A Girl Alone in a Man's World: Ice Cold in Alex (1958) and the place of women in the 1950s British war film cycle

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War films were one of British cinema's mainstays throughout the 1950s, and one of the most iconic of the cycle is Ice Cold in Alex (1958). This particular film overturned some of the already familiar conventions of the genre, not least by allowing a female character, the nursing sister Diana Murdoch (played by Sylvia Syms), to play a more important role than women were usually granted. This article deploys close textual analysis to examine the representation of Diana, and suggests how this character not only reflects various competing and often self-contradictory discourses of 1950s femininity but also offers a rare depiction of women's contribution to the war effort from the decade following it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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