Were the 1927 and 1938 British Film Acts Successful?

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The Film Act of 1927 was originally made because of the declining exhibition of British films within the United Kingdom. In 1914, about 25% of the films shown were British, but by 1923 it was 10% and by 1925 it was down to only 5%. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, America gained its domination in the film industry abroad. Britain was not only having problems in the control of the film industry but was slowing economically compared to the United States and Germany. Several attempts to preserve industry were made by creating Film Weeks, where only British films would be shown. There was little success and the Daily Telegraph wrote that "… the British film industry is… incapable of competing successfully with some of its rivals." A Joint Trade Committee was created to solve the declining production rates. The decision was made to create the Film Act of 1927 which required that the quota of renters had to be 7.5%

and the exhibitors had to be 5%. The quota was intended to increase to 20% by 1936 and by 1938 the Act was to expire.

After the Act was created, there was a forced demand of British Film product and the quality seemed to suffer. Paul Roatha wrote in The Film Till Now that "The British Film has no other aim than that of the imitation of the cinema of other countries." Quota Quickies were created and they were cheap poorly done films that just filled the quota. Historian B. Wright wrote in The Long View that "The basic content of feature films in Britain, at least during the first eight or nine years of the talkie era, was trivial and without contemporary emphasis." The quota quickies were often shown by American renters in the UK, so...