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Hammer Films - The Unsung Heroes: The Team Behind the Legend
Format: HardcoverChange
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
Hammer Films - The Unsung Heroes: The Team Behind the Legend

For such a small film company Hammer films certainly have more than their fair share of books dedicated to them.Most concentrate on the movies themselves,usually the Gothic horrors, or the stars, Lee, Cushing etc.
This volume gives credit to those behind the scenes.Make up artists, focus pullers, cameramen and the like.Without them Hammer films would not have been so successful or enduring as they are today.

Wayne Kinsey has unearthed a tremendous amount of information regarding these craftsmen and what made them so special.He's also presented us with many never before seen photographs and interviews with the people involved.This turns the book into something more personal than usual.

It shines a light on the artists who worked so hard, and with so little, to create images that I have grown up admiring.I couldn't put it down and recommend it to anyone with an interest in Hammer films. Quite simply, it's a great read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2011
This excellent book must be the definitive one on the workings of Hammer studios. It looks at the people and work done behind the scenes in a small but important film studio. From the tea-lady to the heads of studio, the make-up artists, script-writers and continuity to the electricians, extras and clapper-boys - everyone ever associated with the making of Hammer films. It includes the early Excelsior years all the way to its decline and attempts to re-start the Hammer name.
What makes the book unique and fascinating is that the author Wayne Kinsey (who gave us the excellent Hammer Films: The Bray Studio years and Hammer Films : The Elstree Studio years) uses the actual words from each person studied; this give an interesting insight into the relationships, working practices and opinions of the people who worked there. Being a small studio it had a strong core of full time regular employees from the dinner lady to the carpenters, electricians and special effects. It becomes obvious that they not only worked together but socialized, married and went into business together.
It also becomes clear that some actors and directors were very well liked whilst others were difficult and hard to work with. Peter Cushing and Oliver Reed seem to be especially well liked, Christopher Lee tended to be a little bit stand-offish, but was known to burst into song (opera) and did duets with one of the Make-up team; Lee and composer James Bernard co-wrote a religious chant that was to be included in She and sung by Lee but sadly the budget restraints meant that it was never filmed.
The interviews reveal the difficulties of raising money for the projects, delivering to tight budget restraints - the marvels of the work done by special effects, the triumphs and the disasters.
A book well worth reading by anyone interested in film-making. In time it will become much sought after - so buy it while it is still available
Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2011
The publishing on this Hammer book, isn't as good quality as other Hammer books. My husband lovedit though and as an ardent Hammer fan, found the wealth of information impressive.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2011
this is an excellent book and a book i will keep for ever im so glad i bought this great book im a big hammer fan.
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on 29 April 2015
Fantastic book for any 'Hammer' fan! My husband loves it.
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on 2 August 2015
WOW!!!! A GREAT READ....
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on 24 February 2015
This work about the backstage boys from Hammer is more for the connoisseur and dedicated fan of Hammer films. Contains extensive and exhaustive information of all the personnel that are needed to create a cinema production. I found the information overwhelming and use it more like a dictionary when I wonder who did the costumes or the make up. Nice hardback with dust cover many good pictures and one of a limited edition of five hundred.
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