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Hammer Films: A case study

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Hammer Hammer began life in the 1930's as a tiny production company attached to a small British distributor called exclusive. Exclusive was mainly concerned with purchasing less prestigious American films and renting them to British cinemas. Hammers name had first appeared before the war on two or three films, like The Mystery of the Marie Celeste in 1936, but it was not until 1947 (when the post, war demand for features began to accelerate as people regained the cinema- going habit) that Hammer was reformed and began production in earnest to take to take advantage of the new situation. In may 1957, a British horror film called The Curse Of Frankenstein opened in London, it was a film that would make international stars of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Hammer Films a household word. ...read more.


Oakley Court had an historical background. It was built in 1859 by Sir Richard Hall say. In the 1950's Exclusive fell into the good fortune of establishing important distribution rights with American companies. The partnership was important because it allowed Hammer the rights to use fading but recognizable American stars in their British productions making them more accessible to the American Audiences. A staple of Hammer Films was the BBC radio serials. Hammer secured the rights to several of these productions and turned them into feature films. After the purchase of Quatermass Experiment and with some negotiation, the Quatermass series Quatermass Experiment began. The film proved to be successful encouraging the studio to look for other horror properties that could be exploited since the monster theme worked very well in Quatermass. ...read more.


A script was devised and a new make up designed, the Hammer version was faster paced and featured more shock element than the original. By the 1970's Hammer had began a series of highly charged vampire stories that were steeped in eroticism and nudity, as well as a touch of lesbianism. Hoping to inject new life into their vampire films, Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula, Lust For A Vampire, Twins Of Evil, Hammer attempted twist on the story with Vampire Circus, Captain Kronos and Vampire Hunter, hammer was to see it's last days. With To The Devil...A Daughter Hammer studios released their last film leaving a legacy of work that was often ridiculed in the press but highly supported by it's English and American Audience. Today Hammer films are regarded as a truly classic Studio and is recognised, alongside Universal Pictures, as a reigning force in the Horror and Sci-Fi genre. ...read more.

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