The historic archive from Campbeltown Picture House — one of the first purpose built cinemas in Britain which opened in — is being donated to the safe keeping of the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive. The charity that runs the cinema has carried out an extensive project in cataloguing and digitising its paper records and has agreed that their long term preservation is best secured as part of the Moving Image Archive. The Glasgow school building with its art nouveau exterior was designed as a cinema and is the oldest in Scotland that has been continually used for that purpose. Set on the banks of Campbeltown loch, it is of major architectural and historical significance. The paper archive tells the story of how cinema became established in Scotland, detailing the roles played by some of the early pioneers and the local people who backed them by becoming shareholders in the Picture House venture. The Campbeltown Picture House may never have existed had it not been for its first managing director, Frederick Rendell Burnette. Born in Dorset, he started life as a performer, being variously described as a wizard, mind-reader and conjurer.
The identity of the British industry, particularly as it relates to Hollywood , has often been the subject of debate. Its history has often been affected by attempts to compete with the American industry.
The career of the producer Alexander Korda was marked by this objective, the Rank Organisation attempted to do so in the s, and Goldcrest in the s. Numerous British-born directors, including Alfred Hitchcock and Ridley Scott ,  and performers, such as Charlie Chaplin  and Cary Grant , have achieved success primarily through their work in the United States. The first moving picture was shot in Leeds by Louis Le Prince in   and the first moving pictures developed on celluloid film were made in Hyde Park, London in by British inventor William Friese Greene ,  who patented the process in The first people to build and run a working 35 mm camera in Britain were Robert W.
Paul and Birt Acres.
Cinema dating from 1913 uk
They made the first British film Incident at Clovelly Cottage in February , shortly before falling out over the camera's patent. Soon several British film companies had opened to meet the demand for new films, such as Mitchell and Kenyon in Blackburn. Although the earliest British films were of everyday events, the early 20th century saw the appearance of narrative shorts, mainly comedies and melodramas. The early films were often melodramatic in tone, and there was a distinct preference for story lines already known to the audience, in particular, adaptations of Shakespeare plays and Dickens novels.
In Gaumont-British Picture Corp. In Ealing Studios was founded by Will Barker , becoming the oldest continuously-operating film studio in the world. In the earliest colour film in the world was made; like other films made at the time, it is of everyday events. In it was found by the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford after lying forgotten in an old tin for years. The previous title for earliest colour film, using Urban's inferior Kinemacolor process, was thought to date from The re-discovered films were made by pioneer Edward Raymond Turner from London who patented his process on 22 March In Urban formed the Charles Urban Trading Company , which produced early colour films using his patented Kinemacolor process.
This was later challenged in court by Greene, causing the company to go out of business in In the Ideal Film Company was founded in Soho, London , distributing almost films by , and producing In stage director Maurice Elvey began directing British films, becoming Britain's most prolific film director, with almost by In Elstree Studios was founded, and acquired in by German-born Ludwig Blattner , who invented a magnetic steel tape recording system that was adopted by the BBC in In the short-lived company Minerva Films was founded in London by the actor Leslie Howard also producer and director and his friend and story editor Adrian Brunel.
Some of their early films include four written by A. Milne including The Bump , starring C. The Slump of caused many British film studios to close, resulting in the passage of the Cinematograph Films Act to boost local production, requiring that cinemas show a certain percentage of British films. The act was technically a success, with audiences for British films becoming larger than the quota required, but it had the effect of creating a market for poor quality, low cost films, made to satisfy the quota.
The "quota quickies", as they became known, are often blamed by historians for holding back the development of the industry. However, some British film makers, such as Michael Powell , learnt their craft making such films. Ironically, the biggest star of the silent era, English comedian Charlie Chaplin , was Hollywood -based. Based at the former British National Studios in Elstree, the facilities original owners, including producer-director Herbert Wilcox , had run into financial difficulties.
With the advent of sound films, many foreign actors were in less demand, with English received pronunciation commonly used; for example, the voice of Czech actress Anny Ondra in Blackmail was substituted by an off-camera Joan Barry during Ondra's scenes.Fighting With My Family - Official UK Trailer - In Cinemas March 1
It was Grierson who coined the term " documentary " to describe a non-fiction film, and he produced the movement's most celebrated early films, Night Mail , written and directed by Basil Wright and Harry Watt , and incorporating the poem by W.
Auden towards the end of the short. Music halls also proved influential in comedy films of this period, and a number of popular personalities emerged, including George Formby , Gracie Fields , Jessie Matthews and Will Hay.
These stars often made several films a year, and their productions remained important for morale purposes during World War II. Many of the British films with larger budgets during the s were produced by London Films , founded by Hungarian emigre Alexander Korda. These had followed closely on from Wings of the Morning , the UK's first three-strip Technicolour feature film, made by the local offshoot of 20th Century Fox. Although some of Korda's films indulged in "unrelenting pro-Empire flag waving", those featuring Sabu turned him into "a huge international star";  "for many years" he had the highest profile of any actor of Indian origin.
Rising expenditure and over-optimistic expectations of expansion into the American market caused a financial crisis in ,  after an all-time high of films were released in Of the British production companies registered between and , only 20 were still active in Moreover, the Films Act was up for renewal. The replacement Cinematograph Films Act provided incentives, via a " quality test ", for UK companies to make fewer films, but of higher quality, and to eliminate the "quota quickies".
Influenced by world politics, it encouraged American investment and imports. One result was the creation of MGM-British , an English subsidiary of the largest American studio, which produced four films before the war, including Goodbye, Mr. The new venture was initially based at Denham Studios. Korda himself lost control of the facility in to the Rank Organisation , whose own Pinewood Studios had opened at the end of September Lauded in Britain where he was dubbed "Alfred the Great" by Picturegoer magazine, Hitchcock's reputation was beginning to develop overseas, with a The New York Times feature writer asserting; "Three unique and valuable institutions the British have that we in America have not.
Magna Carta , the Tower Bridge and Alfred Hitchcock, the greatest director of screen melodramas in the world. Humphrey Jennings began his career as a documentary film maker just before the war, in some cases working in collaboration with co-directors.
Paul Rotha and Alberto Cavalcanti were colleagues of Jennings. British films began to make use of documentary techniques; Cavalcanti joined Ealing for Went the Day Well? Many other films helped to shape the popular image of the nation at war.
By this time, Gainsborough Studios were releasing their series of critically derided but immensely popular period melodramas, including The Man in Grey and The Wicked Lady Towards the end of the s, the Rank Organisation , founded in by J. Arthur Rank , became the dominant force behind British film-making, having acquired a number of British studios and the Gaumont chain in to add to its Odeon Cinemas.
Rank's serious financial crisis in , a substantial loss and debt, resulted in the contraction of its film production.
For the moment, the industry hit new heights of creativity in the immediate post-war years. Ealing Studios financially backed by Rank began to produce their most celebrated comedies, with three of the best remembered films, Whisky Galore , Kind Hearts and Coronets and Passport to Pimlico both , being on release almost simultaneously.
Campbeltown Picture House returned to former glory
Their portmanteau horror film Dead of Night is also particularly highly regarded. During the s, the British industry began to concentrate on popular comedies and World War II dramas aimed more squarely at the domestic audience. The war films were often based on true stories and made in a similar low-key style to their wartime predecessors.
The Rank Organisation produced some comedy successes, such as Genevieve Popular comedy series included the "Doctor" series, beginning with Doctor in the House The series originally starred Dirk Bogarde , probably the British industry's most popular star of the s, though later films had Michael Craig and Leslie Phillips in leading roles.
The Carry On series began in with regular instalments appearing for the next twenty years. Ealing Studios had continued its run of successful comedies, including The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers , but the company ceased production in , after the studios had already been bought by the BBC. Less restrictive censorship towards the end of the s encouraged B-film producer Hammer Films to embark on their series of commercially successful horror films.
The studio turned out numerous sequels and variants, with English actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee being the most regular leads. Peeping Tom , a now highly regarded thriller, with horror elements, set in the contemporary period, was badly received by the critics at the time, and effectively finished the career of Michael Powell, its director.
The British New Wave film makers attempted to produce social realist films see also ' kitchen sink realism ' attempted in commercial feature films released between around and to convey narratives about a wider spectrum of people in Britain than the country's earlier films had done.
These individuals, principally Karel Reisz , Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson , were also involved in the short lived Oxford film journal Sequence and the " Free Cinema " documentary film movement. The statement of Free Cinema, the name was coined by Anderson, asserted: Sounds amplifies and comments. Perfection is not an aim. An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude. The team of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph , from an earlier generation, "probe[d] into the social issues that now confronted social stability and the establishment of the promised peacetime consensus".
Influenced by the Wolfenden report of four years earlier, which advocated the decriminalising of homosexual sexual activity, this was "the first British film to deal explicitly with homosexuality". As the s progressed, American studios returned to financially supporting British films, especially those that capitalised on the " swinging London " image propagated by Time magazine in Films like Darling , The Knack Blowup also , and later Women in Love , showed female and then male full-frontal nudity on screen in mainstream British films for the first time.
At the same time, film producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli combined sex with exotic locations, casual violence and self-referential humour in the phenomenally successful James Bond series with Sean Connery in the leading role. The first film Dr. By the time of the third film, Goldfinger , the series had become a global phenomenon, reaching its commercial peak with Thunderball the following year. The series' success led to a spy film boom with many Bond imitations.
Bond co-producer Saltzman also instigated a rival series of more realistic spy films based on the novels of Len Deighton. Michael Caine starred as bespectacled spy Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File , and two sequels in the next few years. American directors were regularly working in London throughout the decade, but several became permanent residents in the UK.
Blacklisted in America, Joseph Losey had a significant influence on British cinema in the s, particularly with his collaborations with playwright Harold Pinter and leading man Dirk Bogarde , including The Servant and Accident Strangelove and A Space Odyssey While Kubrick settled in Hertfordshire in the early s and would remain in England for the rest of his career, these two films retained a strong American influence.
Other films of this era involved prominent filmmakers from elsewhere in Europe, Repulsion and Blowup were the first English language films of the Polish director Roman Polanski and the Italian Michelangelo Antonioni respectively. Major films like Becket , Khartoum and The Charge of the Light Brigade were regularly mounted, while smaller-scale films, including Accident , were big critical successes. Four of the decade's Academy Award winners for best picture were British productions, including six Oscars for the film musical Oliver!
American studios cut back on British productions, and in many cases withdrew from financing them altogether. Films financed by American interests were still being made, including Billy Wilder 's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes , but for a time funds became hard to come by.
The British horror film cycle associated with Hammer Film Productions, Amicus and Tigon drew to a close, despite attempts by Hammer to spice up the formula with added nudity and gore. Although some attempts were made to broaden the range of British horror films, such as with The Wicker Man , these films made little impact at the box office, In , British Lion, who produced The Wicker Man , were finally absorbed into the film division of EMI , who had taken over ABPC in Some British producers, including Hammer, turned to television for inspiration, and big screen versions of popular sitcoms like On the Buses and Steptoe and Son proved successful with domestic audiences, the former had greater domestic box office returns in its year than the Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever and in , an established British actor Roger Moore was cast as Bond in , Live and Let Die , it was a commercial success and Moore would continue the role for the next 12 years.
Low-budget British sex comedies included the Confessions of More elevated comedy films came from the Monty Python team, also from television. Their two most successful films were Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python's Life of Brian , the latter a major commercial success, probably at least in part due to the controversy at the time surrounding its subject.
Some American productions did return to the major British studios in —79, including the original Star Wars at Elstree Studios , Superman at Pinewood , and Alien at Shepperton. Successful adaptations were made in the decade of the Agatha Christie novels Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile The entry of Lew Grade 's company ITC into film production in the latter half of the decade brought only a few box office successes and an unsustainable number of failures. The concession had made it possible for an overseas based film company to write off a large amount of its production costs by filming in the UK — this was what attracted a succession of big-budget American productions to British studios in the s.
Handmade also bought and released the gangster drama The Long Good Friday , produced by a Lew Grade subsidiary, after its original backers became cautious. Goldcrest producer David Puttnam has been described as "the nearest thing to a mogul that British cinema has had in the last quarter of the 20th century. Some of the talent backed by Puttnam — Hugh Hudson , Ridley Scott , Alan Parker , and Adrian Lyne — had shot commercials; Puttnam himself had begun his career in the advertising industry.
It prompted a cycle of period films — some with a large budget for a British film, such as David Lean 's final film A Passage to India , alongside the lower-budget Merchant Ivory adaptations of the works of E.
Forster , such as A Room with a View But further attempts to make 'big' productions for the US market ended in failure, with Goldcrest losing its independence after Revolution and Absolute Beginners were commercial and critical flops. Mainly outside the commercial sector, film makers from the new commonwealth countries had begun to emerge during the s.
Many of these films were assisted by the newly formed Channel 4 , which had an official remit to provide for "minority audiences. Dealing with racial and gay issues, it was developed from Hanif Kureishi 's first film script. With the involvement of Channel 4 in film production, talents from television moved into feature films with Stephen Frears My Beautiful Laundrette and Mike Newell with Dance with a Stranger Channel Four also became a major sponsor of the British Film Institute's Production Board, which backed three of Britain's most critically acclaimed filmmakers: Stephen Woolley 's company Palace Pictures also produced some successful films, including Neil Jordan 's The Company of Wolves and Mona Lisa , before collapsing amid a series of unsuccessful films.
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