TV Cream

Independent Producers


Relatively gargantuan celluloid arm of the World Group, as founded in ’59 by former head of PR at Associated Television John Heyman, which jumped all over the world, and indeed the shop, to fill its production rag-bag. Tennessee Williams flop Boom and David Mercer’s version of A Doll’s House provided highbrow fare, while the other end of the scale was taken care of with Charles Bronson-starring Lolita-lite Twinky and David Niven as an ageing comedy Dracula in Vampira. In between, Joseph Losey steered Elizabeth Taylor through some atmospherically bewildering psychodramas, and exploitation hound Robert Hartford-Davis (cf Titan) turned in a handful of blaxploitation also-rans. The ’80s brought success with The Honorary Consul and The Dresser, alongside the study in mediocrity that was cyborg kid video shop clogger DARYL. But we’ll always remember them for the Amicus portmanteau manque that was Tales That Witness Madness, possibly ther most bizarre British horror of them all, featuring an imaginary tiger, a haunted, time-travelling penny farthing, and of course the notorious story wherein Michael Jayston dumps Joan Collins for a walking tree, which is as suitable a point as ever, we think, to draw our survey of defunct production houses to a dignified close. Unless of course W**king Title fancy knocking up a remake sometime. Liz Hurley would be a shoo-in for the role. But who would play the Joan Collins part?

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