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What cannot be said: 'Silent Dust'(1949)and the malevolent veteran

Spicer, Andrew H.


Andrew Spicer
Professor in Cultural Production


This was a counterpoint to the book chapter on service comedy. It explored a different type of 'unofficial' counter-hegemonic constructions of the Second World War' by focusing on a group of British films made immediately after the war and sporadically throughout the 1950s that depicted the return into civilian life of servicemen who could not adjust to the demands of peace and who became criminals or outlaws in civilian society. It was an important social phenomenon that this article contextualises before a detailed consideration of one, tough-minded, example, 'Silent Dust' whose ant-hero is a deserter and violent criminal. The film plays ironically with the theme of commemoration and shows that the official myth of a the war hid some disturbing undercurrents.


Spicer, A. H. (2005). What cannot be said: 'Silent Dust'(1949)and the malevolent veteran. Zeithistorische Forschungen, 1(1), 110-118

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Journal Zeithistorische Forschungen
Print ISSN 1612-6033
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 110-118
Keywords second world war, returning servicemen, maladjusted veteran, British cinema, anti-hero, official myth
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Contains several illustrations taken from the film