Elstree Studios, once tagged the home of British Hollywood, is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of film making in Elstree and has given a special sculpture of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, to the British Film Institute.
To commemorate this centenary year, Roger Morris Managing Director of Elstree Studios unveiled a bust of the filmmaker that it had commissioned and is bequeathing to the BFI’s Collections, and the BFI hosted a special screening last week to mark the occasion of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Blackmail. Made in 1929, the film was Britain’s first “talkie” and was filmed at the legendary Elstree Studios.
“At the BFI we want people to have the opportunity to learn about, enjoy and fully appreciate the rich film history of this country. We are delighted to mark this major milestone for Elstree, giving us the opportunity to look back at the history of one of the largest and most vibrant film communities in British film, to pay tribute to Alfred Hitchcock as one of the many great filmmakers of our time who worked there, and to celebrate Elstree’s place in the UK’s world-class film industry, culture and heritage which continues to thrive today.” – Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI
Alfred Hitchcock ushered in a new generation of filmmaking, making many of his early films at Elstree Studios before he moved to Hollywood in 1939. Howard Berry of the Elstree Project told the audience about the 100 year history of Elstree and its substantial film and television achievements before the film was screened. For many in the audience, it was the first time they had seen this masterpiece of cinema history.
As a result of the BFI having restored a number of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, which are now being screened around the world to new audiences, Alfred Hitchcock is being rediscovered and appreciated as one of the greatest directors of all time.
“The BFI is probably one of the most important film organisations in the world, maintaining the finest film, television and news archive. Many films in the archive were made at Elstree. We had the bust especially commissioned as a gift for the BFI and I hope as time progresses we will have other film anniversaries to celebrate together. I was also pleased to see the twins from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” at the screening because this classic film marks another chapter in Elstree’s great film history. Elstree Studios is a busy working studio today and the BFI’s work is extremely important supporting new British films being made and nurturing new filmmakers: the Hitchcocks of tomorrow.” – Roger Morris, Managing Director of Elstree Studios
The area of Borehamwood was once home to several movie studios and production facilities. Today only two major complexes remain; the iconic Elstree Studios, which continue to be the home of top British produced film and television and the former Neptune Movie Studios which were converted for television-only use in 1959 by ATV Network, and are currently occupied by BBC Studios.
Pictured: Roger Morris presenting the bust to Amanda Nevill, chief executive of British Film Institute.