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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    Hi folks - My Film Masters thesis is on the seventies sitcom spin-offs which became movies (e.g. On the Buses, Up Pompeii etc). I know WHY these films were made, but I'm interested in finding out HOW they came about. Does anyone know who instigated conversations (i.e. did TV companies approach film companies or vice versa?) and how the licencing was sorted out (i.e. how much revenue would the BBC get for instance for the use of the Up Pompeii brand). Even a pointer to someone else who may be able to answer these questions would be useful.



    Many thanks

    Nigel

  2. #2
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Have you tried the BFI or the National Museum of Film, Photography and Television?



    Steve

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Another way to go would be to check some of the many printed and online resources on Hammer Films, as they were the company responsible for many of these productions (the huge success of their first On the Buses film ticked off the seventies craze for making films of TV sitcoms.



    Also, of all British film producers, Hammer is probably the most researched and analysed. Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes' book The Hammer Story is probably a good place to start - I don't have my copy on me to check, but I'll have a look over the weekend.



    One possibility is that Hammer were minded to check the possibilities of TV spin-offs when business became difficult in the early 70s because they had much success with TV & radio material in the company's earlier years.



    In the 50s they made versions of radion shows like PC49 and Life witht the Lyons, before achieving great success with their film adaptation of the TV serial The Quatermass Experiment.



    Here is the address of a useful page on the official Hammer website http://hammerfilms.com/vaults/filmography/1970s.html

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    Spot on Lord Brett



    As the returns on their horror films began to (inevitably ?) decline, first Hammer pepped up the films with more boobs and bums. When that became routine, they went back to their roots and plundered television for 'good' source material. Though in this case I would take 'good' to read 'populist', reflected in the fact that On The Buses was the biggest home-grown hit of it's year.



    Most interesting of these spin-offs (from a production sense) would seem to be their full blown version of NEAREST and DEAREST. IIRC this was the only Hammer co-production of this type at that time. It seems that Granada TV firmly kept its hand on it's 'prime' property.



    This was not a revisited 'southernised' and water-down version of the show ; it was firmly anchored at the base of Blackpool Tower. Complaints have been laid at the feet of Hammer for adulterating their spin off products of the 70s or not exploiting a 90 minute film opportunity fully, but not (I feel) that this was done in this case. The film was as quirky and silly as the original series !



    I would say that in the main Hammer approached the T V companies first. Associated London was (I think) a company formed around the artist's agency ref Frankie Howerd, so their approach would be different.



    LMG - I SUSPECT this may be a company formed by LWT etc. specifically as a film arm- anybody know ? Cinema Arts was of course itself a spin-off, being Brian Lawrence and Tony Hinds, both ex- Hammer.



    SMUDGE

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Does anyone know how many of these were made?

    here's some i can remember off the top of my head

    BLESS THIS HOUSE

    FATHER DEAR FATHER

    MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE

    PLEASE SIR

    NEAREST AND DEAREST

    STEPTOE AND SON

    ARE YOU BEING SERVED

    THE LOVERS

    LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR

    RISING DAMP

    ON THE BUSES

    THE LIKELY LADS

    UP POMPEI

    THE ARMY GAME?

    TILL DEATH US DO PART/SICKNESS HEALTH

    DADS ARMY

    GEORGE AND MILDRED

    cheers Ollie.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    Ollie - add...



    THAT'S YOUR FUNERAL

    NEVER MIND THE QUALITY, FEEL THE WIDTH

    FOR THE LOVE OF ADA



    SMUDGE

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    How about the best of them all:Porridge scarf thumbs_u

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Did they make a movie of the RAG TRADE?

    Cheers Ollie

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    My favourite, but from an earlier era, 'Inn For Trouble'(1960).



    A spinoff from 'The Larkins', which starred Peggy Mount & David Kossoff.



    Graham Moffatt appears in what I think was his last film role.



    The Larkins

  10. #10
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    ...and don't forget I ONLY ARSKED (1959) (the spin off of The Army Game) and BOTTOM'S UP! (1960) (the spin off of Whacko!) starring Bernard Bresslaw and Jimmy Edwards respectively.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    Hi Mr. Drake's Duck....



    Remind me, did Graham have lines in INN FOR TROUBLE or was it just the drinking sequence?



    He did do other bits after INN, but mainly uncredited. In fact, he turned up earlier this week on TV in 80000 Suspects ; he had a walk on in the mass vaccination scene, as someone scared to have the needle.



    ImDB lists his year and place of death as Bath 1965, which is why I assume he went for the part as it was a local shoot.



    SMUDGE



    P.S. Excuse me for wandering off-topic a little blush

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Remind me, did Graham have lines in INN FOR TROUBLE or was it just the drinking sequence?
    Yep, he had lines, quite a few.



    Stanley Unwin also has a cameo, and Frank Williams (Dad's Army vicar) has one of his bigger film roles.



    :)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    smudge:

    Ollie - add...



    THAT'S YOUR FUNERAL

    NEVER MIND THE QUALITY, FEEL THE WIDTH

    FOR THE LOVE OF ADA



    SMUDGE
    And loosely fitting into this category was

    OOH, YOU ARE AWFUL



    Whilst let's not forget the sequels

    UP THE CHASTITY BELT

    UP THE FRONT

    MUTINY ON THE BUSES

    HOLIDAY ON THE BUSES

    STEPTOE AND SON RIDE AGAIN



    Cheers

    Nigel

  14. #14
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    A few others that haven't been mentioned yet



    The Black Widow
    (1951)Spin off from radio serial Return From Darkness6.5 Special (1958)
    • Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
    • Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)
    • And Now for Something Completely Different (1971)
    • The Alf Garnett Saga (1972)

      Spin off from Till Death Us Do Part
    • Bean (1997)
    • Lost in Space (1998)
    • Thunderbirds (2004)





    Steve

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Wales
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    It's interesting that in the seventies the trend was to make big screen versions of popular sitcoms whereas in recent years it tends to be to give a TV 'character' a film outing - as well as 'Bean' we've had :-

    Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000)

    Ali G Indahouse (2002)

    It shows how the nature of 'popular' TV comedy has changed. However a recent full length sitcom spinoff was 'Stella Street' (2003) which I think was shown on TV here but in cinemas in America?

  16. #16
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    Hi

    Dont forget there was a Thunderbirds movie at the time of the original series .Called "Thunderbird Six"

    and a lot of fun it was too.

    GM

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    There's a few mentioned here, although many of those made around the 70s were just extended episodes. (often involving the main characters going on holiday)



    The Dads Army film took something of a prequel approach by introducing us to the platoon before they were formed.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Genevieve's Mechanic:

    Hi Dont forget there was a Thunderbirds movie at the time of the original series called "Thunderbird Six"
    I watched Team America; World Police today, and it struck me as ironic that whilst we remake Thunderbirds as a live action film, the makers of South Park stay true to the original Thunderbirds (strings n all) and make a better film.



    If you've not yet seen it leave your good taste at the door.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I have actually met a British film director:William G Stewart - he was the director of Father Dear Father,and I was a contestant twice on Fifteen To One:1993 and 2002. What a nice man.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B thumbs_u

  20. #20
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Marky B:

    I have actually met a British film director:William G Stewart - he was the director of Father Dear Father,and I was a contestant twice on Fifteen To One:1993 and 2002. What a nice man.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B
    So how far did you get on Fifteen to One?



    Steve

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