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Amicus Productions

Related: 1960s - British cinema - British exploitation - exploitation film - European exploitation film


Amicus Productions was a British film production company, based at Shepperton Studios, England. It was founded by American producer and screenwriter Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg.

Amicus is perhaps best known for Subotsky's own trademark portmanteau horror anthologies, such as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1964), directed by genre stalwart Freddie Francis, and The House That Dripped Blood (1970). These films, of which Amicus made several, typically feature three short horror stories, linked by an overarching plot featuring a narrator and those listening to his story.

Amicus films are often mistaken for the output of the better-known Hammer Films, to which they are similar in visual style, and with which they share many stars, including Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Unlike the period gothic Hammer films, however, Amicus productions were usually set in the present day. They now enjoy a considerable cult following of their own.

Amicus Productions also produced small number of sci-fi films, with adaptations of several of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, in the mid-1960s, two films based on the then-relatively-new television series Doctor Who. Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD, the first (and still the only) big-screen adaptations of the long-running series, were filmed in Technicolor at a time when the series itself was still filmed in black-and-white, giving Dr. Who and the Daleks the additional distinction of being the first time Doctor Who had appeared in colour. In these films, Peter Cushing played The Doctor, and the backstory and continuity established for the TV series were largely ignored.

In 1968, Amicus funded and produced a film version of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, directed by William Friedkin who later found fame with The Exorcist.

In 2003, Anchor Bay Entertainment released a five disc DVD box-set of Amicus films in a coffin-shaped container. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amicus_Productions [Jan 2006]

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