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Michael Caine narrates the story of Great Britain's only film mogul J. Arthur Rank and the rise of his studio in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rank Films. The Golden Gong tells of J. Arthur Rank's humble beginnings as a maker of religious short films and his rise as a producer of global blockbusters such as the James Bond films made at Pinewood Studios.
"The Golden Gong" is a British documentary, produced in 1987, about Britain's top film studio for many years, J. Arthur Rank. It is hosted in a wonderfully relaxed and witty style by Michael Caine.
To a great extent, the history of the J. Arthur Rank studios is the history of the British film industry--period. Apparently, Mr. Rank made his millions in the flour-milling business, and in the thirties decided to finance some short, and by all accounts rather dull, "message films". Someone convinced him to start making full-length features that might actually make money. As more films were made, the studio expanded and developed its own stable of British stars.
"The Golden Gong", of course, is the symbol that introduced each Rank film--a muscular young man, striking a huge gong. In Britain, it is as famous as the MGM lion, the Warner Bros. shield and so on. This program has three major ingredients--clips from many of the movies that were produced under the Rank banner--interviews with a number of the stars, directors and others who worked at the studio--and a thoroughly engaging host in Michael Caine.
As you review the Rank output, you are struck by the variety of films produced--from highly-respected classics like " In Which We Serve ", " Henry V ", "The Lady Vanishes " and " Genevieve ", to more wide-appeal, commercial successes like the "Doctor" series, Norman Wisdom comedies and, of course, the Carry On gang.
Since this program was produced in 1987, a number of the key participants have since passed on--we can be thankful that this was completed before some interviews would have been impossible.Read more ›