Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 11.05.03 AMAlexander Korda and Denham Studios

1936-The new Spanish government under General Franco make future Ibérica film projects impossible and the company is dissolved.

British Film baron Alexander Korda now offered Oliver a position at Korda’s London Films, as head of Denham Studios film laboratories. By coincidence, Korda had also been the producer of Catherine the Great, the same film whose premiere at Oliver’s Capitol theatre in Berlin had triggered the bomb attack on Oliver three years before.

All that remains today of the once-mighty Denham Studios is the film lab commissioned and built by David Oliver. It is one of only five buildings in Britain to have been designed by Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius.

It is protected by Britain’s National Trust and can never be torn down.

Plans are now under way to convert the old lab building into luxurious condominiums.

Ibérica_Oliver LetterA group of Jewish film professionals flee Nazi Germany for a new life in Spain. Determined to continue with their careers, David Oliver and director cum theatre manager Kurt-Louis Flatau form “Ibérica Films” in Barcelona, 1934. The expertise they bring with them will leave an indelible mark on Spanish Cinema.

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Raquel Rodrigo, star of "Doña Francisquita"
Raquel Rodrigo, star of “Doña Francisquita”

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A production still from the Ibérica Films production Doña Francisquita (1935). My grandmother (and production chief) Edith Oliver sits in the foreground . Having to work on shoestring budgets forced Ibérica Films to operate very much as a family affair. Directly behind her stands the film’s director, Hans Behrendt. Both are dressed in the ubiquitous UFA work uniform…a white lab coat. 

Una Semana de Felicidad PosterDoña Francisquita Posteraventura-oriental-movie-poster-1935-1020206759