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Dead of Night$
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Jez Conolly and David Owain Bates

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780993238437

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993238437.001.0001

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‘I wish you were dead, old man’

‘I wish you were dead, old man’

Chapter:
(p.83) ‘I wish you were dead, old man’
Source:
Dead of Night
Author(s):

Jez Conolly

David Owain Bates

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9780993238437.003.0007

This chapter assesses ‘Golfing Story’, directed by Charles Crichton, which is universally considered to be the weakest of Dead of Night's stories, to the point that its inclusion has been regarded as detrimental to the whole film. It asserts that not only is the sequence necessary in terms of pace and structure, but that it contains and explores many of the themes examined in the rest of the film. What it also does is set the stage for the final, chilling, sequence and the consequent nightmarish coda which ends the framing narrative. The love triangle at the heart of ‘Golfing Story’ establishes the notion ahead of the implied homosexual polyamory to be found in ‘Ventriloquist's Dummy’ and in doing so it also echoes the implicit triangle in ‘Haunted Mirror’. The chapter extends the discussion of the changing portrayal of male characters in a post-war world as evidenced by the use of its two male lead actors, Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne playing golf partners George Parratt and Larry Potter, whose frequent pairing in earlier films had come to represent a particular strand of Britishness during wartime.

Keywords:   Golfing Story, Charles Crichton, Dead of Night, framing narrative, love triangle, homosexual polyamory, male characters, Britishness

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