Originally published in 1964, this book tells the history of the British cinematograph industry for the first time. It describes moments of splendid triumph and others of shattering failure. The mood switches from reckless optimism to demoralising pessimism, from years in which British films won the highest international awards to those when they were dismissed with scorn.
It recalls a score of productions still ranked among the world's best, and the stars whose reputation was established in them. Attention is focused on the directors, those who kept to the fore during two and three decades and those with only one major success to their name. Behind them the men are identified who strove, often to their considerable financial loss, to gain a worthy place for British films in the world’s markets.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Tough ‘Un. The Sequence of Events 1. The Inventors 2. A Showman’s Industry 3. The People’s Storyteller 4. Hepworth, Barker and Jupp 5. Europe Goes to the War and Hollywood Goes to the Pictures 6. The Black November of 1924 7. Getting to Grips with Hollywood 8. Breaking Out From Isolation 9. The Last of the Silent Years 10. The First of the ‘Talkies’ 11. The Second Phase in the ‘Thirties 12. Speculative Financing 13. The End of the Party: The Late ‘Thirties 14. Europe at War Again: America Neutral 15. The Last of the War Years 16. Melodramas, Tough and Tearful 17. Much Less than was Hoped For 18. Swept Aside in the Flood 19. The Year when Everything Went Wrong 20. On the Wrong Side of Fifty 21. Losing the Cinema Heart 22. The Uncertain Future