The British Film industry was in a bad way in the 1970s. Notoriously, the highest grossing British film of 1971 was On the Buses.
By middle of the decade only such TV spin offs and sex comedies were being made. In those years some quite distinguished actors appeared in some very undistinguished films.
But some people were still trying in 1973, as a contemporary documentary on the BBC iPlayer shows. Click on the still above to watch The Big Screen there.
Two of Britain's leading film directors of the period - John Schlesinger and Gerald Thomas, whose Carry On films were also declining into sex comedies by then - are interviewed. They talk about the anxiety, hopes and risks experienced by those involved in the film industry.
We also see four films in production:
- the James Bond film Live and Let Die
- The Optimists of Nine Elms, which happily and unexpectedly stars Peter Sellers
- The Final Programme, an adaptation on a Michael Moorcock Jerry Cornelius novel
- The 14, the second film directed by David Hemmings