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Recent years have seen an increased interest in issues of national identity and representation, and cinema is a major medium where strands and layers of representational systems come together in cross-cultural dialogues. Beauty and the Beast provides an account of the specific development of depictions of Italy and the Italians in British cinema. Girelli draws upon cultural and social history to assess the ongoing function of “Italianness” in British film, and its crucial role in defining and challenging British national identity. Drawing on British literary and filmic tradition to analyse the rise of specific images of the Italian Other, this book makes original use of archival material such as WWII footage – and a selected corpus of significant British films.