Rungs on a Ladder: Hammer Films Seen Through a Soft Gauze by Christopher Neame

By Christopher Neame

Rungs on a Ladder seems at a part of the motion picture from a different standpoint. Christopher Neame, son of director Ronald, begun his occupation (in the early Nineteen Sixties) on the very backside, yet determinedly made his option to the head. Neame fondly recollects his studying years at Bray Studios and past. easily and infrequently amusingly, he recounts his days with Hammer motion pictures and observes some of the characters either in entrance of and in the back of the camera--names synonymous with these vintage stories of Gothic horror: director Terrence Fisher, manufacturers Anthony Hinds, Michael Carreras and Anthony Nelson Keys, screenwriter/producer Jimmy Sangster, and naturally, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. alongside the way in which, he encounters these much less evidently hooked up to Hammer like Joan Fontaine, Joseph Cotten, Norman Lloyd, and Bette Davis. by no means the only to order his serious eye for others by myself, Neame willingly says mea culpa whilst deserved. The booklet starts together with his impolite awakening to the "string and sealing wax" global of Dracula Prince of Darkness and follows his trip via 16 next productions together with 3 Frankensteins, The satan Rides Out (which American vendors concept was once going to be a Western!), and a pair of Mummy motion pictures. Neame additionally stocks tales of his participation in non-genre ventures like Quatermass and the Pit, The Anniversary, Demons of the brain and worry within the evening.

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Extra info for Rungs on a Ladder: Hammer Films Seen Through a Soft Gauze (Scarecrow Filmmakers)

Sample text

Nothing in its work could be considered examples of pioneering cinema. Rather, they were commercial products for the then audience and have now, somehow, found their way into the history books of h. So two questions come to mind: Why did they appeal to audiences of the fifties and sixties? And why is there so much interest in them some forty years on? To answer the first: Television was still unsophisticated, and the public knew they would get value for money from a Hammer film and in the bargain they could cower in fi-ight under the seat and scream fieely.

And soon enough it did arrive. “Close the doors,” called Bluey. “Red light. ” And that’s when he told one of h s lengthy jokes. By the time he’d got to the punch line the actors’ makeup had run in the heat and we had to start all over again. Still, it was a funny story and even John Gilling, not known for his patience, laughed at it. It seems by now that Mr. Keys had had su5cient faith in my ability to promote me to second assistant director. It was either that or because I’d won a brownie point by solving a little problem for executive producer Anthony Hinds.

Might try them myself,” Terry murmured. Terry was at the studio polishing off the postproduction of the latest Frankenstein, and Roy Baker there to dlscuss the next production scheduled for Hammer. Again I had been kept on after most others had left, to help clear up at Bray once and for all. Doubtless the cost of running it for fifiy-two weeks a year had become more expensive than renting space at another studio for the duration of shooting, and so, very sadly, the mummy 33 34 Chapter 4 picture was the last one we made there.

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