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The Damned$
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Nick Riddle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325529

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325529.001.0001

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‘When The Time Comes’: The Damned and British Cold War Culture

‘When The Time Comes’: The Damned and British Cold War Culture

(p.41) Chapter 4: ‘When The Time Comes’: The Damned and British Cold War Culture
The Damned

Nick Riddle

Liverpool University Press

This chapter evaluates the influence of the British Cold War culture on Joseph Losey's The Damned (1963). British cinema was far slower than Hollywood to address the nuclear threat in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was a reflection of the government's own reticence on the matter. The Edgehill Establishment, Bernard's secret facility, would have been a familiar sight to most people in Great Britain by the early 1960s. Such 'secret establishments' became a regular feature of science fiction from the late 1950s onwards, embodying the growing public distrust in the government's defence programme and anxieties about safety. Ultimately, The Damned inhabits a historical moment between the wane of public deference towards the government concerning nuclear weapons and the more full-throated protests and bolder visualisations of nuclear war that appeared mid-decade.

Keywords:   British Cold War culture, Cold War, Joseph Losey, The Damned, British cinema, nuclear threat, nuclear war, secret establishments, science fiction, nuclear weapons

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