work is original and the scholarship sound . . . fills a critical gap, particularly in Irish film and Irish Studies scholarship, around an important Irish filmmaker. This book very usefully and for the first time covers Hurst’s entire filmic output."—Ruth Barton, Trinity College Dublin
"The research on the unfinished projects is original. The professional relationships and influences Pettitt uncovers are fascinating and extensively researched. It fills or straddles a scholarly gap for a filmmaker who has sat uneasily both in British and Irish film history. It has significant historical value."—Brian McIlroy, University of British Columbia
"As Lance Pettitt’s rewarding new book shows, this filmmaker was…a bohemian who knew a thing or two about the lineaments of gratified desire."—Mark Cousins, author of The Eyes of Orson Welles
"The Last Bohemian is meticulously researched, extremely well organized and contains a great deal of fascinating and genuinely original material."—Julian Petley, Brunel University
"An original piece of work covering the whole of director Brian Desmond Hurst’s lengthy career and shedding new light on both his life and his films.”"—John Hill, Royal Holloway, University of London
The Last Bohemian offers the first extended, critical evaluation of all of Brian Desmond Hurst’s films, reappraising the reputation of a director who was born in 1895 in Belfast and died in Belgravia, London, in 1986. Pettitt skillfully weaves together film analyses, biography, and cultural history with the aim of bringing greater attention to Hurst’s qualities as a director and exploring his significance within Irish film and British cinema history between the 1930s and the 1960s.
The director of Dangerous Moonlight (1941), Theirs Is the Glory (1946), and his best-known Scrooge (1951) made most of his films for British studios but developed an exile’s attachment to Ireland. How in the early twenty-first century has Hurst’s career been reclaimed and recognized, and by whom? Why in 2012 was Hurst’s name given to one of the new Titanic Studios in Belfast? What were his qualities as a filmmaker? To whose national cinema history, if any, does Hurst belong?
Richly illustrated with film stills and other visual material from public archives, The Last Bohemian addresses these questions and in doing so makes a significant contribution to British and Irish cinema studies.
Lance Pettitt is an Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Series: Irish Studies
6 x 9, 312 pages, 51 black and white illustrations