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TELLY SAVALAS AND THE QUOTA QUICKIES
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Telly Savalas
Saturday 26 April 2008, 10.30am
Telly Savalas on Parkinson, 1974
The bizarre story of how British cities in the late 1970s, in an attempt to make themselves appear exciting to a cinema audience, recruited Telly Savalas himself to present their travelogue.


Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham, England.
In the late 1970s, several of the UK's major cities were the stars of B-movies the so-called 'Quota Quickies'.

Laurie Taylor tells the bizarre story of how the cities tried to make themselves appear exciting to a captive cinema audience through the medium of a travelogue.

One such classic is called Telly Savalas Looks At Birmingham. It has the American actor extolling the virtues and history of Birmingham. His narration is unintentionally funny and wonderfully kitsch.

The director of these quota quickies, the late Harold Baim, seemed to have an obsession with multi-storey car parks, concrete shopping centres and motorways in his attempt to catapult the city into the 21st century. Others in the Harold Baim series include Telly Savalas Looks At Aberdeen and Telly Savalas Looks At Portsmouth.

The Quota Quickies were shown in cinemas before the main feature because of a law which meant that cinemas had to show a British film for every American film.

Join Laurie Taylor at 10.30am on Saturday 26 April to hear about this quirky episode in the history of cinema.
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