English Film Industry: The Post-War Era (1945-70)

Figure 1.--Here we see a a Saturday mantinee in 1957. Unlike the pre-War era, few boys are wearing caps, although we see a few school caps. One boy in front wears his school blazer. It was obviously a cold winter day. Many bof the boys are wearing heavy coats. Dufflke coats seem popular. Some boys wore longs and the boys wearing short pants wear knee socks. Several children are enjoying ice cream treats and ice lollies. Put your cursor on the image to see the rest of the audience.

Ealing Studios was without doubt the most successful British independent film company of the 1940s and 50s. Located in the London suburb where it took its name the company produced quality films from comedies to documentaries. Much of if not all of Ealing’s films were a mirror of British society. They sometimes poked fun at bureaucracy especially when it came to the lone individual standing up to the might of authority in the form of national and local government. Or they may shown the spirit of British tenacity in such films as "Scott of the Antarctic" for example. Above all, Ealing took much of the glitter away from the silver screen and brought out a no holds barred image of what the real world was all about. While this produced many important films, it apparently was not the most astute business decission. A British reader writes, "There is the thought films being the right sort that make money. The films the studio made flopped so the studio folded. Had we made a profit I would have had coffees in a high share price and we would have been able to make more pictures! No money = no films and no company." The British have a style all their own for certain types of films. A British reader, "We can't do musicals, well yes with lots of U.S techniticians and American trained Choreographers." Some of Ealing’s productions showed children in minor roles, perhaps on screen for a few seconds, but there were memorable films such as "The Magnet", "Hue and Cry", and "Mandy" in which children played a major part. Ealing Studios were bought by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1955, who then sold them to a film company in 1992, the company went bankrupt and then the studios were acquired by the National Film and Television School. Television appeared in the post-War era and by the 1950s was affectig box-office receipts. The "Children's Film Foundation" was established by Lord Rank of the Rank Organisation in 1951 to make films for children to be screened at Saturday morning matinees.


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Created: 8:59 PM 8/16/2012
Last updated: 8:59 PM 8/16/2012