17 Facts About Rank Organisation


Rank Organisation was a British entertainment conglomerate founded by industrialist J Arthur Rank in April 1937.

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Rank Organisation name lasted until February 1996, when the name and some of the remaining assets were absorbed into the newly structured Rank Group plc.

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Rank Organisation itself became a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox and was renamed XRO Limited in 1997.

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Arthur Rank Organisation, born in Kingston upon Hull, UK, was already a wealthy industrialist through his father's flour milling business, Joseph Rank Organisation Ltd, before making his start in film-making by financing short religious subjects in line with his Methodist beliefs.

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Rank Organisation was a Methodist Sunday School Teacher and wished to introduce these beliefs to a wider audience.

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The Rank Organisation was founded in 1937 as a means for Rank to consolidate his film-making interests.

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Company of Youth, the Rank Organisation acting school often referred to as "The Charm School", was founded in 1945.

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In 1956 Rank Organisation began a partnership with the Haloid Corporation to form Rank Organisation Xerox.

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Rank Organisation was a significant shareholder in the consortium which became Southern Television, the first ITV television contract holder for the south of England.

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In 1960, Top Rank Organisation was taken over by EMI, and in 1962 they replaced it with Stateside Records.

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The production of the "classic" Rank Organisation TV ran in the mid to late 70s, some interim models appeared and the "modern" Rank Organisation TV appeared in the early 1980s.

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Top Rank Organisation was one of the early operators of motorway service areas in the UK, opening its first services at Farthing Corner on the M2 in Kent in 1963.

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Top Rank Organisation operated a portfolio of 10 service areas until the takeover of Mecca Leisure Group by the Rank Organisation Group in 1991, when they were spun off to ex-Mecca CEO Michael Guthrie under the name Pavilion.

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In 1960, John Davis announced that Rank Organisation would concentrate on bigger budgeted, internationally focused productions.

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In 1977, Rank Organisation appointed Tony Williams head of production and over two years Rank Organisation made eight films worth £10 million, including Eagle's Wing, The Shout, The Thirty Nine Steps, Riddle of the Sands and Silver Dream Racer.

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The Rank Organisation films that had been announced for production – including an adaptation of HMS Ulysses, The Rocking Horse Winner and a film version of To the Manor Born – were cancelled.

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Rank Organisation finally severed its remaining connections with the film industry in 2005 when it sold its DVD distribution business and Deluxe technical support unit.

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