With the global success of 'Hammer Horror', the major Hollywood studios began to court Hammer, seeking distribution and production deals . As the decade commenced, the company's ongoing deals with Universal and Columbia were keeping Bray Studios busy. The remarkable volume of product financed by Columbia was not always consistent in quality, but the smaller series of films made with Universal contained some of the gothic gems, including The Curse of the Werewolf and The Kiss of the Vampire.
The move towards American distributors eventually led to the winding-down of Exclusive, which was finally liquidated in 1968. It had ceased to serve any meaningful function by the late 1950s. Michael Carreras left to form his own company, Capricorn Films, in 1961 but continued to produce films for Hammer.
Half way through the decade, a new financial deal with long-time Hammer partners Seven Arts, Hollywood's Twentieth Century Fox, and Britain's ABPC allowed another burst of gothic creativity, including such films as The Devil Rides Out, Quatermass and the Pit and The Plague of the Zombies.
The 1960s saw a rich mix of genres, though, including the successful aventure films She and One Million Years BC and a whole series of psychological thrillers in the Hitchcock tradition, largely from the pen of Jimmy Sangster.The decade also saw production of the company's first television series, Journey to the Unknown, produced in association with Twentieth Century Fox and ABC Televsion. This series premiered on ABC in the US on Thursday 26 September 1968 and was screened, albeit sporadically, by various ITV stations in the UK. The anthology series featured stars from both sides of the Atlantic, including Roddy McDowall, Denis Waterman and Jane Asher.
In 1968 the company received the Queen's Award for Industry, thanks to three years of financial success which raised over £.5 million in revenues. But trouble was brewing for the British film industry, and Hammer was to be caught in the fallout...