Michael Balcon's close encounter with the american market, 1934–1936

John Sedgwick

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Michael Balcon is generally recognised for his stewardship of the Ealing Studios from 1939 and the portfolio of highly esteemed films which emerged over the decade 1942-52. Perhaps as a consequence of the critical preoccupation with those films, less attention has been given to his activities as Director of Production of what was Britain's largest film organisation during the 1930s: Gaumont British (G-B). Based upon archive material held by the British Film Institute, The Michael Balcon Special Collection (MBSC) and the US box-office information contained in Variety, this article sets out to redress partly this state of affairs by concentrating on the organisation's efforts, 1934-36, to become a major player in the world film industry; a rival in scale and output of the principal Hollywood studios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalHistorical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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