Cat no. 226499

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: John Hogarth (distributor)


Recorded 8 June 1994

John Hogarth (February 1931 - )
Interviewed by Rodney Giesler

John Hogarth began his career as a film distributor at British Lion in 1946. Until his retirement in 1994 he worked for and founded a variety of Distribution companies, including Crispin Film Distributors, London Independent Film Distributors, Hemdale, Hobo and Mayfair distributors.

In this interview he talks to Rodney Giesler in detail about his early career as an office junior and later as a travelling film salesman for British Lion (in the Eastern Counties region). He discusses the culture of the company and the sorts of contracts and negociations distributors' representatives had with cinemas, and the status of the independent British distributor compared to larger British and American rivals. He tells several anecdotes of his life as a travelling rep, selling British Lion films such as 'Private's Progress' (1956) and 'They Who Dare' (1953). Later he became the independent circuits manager at British Lion, and then after it became British Lion Columbia, he worked as a producer's rep for Bryanston, ensuring correct treatment of films such as 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' (1960). More briefly he discusses his career as an independent distributor in the 1970s and 80s, distributing films for producers such as Merchant Ivory. He recounts the changes he has witnessed in the industry, and provides interesting material about the financial side of the British film industry.

(Lawrence Napper, BCHRP)