Harry Alan Towers

The Transnational Career of a Cinematic Contrarian

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About the Book

Harry Alan Towers’ reputation rests upon a corpus of 95 low-budget productions shot post-haste in every corner of the globe. He took an integral part, however, in the development of the protocols that now underpin much transnational film production and he must be regarded as a pioneer. Towers’ slash and burn strategy focused on parasitic, back-to-back productions, funded by rights bundles that were pre-sold globally. This strategy was substantially derived from his early days in broadcasting wherein he acted as a go-between in the American and the British Commonwealth markets. Though he became adept at procuring funds from pariah regimes and black market economies, primarily he continued to act as a broker bringing together American equity investment and European finance under the auspices of EC co-production agreements. He was also quick to exploit the burgeoning niche markets becoming available in the wake of technological developments and government initiatives.

About the Author(s)

Dave Mann is a retired cultural historian. He has taught a range of film and media courses and has previously published on the creative and industrial contexts of British low-budget film and television production. He lives in Worcestershire, United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Dave Mann
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7982-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1523-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments iv

Introduction 1

1. Broadcasting as a Rehearsal to a Career in Production, 1935–1961 9

2. The World of the International ­Co-Production, 1961–1968 36

3. Putting Out the Trash: Collaborations with Jesus Franco, 1968–1970 76

4. The Stagflated Decade: The Downturn of the International Film Industry, 1970–1977 95

5. Hollywood North: Removal to Canada and the ­Pay-TV Markets, 1979–1983 107

6. The “Hollyveld” Years: Return to South Africa, 1987–1991 124

7. Aftermath: Films for Globus’ Reconstituted Cannon and Golan’s 21st Century, 1991–1993 151

8. Swansong Among the Ruins of Lost Worlds, 1991–2005 161

Coda: Death of a Pirate 193

Conclusion 196

Filmography 207

Chapter Notes 211

Bibliography 231

Index 243


Book Reviews & Awards

“I learned much, much more about one of the filmdom’s most notorious B-movie producers from Dave Mann’s Harry Alan Towers than from Towers’ own autobiography”—Bookgasm.com.