Jump to: navigation, search

Dundee Courier (21/Jan/1937) - G.B. May Quit International Market



G.B. May Quit International Market

The British film production industry is threatened with collapse.

That is the opinion of Mr Isidore Ostrer, president of Gaumont-British, who, with his brother, Mr Maurice Ostrer, landed at Southampton yesterday from America.

Regarding the position of his firm, Mr Isidore Ostrer said — "Unless we can get a bigger American revenue we must discontinue the production of big pictures for the international market."

Asked when a decision might be reached, Mr Ostrer said — "Probably about the end of March."


"American films," he said, "take between seven and ten million pounds from this country every year. British producers receive from America a very small sum, probably not more than £200,000.

"The British Government meant well when it passed the Quota Act to compel British cinemas to take a substantial part of their programmes from British sources. But it was not realised that to produce profitably there must be a big revenue from America.

"That is why most of the small producers are going out of the business owing to losses, and the big concerns will not be foolish enough to continue unless the American market is assured.


"If the British Government wish to put the British film industry on a sound footing they must compel the Americans to spend a reasonable part of the revenues they take from this country in the purchase of British films. There is no other way."

Mr Ostrer said that Gaumont-British had been pioneers, and had made their contribution towards putting British production on the picture map of the world, but they thought they had done enough now. In order to penetrate the American markets Gaumont-British set up their own organisation in America, but there had been considerable resistance experienced in the American market, and roughly only about four or five million dollars spread over a period of a little more than three years had been received.

The Gaumont-British Company, it was stated last night, have a complete programme of pictures arranged for 1937, including contracts with George Arliss, Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Nova Pilbeam, Alfred Hitchcock, and others. It was also stated that no change in the control of the company has been made or is likely to be made.