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Dr Colin Shindler

Dr  Colin Shindler

American and British film and cultural history


Born in Manchester, Colin Shindler has maintained an active interest in twentieth century American and British social and cultural history whilst pursuing a wide-ranging career as a writer and producer in television, radio and motion pictures, and as an author of books and journalism for thirty years. He graduated with a degree in History from Cambridge and stayed on to complete his Ph.D thesis on Hollywood and the Great Depression later published by Routledge as Hollywood in Crisis 1929-41 (1996). His other monograph on film and American history was Hollywood Goes to War: Films & American Society 1939-52. In addition, he has been lecturing and teaching undergraduates at Cambridge on films and American history since 1998 and now lectures on the M.Phil course in screen media. He is best known as the screenwriter of the movie Buster starring Phil Collins and Julie Walters, the producer of Lovejoy starring Ian McShane and the author of the childhood memoir Manchester United Ruined My Life.

In November 2010 he wrote and presented the Archive on Four programme on Sport and the Movies for BBC Radio Four and in 2011 appeared on television programmes as diverse as The Bert Trautmann Story and Wogan on Wodehouse.  In 2012 he published the second volume of his autobiography Manchester City Ruined My Life and National Service, a social history of conscription between 1946 and 1962. In 2013 his full length play Rumours, about Private Eye and the Macmillan government at the time of the Profumo Affair, was podcasted as BBC Radio Drama of the Week.  His biography of R.W. Barber, opening batsman for Cambridge University, Lancashire, Warwickshire and England, The Professional Amateur, was longlisted for the MCC Book of the Year in 2015.  His narrative of post war British football and social history, Four Lions, was published in the summer of 2016 just before the finals of European Championship. He is now at work on a new novel as well as a book detailing the nature of the relationship between the BBC and its audiences titled Dear Auntie.

Research Supervision

Part II dissertations using film history

M.Phil in Screen Media & Culture


Part I

Paper 24 Hollywood & American Society

Themes & Sources: Film & History

Screen Media & Culture M.Phil course organised by MML

Other Professional Activities

Author, screenwriter, television drama producer, radio playwright and broadcaster


  • American and British film and cultural history

Key Publications

Hollywood Goes To War 1979

Hollywood in Crisis 1996

Manchester United Ruined My Life 1998

Other Publications

High on A Cliff 1999

Fathers, Sons & Football 2001

First Love, Second Chance 2002

George Best & 21 Others 2004

Garbo & Gilbert in Love 2005

The Worst of Friends 2009

National Service 2012

Manchester City Ruined My Life 2012

The Professional Amateur  2015

Four Lions 2016