General Film Distributors
General Film Distributors known as J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors and Rank Film Distributors Ltd. was a British film distribution company based in London. It was active between 1935 and 1996, from 1937 it was part of the Rank Organisation. General Film Distributors was created in 1935 by the British film distributor C. M. Woolf after he had resigned from Gaumont British and closed his distribution company Woolf & Freedman Film Service. In 1936, J. Arthur Rank and the paper magnate Lord Portal, convinced him to make it a daughter company to their General Cinema Finance Corporation, which just had acquired the British distribution rights for all Universal Pictures titles. One year it became the cornerstone in The Rank Organisation. General Film Distributors kept its own name within the Rank Organisation until 1955, when it was renamed J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors, which in turn was renamed Rank Film Distributors Ltd. in 1957. Rank Film Distributors closed, it was C. M. Woolf's secretary who devised the man-with-a-gong trademark, adopted by the Rank Organisation when it was founded in 1937.
During the 20 years General Film Distributors had its original name, the company distributed over 450 mainstream films. A British DVD distributor, active since 2005, is unrelated to this company. Francis Donald Klingender, Stuart Legg: Money Behind the Screen, pages 37-41 Retrieved 2012-10-31
Sidney "Sid" James was a British character and comic actor from South Africa. Appearing in British films from 1947, he was cast in numerous small and supporting roles into the 1950s, his profile was raised as Tony Hancock's co-star in Hancock's Half Hour, first in the radio series and when it was adapted for television and ran from 1954 to 1961. Afterwards, he became known as a regular performer in the Carry On films, appearing in nineteen films of the series, with the top billing role in 17. Meanwhile, his starring roles in television sitcoms continued for the rest of his life, he starred alongside Diana Coupland in the 1970s sitcom Bless This House until his death in 1976. Remembered for a lascivious persona in the Carry On films, with the Snopes website describing him as "the grand old man of dirty laughter", he became known for his amiability in his television work. Bruce Forsyth described him as "a natural at being natural". On 26 April 1976, while touring in The Mating Season, James suffered a heart attack while performing on stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.
Some, including comedian Les Dawson, claim to have seen the ghost of James at the theatre, subsequently refused to appear at the theatre again. James was born Solomon Joel Cohen on 8 May 1913, to Jewish parents in South Africa changing his name to Sidney Joel Cohen, Sidney James, his family lived on Hancock Street in Johannesburg. Upon moving to the UK in life, he claimed various previous occupations, including diamond cutter, dance tutor and boxer, it was at a hairdressing salon in Orange Free State, that he met his first wife. He married Berthe Sadie Delmont, known as Toots, on 12 August 1936 and they had a daughter, born in 1937, his father-in-law, Joseph Delmont, a Johannesburg businessman, bought a hairdressing salon for James, but within a year he announced that he wanted to become an actor and joined the Johannesburg Repertory Players. Through this group, he gained work with the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Toots divorced him in 1940. During the Second World War, he served as a lieutenant in an entertainment unit of the South African Army, subsequently took up acting as a career.
He moved to Britain after the war, financed by his service gratuity. According to rumour, Sid had an affair with the daughter of an important member of Johannesburg society, he worked in repertory before being spotted for the nascent British post-war film industry. James made his first credited film appearances in Black Memory, both crime dramas, he played the alcoholic hero's barman in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Small Back Room. His first major comedy role was in The Lavender Hill Mob: with Alfie Bass, he made up the bullion robbery gang headed by Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway. In the same year, he appeared in Lady Godiva Rides Again and The Galloping Major. In 1953, he appeared as Harry Hawkins in The Titfield Thunderbolt, had a major, starring role in The Wedding of Lilli Marlene. In 1956, he appeared in Trapeze as Harry the snake charmer, a circus film, one of the most successful films of its year, he played Master Henry in "Outlaw Money", an episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood.
He had a supporting part as a TV advertisement producer in Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York, a non-comic supporting role as a journalist in the science-fiction film Quatermass 2, he performed in Hell Drivers, a film with Stanley Baker. The next year, James starred with Miriam Karlin in East End, West End by Wolf Mankowitz, a half-hour comedy series for the ITV company Associated Rediffusion. Set within the Jewish community of London's East End, the series of six episodes was transmitted in February and March 1958, but plans for further episodes were abandoned after a disappointing response. For a while though, it had looked as if his commitment elsewhere might end his work with Tony Hancock, one of the most popular television comedians of the time. In 1954, he had begun working with Tony Hancock in his BBC Radio series Hancock's Half Hour. Having seen him in The Lavender Hill Mob, it was the idea of Hancock's writers, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, to cast James, he played a character with his own name, a petty criminal and would manage to con Hancock in some way, although the character ceased to be Hancock's adversary.
With the exception of James, the other regular cast members of the radio series were dropped when the series made the transition to television. His part in the show now increased and many viewers came to think of Hancock and James as a double act. Feeling the format had become exhausted, Hancock decided to end his professional relationship with James at the end of the sixth television series in 1960. Although the two men remained friends, James was upset at his colleague's decision; the experience led to a shift away from the kind of roles. He remained the lovable rogue but was keen to steer clear of criminal characters - in 1960 he turned down the part of Fagin in the original West End staging of Oliver! for that reason. Galton and Simpson continued to write for both James and Hancock for a while, the Sidney Balmoral James character resurfaced in the Citizen James series. Sid James was now taking the lead role in his television work. Taxi! was
Seth Holt was a British film director and editor. His films are characterized by their tense atmosphere and suspense, as well as their striking visual style. In the 1960s, Movie magazine championed Holt as one of the finest talents working in the British film industry, although his output was notably sparse. Holt was educated at Blackheath School in London, he trained as an actor, spent a term at RADA in 1940 before acting in repertory in Liverpool and Bideford in Devon working with Paul Scofield at the latter venue. His sister, Joan Holt, was married to film director Robert Hamer from the mid-1930a to the mid-1950s. In 1942 he joined Strand, as assistant editor, he worked at Ealing Studios at the recommendation of Hamer. He was an editing assistant on films such as Champagne Charlie, The Return of the Vikings, Dead of Night, The Captive Heart and Cry, Scott of the Antarctic, Kind Hearts and Coronets and Passport to Pimlico. Holt received his first credit as editor on The Spider and the Fly, made for Mayflower Pictures by Robert Hamer.
Promoted to editor at Ealing, he cut six films for the studio: Dance Hall and The Lavender Hill Mob, directed by Charles Crichton, His Excellency for Hamer, Mandy for Alexander Mackendrick, The Titfield Thunderbolt and The Love Lottery for Crichton. In November 1954, Holt was promoted to producer at Ealing, he worked on The Ladykillers with Mackendrick and The Man in the Sky for Crichton. Holt graduated to direction with Ealing's penultimate production, Nowhere to Go, which he intended to be "the least Ealing film made", co-writing the script with Kenneth Tynan who had appointed as an Ealing script editor. After Ealing, Holt returned to editing on The Battle of the Sexes and wrote the script for a short film, Jessy. In the Spring 1959 issue of Sight & Sound, he indicated a wish to make Gratz based on a book by J. P. Donleavy but that he just wanted to practice his craft. Holt was responsible for saving Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Entertainer, his last editing credits. In this period, he directed episodes of the Danger Man television series for its initial run which were broadcast in 1960 and 1961.
His second feature as director was Taste of Fear for Hammer Films, a successful thriller written by Jimmy Sangster and produced by Michael Carreras. It was followed by Station Six-Sahara, a British-German film shot on location in Libya. British film critic Dilys Powell described it as "true cinema", he did episodes of Espionage. Holt returned to Hammer starring Bette Davis, it received strong reviews. Pauline Kael called Holt's direction "excellent". Bette Davis, once called Holt "the most ruthless director I've worked with outside of William Wyler". Holt was contracted to make Danger: Diabolik in Italy with Gilbert Roland; however filming was abandoned after the producer saw Holt was fired. The film was reactivated with another director, Mario Bava. By the mid-1960s, he was involved in developing the script for what became if..... Holt was to direct Crusaders, the project which became if.... But his health was in such crisis that he passed the project to Lindsay Anderson, who extensively reworked the script with David Sherwin.
Holt directed episodes of Court Martial made a James Bond-style thriller Danger Route. Holt was ill during filming. Holt started directing a film about Monsieur Lecoq with Julie Newmar and Zero Mostel but it too was abandoned, he produced a documentary about whaling in Barbed Water. In 1970 the National Film Theatre screened a season of his films. Hammer Films hired Holt to direct Blood from the Mummy's Tomb. "I haven't been directing because I haven't been offered anything to direct," he said at the time. He said he had been developing scripts about the anarchist Bakunin as well as an adaptation of Lady Into a Fox, he died during the making of the film and producer Michael Carreras had to take over. His death is believed to have been alcohol related. TCM's Ben Mankiewicz says it received better reviews than Hammer's other Mummy movies, which suffered from "The curse of the Mummy Movie," and he gave credit to Holt for the improvement. "He took the wrappings off."In 1968, Holt served as executive producer on Adrian Walker's documentary Barbed Water, about the whalers of Faial in the Azores.
According to one obituary his "unfulfilled career was an indictment of the British film industry". Champagne Charlie - assistant editor The Return of the Vikings - assistant editor Dead of Night - second assistant editor The Captive Heart - second assistant editor Hue and Cry - assistant editor Frieda - assembly cutter Scott of the Antarctic - assembly cutter Kind Hearts and Coronets - assembly cutter A Run for Your Money - assistant editor The Spider and the Fly - editor Dance Hall - editor The Lavender Hill Mob - editor His Excellency - editor Crash of Silence aka Mandy - editor The Titfield Thunderbolt - editor The Love Lottery - editor Touch and Go - associate producer The Ladykillers - associate producer Decision Against Time - associate producer Nowhere to Go - director, writer Jessy - writer The Battle of the Sexes - editor Saturday Night and Sunday Morning - editor Danger Man - episodes include "The Key", "The Sis
The Talyllyn Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway in Wales running for 7.25 miles from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1865 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage. Despite severe under-investment, the line remained open, in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers. Since preservation, the railway has operated as a tourist attraction, expanding its rolling stock through acquisition and an engineering programme to build new locomotives and carriages. In 1976, an extension was opened along the former mineral line from Abergynolwyn to the new station at Nant Gwernol. In 2001, the preservation society celebrated its 50th anniversary, in 2005 a major rebuilding and extension of Tywyn Wharf station took place, including a much-expanded facility for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
The fictional Skarloey Railway, which formed part of The Railway Series of children's books by The Rev. W. Awdry, was based on the Talyllyn Railway; the preservation of the line inspired the Ealing Comedy film The Titfield Thunderbolt. The origin of the railway's name is uncertain: it may refer to the parish of Tal-y-llyn, which contains its eastern terminus, or it may come from Tal-y-llyn, a large glacial ribbon lake at the foot of Cadair Idris 3 miles further east; the 2 ft 3 in gauge of the track is unusual, was shared by only three other public railways in the United Kingdom: the Corris Railway and the Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway both a few miles from the Talyllyn, the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway in Scotland. Slate quarrying began in the hills above Tywyn in the 1830s, but although many small quarries and test levels were established, only one major quarry was developed in the region, at Bryn Eglwys, 7 miles north east of the town. Underground working began in the early 1840s, by 1847 the quarry was being worked by local landowner John Pughe.
The finished slates were sent by packhorse to the wharf at Pennal, transferred to boats for a river trip to Aberdyfi, finally loaded into seagoing vessels, a complex and expensive transportation arrangement which limited the quarry's output. In 1861 the outbreak of the American Civil War cut off supplies of cotton to the mills of the north west of England and as a result a number of prosperous mill owners looked for new business opportunities to diversify their interests. One such owner was William McConnel of Lancashire who, in 1859, had purchased Hengwrt Hall near Dolgellau, north of Tywyn. In January 1864, McConnel formed the Aberdovey Slate Company, which leased the land including Bryn Eglwys from the landowner, Lewis Morris of Machynlleth. McConnel set about improving Bryn Eglwys to increase its output, he focused on providing rail transport for the isolated quarry, in April 1864 he reached agreement with local landowners to purchase the land necessary to build a railway towards Tywyn and onwards to the port of Aberdyfi.
Construction was well underway by July 1864. The standard gauge Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway was expanding from its base at Machynlleth, in 1863 had reached Tywyn, so McConnel decided to build his line from the quarry to Tywyn, as the nearest point where slate could be transferred to the standard gauge railway; this was despite the line's initial isolation from the rest of the system because of difficulties in bridging the estuary of the Afon Dyfi to the south. An Act of Parliament allowing the company to operate passenger trains as a public railway was given Royal Assent on 5 July 1865, the company appointed James Swinton Spooner as engineer for the construction, he laid out plans for a straight line climbing from Tywyn to the quarry and work got underway. By September 1866 construction had advanced to the point where the Board of Trade inspector Captain Henry Tyler could make an initial inspection and report. Tyler's report led to an unusual alteration, as it was discovered that the internal width of the overbridges was only 9 ft 1 in, but the railway's passenger carriages were 5 ft 3.5 in wide, leaving only 1 ft 10 3⁄4 in clearance on either side, 7 3⁄4 in less than the minimum required clearance of 2 ft 6 in.
To alleviate this problem, McConnel proposed that the doors on one side of each carriage be permanently barred and the track slewed off-centre beneath the bridges to allow adequate clearance at least on the side with doors, which would allow passengers to get out of the carriages if the train stopped underneath a bridge. Tyler agreed to this arrangement, to this day all carriages on the Talyllyn have doors on one side only, an unusual feature for a public railway, shared with the neighbouring Corris Railway. Tyler required that improvements be made to the railway's first two steam locomotives, as locomotive No. 1 suffered from excessive "vertical motion" and No. 2 was said to suffer from "horizontal oscillation". No. 1 was returned to its manufacturer where a set of trailing wheels was added to reduce the rear overhang, the springs on No. 2 were adjusted and the crank pins shortened to reduce its oscillation. Tyler did not approve the opening until his listed improvements were completed, although slate trains and unofficial passenger trains were running in 1865.
During November of that 1866, Tyler returned to Tywyn and re-inspected the railway following which, subject to some further minor improvements, he approved its fo
Georges Auric was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was considered one of Les Six, a group of artists informally associated with Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie. Before he turned 20 he had orchestrated and written incidental music for several ballets and stage productions, he had a distinguished career as a film composer. Georges Auric began his musical career at a young age, performing a piano recital at the Société musicale indépendante at the age of 12. Several songs that he had written were performed in the following year by Société Nationale de Musique. Along with his early successes professionally, Auric studied music at the Paris Conservatoire, as well as composition with Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum de Paris and Albert Roussel. Having gained recognition as a child prodigy both in composition and piano performance, he became a protégé of Erik Satie during the following decade. During the 1910s and 20s, he was a significant contributor of avant-garde music in Paris and was influenced by Cocteau and the other composers of Les Six.
Auric's early compositions were marked by a reaction against the musical establishment and the use of referential material. Because of this and his association with Cocteau and Satie, Auric was grouped into Les Six by music critic Henri Collet, was friends with the artist Jean Hugo, his participation led to writing settings of poetry and other texts as musicals. Along with the other five composers, he contributed a piece to L'Album des Six. In 1921, Cocteau asked him to write the music for his ballet, Les Mariés de la tour Eiffel, he found himself short of time, so he asked his fellow composers of Les Six to contribute some music. All except Louis Durey agreed. During this time, he wrote his one-act opera Sous le masque, it was in 1927 that he contributed the Rondeau for the children's ballet L'Éventail de Jeanne, a collaboration between ten French composers. In 1952 he participated in yet another collaboration, the set of orchestral variations La Guirlande de Campra. Les Six, though an informal and short-lived group, became known for its reaction against the musical establishment of the time and the promotion of absurdism and satire.
The music of these composers, including Auric, represented the specific cultural scene of Paris at the time and rejected the international styles brought by Russian and German music, as well as the symbolism of Debussy. Auric's development as a populist composer was prefigured by many of the techniques and ideals of Les Six the use of popular music and situations. Music of the circus or the dance hall played a significant role in the music of Les Six in their actual collaborations. However, Les Six soon drew apart, with others taking different approaches to their art. Following his early successes as an avant-garde composer, Auric went through a transitional period during the 1930s, he began writing for film in 1930 and composed the music for A Nous, la Liberté! in 1931, well received. The film itself was criticized for supposed communist or anarchist themes, but there was general approval of Auric's score for the film. While he was beginning a successful career as a film composer, his music went through a period of stagnation and change.
His Piano Sonata was poorly received and was followed by a period of five years in which he wrote little, including his first three film scores. His association with Cocteau continued through this period with his composition of the score to Cocteau's Le Sang d'un poète. However, he abandoned the elitist and referential attitudes of his earlier years by 1935 in favour of a populist approach, he became associated with leftist groups and publications, including the Association des Ecrivains et des Artistes Révolutionnaires, the Maison de la Culture, the Fédération Musicale Populaire. He adopted four strategies to composing; the films that Auric chose to score in his career as a film composer were influenced by these new-found beliefs, as well as by old associations. He collaborated with Jean Cocteau, his longtime associate on eleven films, he composed music for a large number of films over the years, including films produced in France and America. Among his most popular scores is the score for Moulin Rouge.
The song from that movie, "Where Is Your Heart?", became popular. In 1962, he gave up writing for motion pictures when he became director of the Opéra National de Paris and chairman of SACEM, the French Performing Rights Society. Auric continued to write classical chamber music for winds, right up to his death. Music criticism was another major facet of Auric's career, his criticism was focused on promoting Cocteau, known as esprit nouveau. His criticism focused on the perceived pretentiousness of Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, as well as the music of those who followed their styles. Cocteau, Les Six, Auric found the music of those composers to be divorced from reality and instead preferred music, grounded in populism. While Auric criticized Satie in the 1920s for joining the French Communist Party, he became associated with several leftist groups and contributed to the communist newspapers Marianne and Paris-Soir in the 1930s; the Association des Ecrivains et des Artistes Révolutionnaires was dedicated to bri
Michael Trubshawe was a British actor and former officer in the Highland Light Infantry Regiment of the British Army. Trubshawe was close friends with fellow British actor David Niven, serving with him at Malta and Dover, he was best man for both of Niven's weddings, is referred to in Niven's memoirs The Moon's a Balloon, where Niven refers to finding out he would be working with him in The Guns of Navarone as'A lovely bonus for me.' Michael Trubshawe on IMDb
Oxted is a town and civil parish in the Tandridge district of Surrey, England, at the foot of the North Downs. It is 9 miles south south-east of Croydon in Greater London, 8.5 miles west of Sevenoaks in Kent, 9 miles north of East Grinstead in West Sussex. Oxted is a commuter town with a railway station, with direct train services to London and has the district council offices, its main developed area is contiguous with the village of Limpsfield. Six intermittent headwaters of the River Eden unite in the occasional market town including its furthest source, east of Titsey Place; the Eden feeds into the Medway. Only the southern slope of the North Downs is steep and its towns and farmland form the Vale of Holmesdale, a series of headwaters across Surrey and Kent to separate rivers; the settlements of Hurst Green and Holland within the civil parish to the south, including a public house named after Oxted, are continuous but wholly residential areas. The town lay within the Anglo-Saxon Tandridge hundred.
Oxted appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Acstede, meaning'Place where oaks grew'. It was held by Eustace II of Boulogne, its Domesday assets were: 5 hides. It rendered £ 2d from a house in Southwark to its feudal overlords per year. Three mills are mentioned in the inquisition on Roland of Oxted, 1291–2. To a greater or lesser extent these were alienated from the main manor, which had become one of four, before 1689, when they were in the possession of Thomas Causton. In 1712 only one is mentioned as appertaining to the manor; the five manors were: Oxted, Barrow Green, Bursted/Bearsted, Broadham and Foyle. The history of the first suggests wealthy tranche of the parish and is instructive as to social history. Margaret died in 1460, leaving no children and her husband held the manor until his death in 1485, when it passed to Anne, only child and heir of Thomas Cobham, who had married Sir Edward Burgh, she died in 1526, her husband, who'became distracted of memorie,' died two years leaving a son and heir Thomas, afterwards created the Lord Burgh.
The original village of Oxted is a small village centred on a short high street with four pubs just off the A25. Oxted's oldest church which still provides services, St Mary's, was built in a field, upstream from and north-east of the medieval heart of Oxted, near Master Park and the railway station; the Grade I stands on a conspicuous mound. With the arrival of the railway in 1884 Oxted boomed in line with London's trade growth around its station, north-east of Old Oxted, new buildings created "New Oxted"; these new buildings were built in the Tudor style with stucco frontages. All Saints Catholic Church was built in 1913–1928 designed by Arts & Crafts architect James L. Williams; the United Reformed Church's building followed in 1935, listed for its coloured glass and Byzantine design by architect Frederick Lawrence. In 2011 The Daily Telegraph listed Oxted as the twentieth richest town in Britain. There is one representative on Surrey County Council, conservative Nick Skellett CBE. There are six representatives on Tandridge District Council with much of Oxted South being Hurst Green: There is a parish council with 11 members.
The Greenwich Meridian runs through Oxted. The parish encompasses a long divide between two ranges of hills, reaching up to the escarpments of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge, itself completely eroded at Hurst Green within the parish due to the action of the multiple headwaters of the River Eden, Kent; the north of the parish is within the Vale of Holmesdale, drained by four, unconnected rivers. A nearby village is Tandridge, to the southwest. Limpsfield, to the east, is contiguous with Oxted. Godstone is to Crowhurst, Surrey to the south. Woldingham on the North Downs is to the north; the average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average, apartments was 22.6%. The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings. Oxted is one of the few Surrey towns to retain its town brass band, Oxted Band, a fixture within the town since 1901.
The town became the administrative town of the Tandridge District when it was established in 1974. Oxted is host to a charity pram race held annually, it was started in 1977 by Elsie Hallson, who ran it for nearly 20 years before retiring. Entrants wear fancy dress and must push a pram around the two-thirds of a mile course, stopping at each of the seven licensed premises on the way to quaff a drink as as they can; the race ends in Old Oxted high street where the road is closed for the evening and a street party is held. The park hosts annual events such as that run by the local cricket club; every year there is the Oxted Beer Festival. Oxted s