TV Cream

Independent Producers


Not all British films were produced in the Home Counties. Even by the standards of most of the companies listed here, Mancunian was a tiny operation, set up by Ardwick lad John E Blakeley in the ’30s to capture the North’s leading music hall acts on celluloid. George and Beryl Formby starred in early offerings Boots! Boots! and Off the Dole. Unemployment themes continued in bizarre-sounding musical Dodging the Dole, with characters given names like The Little Bundle of Fun, The Simplicity of Genius and The Generator of Electric Radiance. Then came star vehicles for Duggie Wakefield (Gracie Fields’ brother-in-law) and his Gang, Norman ‘Over the Garden Wall’ Evans, Nat ‘Rubberneck’ Jackley, ‘Two Ton’ Tessie O’Shea, Jimmy ‘The Clitheroe Kid’ Clitheroe, Josef ‘Hear My Song’ Locke, and best of all Frank ‘Baa, ah’ve suppped some stuff toneet!’ Randle, whose Private Randle films, and the perfectly-titled School for Randle, are crying out to be shown on daytime terrestrial once someone gets their finger out. When the business accrued enough cash to open their own premises, Sandy ‘Can You ‘Ear Me, Mother?’ Powell was the first to hot-foot it to the Rusholme studios for the Maine Road shenanigans of Cup-Tie Honeymoon. Later Blakeley sold up, and after a few nondescript crime thrillers with no music hall routines gratuitously shoehorned into the plot, the Corporation was no more.

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