Icons in the Fire

Icons in the Fire : The Decline and Fall of Almost Everybody in the British Film Industry

4.07 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Mention the films - FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, NOTTING HILL, THE FULL MONTY, BRIDGET JONES' DIARY - made in Britain, huge successes all, but none financed by British money. Walker's previous volumes, HOLLYWOOD ENGLAND (1974) and NATIONAL HEROES (1985), covered the period until 1984. This final volume tells the inside story right up to date of why a nation that produces actors of the calibre of Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Robert Carlyle, Kate Winslet and directors such as Anthony Minghella, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears, Neil Jordan, Peter Greenaway, Ken Loach and Guy Ritchie cannot sustain a native film industry. Walker's revelations on the iniquities of National Lottery funding of movies - over 200m to date and hardly a profitable film among those so far produced - have been headline news. Indeed he shows that one movie, based on a novel by one of Britain's leading novelists, managed to take only 3,200 at the box office. He relates the extraordinary events of the past two decades years through the individuals, the companies and the studios. His judgments are based on more than four decades as Britain's leading film critic, biographer and film historian.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 162 x 236 x 36mm | 698.54g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 40
  • 0752856103
  • 9780752856100

About Alexander Walker

Film critic of the 'Evening Standard' (London) since 1959 until his sudden death in July 2003. Alexander Walker was 'Critic of the Year' three times in the British Press Awards. A prolific broadcaster on television and radio, he wrote and narrated four series of 'Film Star' for the BBC. Alexander Walker was educated in Northern Ireland, on the Continent and in the United States. Before moving to London in 1959, he was film critic of the 'Birmingham Post'. Joseph Connolly (Introducer) is a Hampstead antiquarian bookseller turned novelist. He is literary executor to Walker's estate.show more

Review quote

"Impeccably researched, written with considerable eloquence and thoroughly provoking... required reading if you want to know how the film business works, and how if often doesn't, in Britain." -- Derek Malcolm THE EVENING STANDARD, 13 September "Each page shows (Walker's) elegance... Uncompromising and intelligent, this study requires some answers." -- SB Kelly THE SCOTSMAN, 2 October "A fitting tribute to the late Alexander Walker... whose shrewd and witty commentary is matched by a fine sense of moral outrage. Walker is tartly ironic about the various deluded visionaries, charlatans and egomaniacs who people his story, but his acute sense of comedy is countered by an undertow of genuine sadness at what has come to pass." -- Christopher Sylvester SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE, 10 October "As a nutshell summary of the problems bedevilling our films, it is unimprovable." -- David Gritten DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6 November "Walker is devastating... with a honed, wry wit. Each page shows his elegance. Uncompromising and intelligent." SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY, 3 October "[Walker] wrote like a dream... a glittering style which lights up this final, and posthumous, part of a trilogy." -- Quentin Falk ACADEMY MAGAZINE, December 04 "An excellent, indeed exhaustive, book ... very well-researched and readable. I was most impressed. ICONS deserves to sit atop any self-respecting film fan's bookshelf." SCREENTRADE MAGAZINE, November 04show more

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