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Successive British governments have introduced measures to protect the industry from overseas competition and stimulate British production, all with little long-term success. In fact, a failure to understand the nature of the industry has often resulted in legislation that has hampered rather than supported film-makers. Over the years there have been isolated triumphs abroad, from Korda's The Private Life of Henry VIII onwards, but the lack of British films has proved a major financial stumbling block.
In this book, the authors discuss the development of the industry from the beginning to the end of the 20th century and highlight the lessons that can be learned for financing British feature films. The century ended with a Labour Government appearing to have a more sympathetic attitude to British film-makers and, combined with the establishment of the Film Council, there were grounds for optimism. Let us hope that it is not 'one more new botched beginning.'
The Early Years-1896-1914
The First World War to the Talkies
The Talkies to 1939
The Second World War: 1939-45
The Post-War Years 1945-51
Lessons From the Twentieth Century