Virgin Films

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Virgin Films
Industry Motion picture production
Key people
Al Clark
Nik Powell
Richard Branson
Parent Virgin Group

Virgin Films was a film production company of the early 1980s best known for making 1984 (1984). It was part of the Virgin Group and was headed by Al Clark.[1] Nik Powell worked for the company before going over to Palace Films.


Virgin Films first came to attention distributing The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle (1980), in which they invested £150,000.[2] They expanded into film production in the early 1980s, investing in the short, A Shocking Accident (1982) with Jenny Seagrove and Rupert Everett. This film wound up winning an Oscar and encouraged Richard Branson to expand into filmmaking, appointing Al Clark head of production.[3] In 1983 Virgin announced they would invest £14 million in a series of movies.[4]

Among their productions were Electric Dreams and Secret Places. Their best known movie was an adaptation of 1984 (1984).[5] There was controversy between Virgin and the makers of that film over Virgin's request to introduce a music score by Eurythmics.[6][7][8]

An investment in the notorious flop Absolute Beginners (1986) discouraged them from further involvement in the film world at the time.

At one stage they were connected with Hellraiser (1987).[9]

In 2010 Virgin expanded into film making again with Virgin Produced.

Select Filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984-2000, Orion Books, 2005 p11
  2. ^ Walker 1986 p p254
  3. ^ VIRGINS, QUEENS AND OUTSIDERS; PROFILE - AL CLARK / PRODUCER: [LATE EDITION] Elder, Bruce. Sydney Morning Herald [Sydney, N.S.W] 8 November 1997: 3.
  4. ^ Walker 1986 p284
  5. ^ A Director's Vision of Orwell's '1984' Draws Inspiration From 1948: Filming '1984' By MICHAEL BILLINGTON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 3 June 1984: H19.
  6. ^ Virgin changes its 1984 tune Chorlton, Penny. The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 14 Nov 1984: 2.
  7. ^ The talk about '1984' is not sweet music, Both, Cathy. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 14 Dec 1984: n_aI.
  8. ^ POP: EURYTHMICS HOPPING MAD OVER '1984' FILM FLAP: 'IT'S A FARCE' lain Blair. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 6 January 1985: k8
  9. ^ THRILL MEISTER Costello, Matthew J. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 July 1986: Q37.

Walker, Alexander, National Heroes: British Cinema in the Seventies and Eighties, Harrap 1986

External links[edit]