My Indecision is Final
Rise and Fall of Goldcrest Films
The story of the Oscar-winning production company Goldcrest. In 1983 it was the toast of Hollywood and the darling of the British media, with credits like "Gandhi". The authors tell how this led to escalating budgets, executive power struggles and the loss of #35 million pounds by 1987.
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'The British are coming,' cried Colin Welkland at the 1982 Oscars. Goldcrest had just secured their first major success with Chariots of Fire, so one could forgive his triumphalism. And more glittering prizes were to follow - the worthy but dull Gandhi (with a blacked-up Ben Kingsley playing the title role) Roland Joffe's clumsy, revisionist Killing Fields, Bill Forsyth's Local Hero, and Merchant Ivory's sprightly Room With a View. Yet within a few short years, the company was bankrupt, its Icarian ambitions brought crashing back to Earth by two of the biggest turkeys in modern cinema history - Hugh Hudson's Revolution and Julien Temple's Absolute Beginners. Jake Eberts is well places to analyse what went wrong - he was, after all, Goldcrest's founder nad chief executive, though he'd left by the time of Revolution and only came back to save the sinking ship. His now legendary account (with Screen International editor Terry Illot) of the Macchiavellian struggles that went on within Goldcrest, the chutzpah required to make such films, and the hubris that followed, is absolutely essential reading for any aspiring film-maker - or for anyone who cares about British cinema. Goldcrest is gone, and some might say horray - let's hope David Puttnam never makes another film as boring as The Mission. A new generation has come through, one with an altogether hipper, more DIY ethic. But there was a time when Goldcrest were the only ones flying the flag for Britain, and this is their story, warts and all. (Kirkus UK)