Chapter

BRITAIN: Meet Mr Lucifer: British Cinema Under the Spell of Tv

Graham Roberts and Heather Wallis

in European Cinemas in the Television Age

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623082
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651122 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623082.003.0002
BRITAIN: Meet Mr Lucifer: British Cinema Under the Spell of Tv

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In 1953 Ealing Studios made Meet Mr Lucifer; produced by Michael Balcon, directed by Anthony Pelissier and starring Stanley Holloway, the latter of whom appeared as Hollingsworth, an actor who is playing Lucifer in a repertory theatre pantomime. Meet Mr Lucifer's combination of contempt and fear is illustrative of the British film industry's attitude to television – a reaction notably different to that seen in post-war USA, where ‘the industry monitored developments closely and manoeuvred to get in on the ground floor of the new medium’. The big difference between the US and UK film industry responses to TV is that it took many years for the British film companies to catch on to the opportunities it presented, by which time the terms of trade could be set by the TV companies.

Keywords: British film industry; television; US film industry; film companies; TV companies

Chapter.  9000 words. 

Subjects: Film

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