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Patrick Pilkington


I hold a First Class BA (Hons) in Film and Literature and an MA in Film and Television Studies both from the University of Warwick. My MA dissertation examined the intersection of star and genre systems in the classical Hollywood cinema through detailed analysis of the films of Robert Mitchum.

My research interests include Hollywood cinema; stardom and performance; and film genres (including film noir, melodrama, the western, and the horror film).

Current Research

Thesis Title: The Courtroom Trial Sequence in Hollywood Cinema, 1934-1966.
Supervisor: Professor Ed Gallafent

My thesis examines the longstanding convention of the trial sequence and its recurrence within the classical Hollywood cinema. I consider the dominant formal and narrative patterns that go into what is often considered a standardized pop cultural depiction of the courtroom trial, typically discussed in relation to the law-affirming ‘Golden Age’ legal films of the 1950s and early 1960s. I then consider the inflection of this depiction when the trial sequence is embedded within larger narratives that are primarily identifiable as belonging to other genres, specifically the film noir and melodrama. The intersection of courtroom trial convention and other generic modes produces new modes of representation and new meanings that often undermine - or even explicitly critique - a law-centred ideology and point of view.

My thesis is funded through an AHRC Doctoral Award.

Other Work

During Spring Term 2014 and Autumn Term 2014 I have assisted Dr. James MacDowell in leading seminars on the Hollywood Cinema undergraduate module. I have lectured in this module on Vincent Minnelli’s Some Came Running and 1950s Hollywood cinema.

I currently act as convenor of the film and television studies department’s Postgraduate Research Group. I have worked as a Student Ambassador for the Warwick Welcome Service and have a profile on the Warwick School of Law’s Criminal Justice Centre group. I also contribute to the film criticism site Alternate Takes.


P dot Pilkington at warwick dot ac dot uk

pilkington sirk

pilkington sirk