J.B. Priestley and Cinema
Cubby Broccoli, National Media Museum, Bradford. Sunday October 20, 2013. 1.45 pm.
The statue of J.B. Priestley looks out over the City of Bradford from the
front of the National Media Museum, but his connection to cinema goes
way beyond that. Famed for his novels and plays, he also made a
significant contribution to cinema, from his works that were adapted to
original screenplays including a time working for the Hollywood studios.
His influence is still present today.
Bill Lawrence, Michael Nelson and John Baxendale lead a
discussion on this neglected part of Priestley’s output along with a rare
They Came to a City
Dir. Basil Dearden GB 1944 77 mins (PG)
Googie Withers, John Clements, Raymond Huntley, A E Matthews.
First performed in Bradford in 1943, the play They Came to a City was
soon filmed by Ealing and released before the end of the war. The film is
seldom seen and yet is undergoing a re-appraisal by modern critics. Nine
characters, each representative of a sector of British society, are plucked
from their lives and left at the gates of a utopian city. They debate
whether or not to go through to a new future. It is now regarded as the
first attempt to present socialism in a British feature film, to which the
recent release of Ken Loach’s Spirit of ’45 has added even greater
resonance to today.
This exciting event is part of the film programme of the National Media
Museum in Bradford, and is also an Open Meeting of the J.B. Priestley
Society, which thereby affirms its ongoing support for the Museum.
To Society members – we look forward to seeing you there, and
remember, this is an Open Meeting, so do bring family or friends