British Film

Camera Photography Lens Equipment Digital

In the 1930s and’40s there were lots of studios turning out movies to satisfy the desire for the films. Regrettably, many have gone along with the sites used for different functions, such as housing estates. Elstree was the home to some of Studios. They comprised the Gate Studios, now long gone. Still there, are what was the Associated British Picture Corporation Studios, now only called Elstree Studios. Many big films are made there, including Star Wars. A good deal of TV material is currently shot there. Also standing across the street from Elstree Studios is the older ATV Studios, which years before was the Rock Studios, run by American Joe Rock. These are now used by the BBC for programs such as Eastenders and Casualty. There was a sizable MGM Studio at nearby Boehamwood, where lots of great British pictures were taken. Margaret Rutherford at the Miss Marple movies were photographed there. This was called MGM British Studios.

In Ealing in West London there’s still the Studio which is famed for several George Formby, Gracie Fields movies, in addition to the famed forties and fifties comedies, like the Lavender Hill Mob and a few serious dramas, such as It Never Rains on Sunday and The Cruel Sea. Lots of the comedies were taken by the late Douglas Slocombe OBE. Ealing productions were subsequently made at MGM for about two decades, still bearing the Ealing name, before Ealing was wound up. Among the Ealing films made at MGM was The Man in the Sky, starring British actor Jack Hawkins. Ealing Studios was sold from the BBC and is still used for productions in addition to film training. Bray Studios was home to the famed Hammer Films, many of these being at the horror genre and starring the late British actor Peter Cushing. At one stage they were possessed by the Samuelson group. They were famous for equipment hire. New York City Animal Control which functioned from 1936-1952 was founded by Alexander Korda. There’s still Pinewood and Shepperton turning out excellent material. Pinewood is home to the James Bond films and the Carry On films were shot there. There was a little Studio called Nettlefold at Walton Upon Thames, turning out low budget stuff, including television productions like Robin Hood, starring the late British actor Richard Greene.

In Merton Park they filmed the Edgar Lustgarten Scotland Yard movies as well as the Edgar Wallace shorts. This was shot with a gramophone turntable. This was the Gaumont British Studios, where Alfred Hitchcock shot some of The Thirty Nine Steps. Some Studios have been completely demolished. These include MGM, which is now a housing estate and Lime Grove.

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