Despite the end of the war, food, clothing and other essentials were rationed in Britain throughout the late 1940s, a policy so hated that it ultimately lead the voters to dump Atlee’s Labour government. Because post-war rationing was not seen as legitimate, many otherwise law-abiding people began buying goods on the black market. The spivs who ran the black market soon became the subject of a series of films, one of which, Brighton Rock, I recommended some time ago. Like that fine movie, this week’s recommendation weds a story about spivs and the conventions of film noir with tremendous success: 1947′s They Made Me a Fugitive.
Because much of the respectable British public was happily doing business with spivs, it was possible in this era to portray at least some of them as admirable, and that