TV Cream

Independent Producers


Inaugurated in ’77 by Canadian producer Jake Eberts, the meteoric rise of this company to the status of ‘saviour of the British film industry’ and its even more rapid decline is the stuff of legend. With the likes of Puttnam and Welland in the vanguard, high profile successes like Chariots of Fire, The Mission and The Killing Fields were a shoo-in, along with stuff that’s more up our street – Local Hero, The Ploughman’s Lunch and P’tang Yang Kipperbang. Jake and chums snared 15 Oscars between them for that little lot, eight of them for Gandhi. Then came an ill-advised expansion into other territories, Absolute Beginners, White Mischief and Revolution. Game over.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    March 16, 2023 at 9:44 am

    By the end of the seventies, the British film industry was almost dead: the sitcom spin offs and soft porn that had kept it alive for most of the seventies had gone out of fashion and the 83% supertax had forced many actors and directors out of the country, something Michael Caine is always keen to tell people. Luckily companies like Goldcrest and a reduction in the top rate of tax in 1979 saw a modest revival of the industry, as did the creation of Channel 4, and they were making films that were critically acclaimed and often good to watch.
    Regarding Film on Four, the three films mentioned here were good to watch and deserve a re run. Another that seems to have fallen off the radar from the early days of Channel 4 is The Good And Bad At Games, starring a young Anton Lesser, looking lik e a young Jeremy Corbyn with a same political outlook, who is the victim of bullying at a public school due to being bad at games and decides to get his revenge on the main school bully at an old boys cricket match by opening fire on the match. A unique film that seems to have even been culled from Youtube.

  2. Richardpd

    March 16, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Goldcrest co-produced the 1980s Robin Hood series with HTV, which explains it’s sudden end with many plot points unanswered when Goldcrest went bump.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    March 16, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    @ Richardpd, also Absolute Beginners was an expensive commercial failure, even if Patsy Kensit will thank it for launching her career, and probably helped the demise of Goldcrest.

  4. Richardpd

    March 16, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    I’ve never seen Absolute Beginners but heard a bit about it, David Bowie’s theme for it is nice.

    The Adam & Joe Show once featured a clip from Luna with a young Patsy Kensit.

  5. Droogie

    March 18, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    Absolute Beginners is a right pigs ear of a movie. The best thing about it is the wonderful Bowie movie theme. Other high points are the clever opening one-take shot of Soho that’s a homage to Orson Welles and Touch Of Evil, and Ray Davies of The Kinks popping up as a put-upon husband singing the song Quiet Life. The main problem are the 2 leads . Eddie O’Connell Is a disastrous choice having never acted before ( apparently he was spotted working as a film runner by the director who thought he looked perfect.) Patsy Kensit is also lacking as the love interest and comes over like a Poundshop Julie Christie . Maybe the film might’ve fared better with 2 different actors, but it’s a difficult movie to warm to despite it looking great. The hype surrounding the film didn’t help either. Director Julian Temple’s film directing career in n the UK was ruined by the film and he had to move to America to get work ( though he went on to make some excellent music documentaries.)

  6. Glenn Aylett

    March 19, 2023 at 10:12 am

    @ Droogie, the Bowie theme tune was excellent, but the whole film was ruined by historical inaccuracies- the mini skirt didn’t come out until the sixties and hardly anyone rode scooters in 1958. Also the two leads were hopeless. Absolute Beginners bombed. but it did see Patsy Kensit’s star rise as her luckless group Eighth Wonder finally got a couple of hits and she went to America for Lethal Weapon 2.

  7. Richardpd

    March 19, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Quite a creamy cast list with the likes of Edward Tudor-Pole, Lionel Blair, Alan Freeman, Robbie Coltrane, Ronald Fraser, Irene Handl, Syliva Sims, Mandy-Rice Davis, Eric Sykes & a rare acting role for Sade.

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