Hammer

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1950s

It was business as usual for Hammer as the 1950s opened, with Exclusive/Hammer producing a steady supply of support drama and documentaries, largely inspired by the needs of the group's chain of cinemas.

When Hammer began to co-produce its films with the US producer Robert Lippert in 1951, though, it enabled the company to develop its North American market, and cast US stars. The company's first colour feature film was The Men of Sherwood Forest, released in 1954.

20th Century-Fox bought Lippert in 1955, the same year seeing release of the immensely successful The Quatermass Xperiment, re-titled 'The Creeping Unknown' for the US. This in part led to a decision to move into horror films, bringing new twists to Dracula and Frankestein, characters brought to cinemagoers just before the war by Universal. The Curse of Frankenstein was released in 1957 followed by Dracula in 1958, both of which were to spawn numerous sequels. The meeting of gothic melodrama and Eastmancolor (processed by Technicolor) caught the imagination of the world, giving the company the reputation it maintains to this day as a premiere horror-film producer.

As well as horror, though, Hammer continued to produce a wide variety of output, with a distinct emphasis on comedy and drama. The end of the decade saw a series of war dramas, and some, notably The Camp on Blood Island, received considerable critical acclaim.

All productions made from this decade