Book Archive


Quota Quickies: The Birth of the British 'B' Film by Steve Chibnall

Deep in the vaults of British cinema history lie the quota quickies: neglected, unloved, even despised. If they're mentioned at all in film histories it is with a sneer and a shudder. Now finally someone has decided to take them seriously.

Steve Chibnall looks at the economic and political reasons why the quickies appeared, why they've got such a poor reputation and what their legacy is. If you can get past the truly hideous cover, then you will find a well-written, detailed account of the phenomena. It covers all the important aspects and deals even-handedly with the controversies surrounding the quickies: were they popular, where were they shown, were they profitable, were they any good?

There's little more to add to Chibnall's study though it would be nice to know which of the films in his extensive filmography of supporting features still exist in the archive. We're promised a follow-up book in which the B-movies of the 50s are examined. If it's as good as this book, that's certainly something to look forward to.

Quota Quickies Pub: bfi

ISBN: 978-1844571550 

Price: 16.99 (UK), $27.99 (US)

Quota Quickies: available from Amazon UK

Quota Quickies: available from Amazon US