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Nightmare on Elstree Studios 2005

Night One : Elstree Film & TV Studios Night Two : Waggon & Horses, Allum Hall, Hollybush Pub Night Three : Gate Studios History Elstree Film Studios has a long and colourful history. The present facilities are built on land originally purchased in 1925, to locate a 'silent' studio constructed one year later. At that time, ALFRED HITCHCOCK was engaged as a staff director and was responsible for a number of films, including the first British talkie, Blackmail. During the pre-war years, the Studios undertook pioneering work in colour films and produced the first French talkie and the first multi-lingual film. It launched a number of pre-war movie acting careers including those of CHARLES LAUGHTON, RAY MILLAND, STEWART GRANGER, LAURENCE OLIVIER, ROBERT NEWTON, ANNA NEAGLE, VIVIEN LEIGH and MAUREEN O'HARA. During 1939, the original Studio closed and was commandeered for 'wartime purposes'. A few years later, Warner Bros. Purchased a 25share in the parent company, ABPC, and the Studio was largely rebuilt before re-opening in 1948. The first major post-war movies were Stage Fright with MARLENE DIETRICH and The Hasty Retreat starring RONALD REAGAN. Post war careers launched at Elstree include RICHARD HARRIS, AUDREY HEPBURN, LAURENCE HARVEY and RICHARD TODD. The 1950's and 60's saw productions such as Moby Dick with GREGORY PECK, Kings Rhapsody with ERROL FLYNN, The Dam Busters, Look Back In Anger and hit TV series such as The Avengers and The Saint. The stars GARY COOPER, JEFF CHANDLER and TALLULAH BANKHEAD were to make their last movies at Elstree. Between 1959 and 1975 Hammer Films produced 39 films here starring such actresses as STEPHANIE BEACHAM, MARSHA HUNT and KATE O'MARA. Films included the comedies On The Buses and Man About The House, the ambitious The Lost Continent as well as the chiller thrillers for which the company is notorious, such as 'The Horror of Frankenstein, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb and The Vampire Lovers. Elstree was b

English

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