Cinematograph Films Act 1927

Cinematograph Films Act 1927

Cinematograph Films Act 1927

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The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 (17 & 18 Geo. V) was an act of the United Kingdom Parliament designed to stimulate the declining British film industry.


It introduced a requirement for British cinemas to show a quota of British films, for a duration of 10 years. The Act's supporters believed that this would promote the emergence of a vertically-integrated film industry, in which production, distribution and exhibition infrastructure are controlled by the same companies. The vertically-integrated American film industry saw rapid growth in the years immediately following the end of the First World War. The idea, therefore, was to try and counter Hollywood's perceived economic and cultural dominance by promoting similar business practices among British studios, distributors and cinema chains. By creating an artificial market for British films, it was hoped that the increased economic activity in the production sector would eventually lead to the growth of a self-sustaining industry. The quota was initially set at 7.5% for exhibitors, which was raised to 20% in 1935.


The Act is generally not considered a success. On the one hand, it was held responsible for a wave of speculative investment in lavishly budgeted features which could never hope to recoup their production costs on the domestic market (e.g. the output of Alexander Korda's London Films, a boom-and-bust which was famously satirised in the film Shooting Stars (UK, 1927, dir. Anthony...
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