J Arthur Rank
Born on 22nd of December 1888
Died on 29th of March 1972
Rank worked in and later inherited his fatherís flour-milling business (of Rank Hovis McDougall fame), but is remembered for his work in the British film industry. His interest in films began when as a lay Methodist preacher he showed films to Sunday school classes, and developed as a reaction to the American dominance of the field (and its perceived corrupting threat). He built up a production company, then when hampered by middlemen in thrall to the Americans bought studios (Pinewood and Denham) and outlets (Odeon and later Gaumont and Paramount) to bypass them. His studios produced some of the greatest British films of the 1940s through to the 1960s.
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