The Black Tent (1956) and Bengazi (1955): The Image of Arabs in Two post-Empire Journeys into the Deserts of Libya

Richard Andrew Voeltz

Abstract


These two little known films are both part of the cycle of post-imperial films dealing with the decline of the British Empire. They are perhaps the only films set in or near the historical period of the British Military Administration of Libya after 1945.  The Black Tent frequently gets lumped in with the genre of World War II British war films.  Bengazi marks the cinematic journey of the actor Victor McLaglen from The Lost Patrol (1934) to Bengazi (1955), his career encapsulating the beginning and end of the Hollywood British Empire film genre. Both films contain redemptive dramatic journeys into the deserts of Libya involving the loss of British imperial male power.  The case studies of The Black Tent and Bengazi show the beginnings of new post-empire film genres and new mentalities toward the Arab “Other” that partially promotes a decolonization of western cinema.

Keywords


Film; Post-Empire; Arabs; Libya

Full Text:

PDF

References


Atkinson, R. (2007) The War in North Africa, vol. One of the Liberation Trilogy, New York: Holt

Atkinson, M. (2012) “The Black Tent”, TCM, http://www.tcm/thji-month/article/411149%7C38767/The-Black-Tent-html.

Bengazi (1955), “Notes”, TCM, http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/2984/Bengazi/notes.html. Bengazi (1955), “Filming Locations”, IMDb, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt004872/locations.

Brahm, J. (1970) The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968, London: Routledge.

J. Chapman & N. Cull, eds. (2009) Projecting Empire: Imperialism and Popular Culture, London: I.B. Tauris.

Cowans, J. (2015) Empire Films and the Crisis of Colonialism 146-1959, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Croce, F., (1994) “The Lost Patrol (John Ford/US, 1934), http://www.cinepassion.org/reviews/I/LostPatrol.html.

“Garden-of-Allah”, The Daily Worker, March 17, 1956 as quoted in Stollery, p.2. Considerable action takes place among the Roman ruins of Sabratha. “The Black Tent (1856) Goofs”, p. 2 . IMDb, www.omdb.com/title/tt00490141/goofs. Accessed 10/15/2016.

Harlow, B. & Carter, M. eds. (1999), Imperialism and Orientalism, A Documentary Sourcebook, London, Blackwell.

H.H.T, (1956) “Bengazi—at the Palace is Standard Fare”, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review/?res=9D02EE53BBC405DFB6678E649EDE&pagewanted=print.

Jennings, J. (1956) “The Black Tent---Film 4”, http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/6733.

Johnson, F. (1956) “Review of The Black Tent”,s Reynolds News, March 18, 1956.

Joey the Brit and Heath, C. (2010) “The Black Tent Reviews and Ratings”, IMdB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049141.reviews.

Lewis, W. R. (1978) Imperialism at Bay, The United States and the Decolonization of the British Empire, 1941-1945. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

MacQuitty, William. (1991), A Life to Remember: Quartet, 1991.

Matthew, B and Gaylen, S. eds. (1997), Visons of the East: Orientalism in Film, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Murphy, R. (2000) British Cinema and the Second World War. New York and London: Continuum.

Richards, Jeffrey, (1973), Visions of Yesterday, London: Routledge.

Shaheen, Jack (2015), Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies A People, Northhampton, MA: Olive Branch Press.

Smith, R. H. (1968) Bengazi (1955-Articles, TCM, http://www.tcm.com/cmdb/title/2984/Bengazi/articles.html. P. 1. Accessed 11/24/2015.

“John Brahm”, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968. New York: Da Capo Press.

Stewart, I. & Carruthers, S. eds. (1996) War, Culture and the Media: Representations of the Military in 20th Century Britain. Madison and Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, esp. pp. 75-90.

Stollery,M. (2010) “The Black Tent”, p.1,

http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/6733.

Smith, Richard Harland, (1955), “Bengazi (1955 Articles)”, TCM, http://www.tcm.com/cmdb/title/2984/Bengazi/articles.html.

Thomas, M. (2014), Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire, New York: Oxford University Press.

Voeltz, R. A. (2010) “Victor McLaglen, the British Empire, and the Hollywood Raj: Myth, Film, and Reality, Journal of Historical Biography, 8, www.ufv.ca/jhb.

Wendy Webster,( 2001) “There’ll Always Be An England: Representations of Colonial Wars and Immigration, 1948-1968,” The Journal of British Studies, 40, 4.

Wendy Webster, (2005) Englishness and Empire 1939-1965, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York: 2005.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2018.200

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Richard Andrew Voeltz

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This journal is published by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh as part of its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program and is cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

 

ISSN 2159-2411 (print) 2158-8724 (online)