British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Challenge to Hollywood

Series

Series Name
The March of Time 11th Year

Issue

Issue No.
5
Date Released
1945
Length of issue (in feet)
1611
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Challenge to Hollywood

Story

Story No. within this Issue
1 / 1
Summary
The March of Time synopsis: As in England, war time has brought to the U.S. cinemas a greater wave of prosperity than has ever before been experienced, but in spite of this unprecedented boom Hollywood’s executives are giving serious consideration to the future of their lucrative foreign markets, particularly Britain, which has always accounted for an important part of the industry’s income.

In Britain, U.S. films have long dominated the field, and even during the toughest years of wars, says the film, the British public insisted on American films and paid out millions of pounds a year for them. But today, with Britain struggling to restore her damaged economy and obtain a more favourable balance of foreign trade, the millions being paid out to Hollywood have become a Parliamentary issue. The film shows the progress that was made in British production before the war, with box-office successes like "Henry the Eighth" and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" which gave a new impetus to the British film industry. But before the industry had reached its full stride, war intervened and for six long years many British studios were tied up in war production. In spite of wartime difficulties, some feature productions continued and several of Britain’s most distinguished pictures were made, such as "In Which We Serve" and the notable achievements of Britain’s documentary films. But to the financial and business development of the industry the great new fact was the emergence during the war of J. Arthur Rank, whose wide interests have allowed him to conclude far-reaching agreements which promise British films a new position in the U.S. market, thus helping to stem the one-way flow of money from Britain to the United States.

"Challenge to Hollywood" boasts more top-flight British stars than ever appeared in a single picture. In its star-studded cast are such favourites as Anna Neagle and Margaret Lockwood, already well known in the United States; Ann Todd and James Mason, eagerly sought after by U.S. producers; Rex Harrison and John Mills. Behind-the-scenes shots of current British films in production show at work such popular artists as George Formby, Raymond Massey, Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger, Anne Crawford, Michael Redgrave, Valerie Hobson, Richard Greene, Googie Withers, Mervyn Johns, Eric Portman, Dulcie Gray, Barbara Mullen and Bobby Howes, while stars popular both sides of the Atlantic, such as Gracie Fields, Ida Lupino, Ronald Colman, Nigel Bruce and C. Aubrey Smoth, are shown in other intimate scenes. That on their own merit British stars and films can win American audiences, British producers are today confident. Britain, says the March of Time, has available an abundance of creative talent - producers, directors, writers and actors, who, it is felt, will stand up well against the best Hollywood has to offer.
Researcher Comments
This story was included in Vol.12 No.5 of the US edition.
Keywords
Cinema
Written sources
The March of Time Promotional Material   Lobby Card, Used for synopsis
Credits:
Production Co.
Time Inc.

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