Project: Hammer Films

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  • Field Researcher: Jimster
  • Department: Film & Photography
  • Faculty: Arts
  • Start Date: 11 March 2002
  • End Date: 25 March 2002
  • Assisting Sub-Editor: Shazz

The most successful European film production company ever, Hammer Films Ltd created some of the most enduring images to come out of the British Film Industry. From their beginnings, creating cheap support features, through their rise to power as an international creative force, to their finale churning out spin-offs of TV sitcoms, the story of Hammer Films can be seen almost as the story of British film-making.

This Project looks at a number of key areas in Hammer's impressive history:

  • Birth of a Studio - the origins of the Hammer name, the personalities involved and their route to success.

  • The Hammer Filmography - a complete list of Hammer's cinematic output from 1935 to 1978.

  • The Stars - actors like Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ralph Bates and Michael Ripper, actresses such as Ingrid Pitt and Veronica Carlson, directors and writers, including Terrence Fisher and Jimmy Sangster, all worked together to bring Hammer an individual quality.

  • Hammer Horror - the genre the studio was best-known for, this is an overview of the key horror and fantasy films in the company's history.

  • What Makes a Hammer Horror Movie - the elements that are recognisably Hammer, and a suggestion, based on these criteria, for the best Hammer horror film of all time.

  • Hammer on TV - the television productions, including the successful anthology series Hammer House of Horror.

  • Hammer Films - The Final Years - the collapse of Hammer as a casualty in the wider disintegration of the British film industry.

  • Hammer Today - having spent almost twenty years 'resting', can Hammer resurface as a major player in the horror market once again?



  • The Hammer Story, Alan Barnes & Marcus Hearn. Titan Books, UK, 1997.

  • House of Horror, ed. Jack Hunter. Creation Books, UK, 1996.


  • Dark Terrors issues 9-16, ed. Mike Murphy, UK, 1994-1998.

  • The House that Hammer Built issues 9-14, ed. Wayne Kinsey, UK, 1998-2000.

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