Showing posts from July, 2016

Making the case for 'Scotland Yard'

One of the great holdouts of post-World War II cinema was the featurette, a film shy of an hour -- many times even 30 minutes -- that had the capability of packing a great deal of entertainment within its brief running time. Hollywood kept the "shorts" going as part of a theater program in support of main features into the 1960s, long after television asserted its dominance over the form. Excepting cartoons, newsreels and special subject productions, the major U.S. studios had dropped their own featurette departments, but were open to distributing independently-made product to help balance the bills at theaters and drive-ins. Many of these productions later found their way into TV showings, their length ideal for half-hour time slots and filler for local station movie showcases.

Similarly, the featurette enjoyed a lengthy stay in the United Kingdom, proving that despite audience preference for spectacle movies and the encroachment of TV on attendance, audiences did not turn a…