They formed a separate film distribution company called Exclusive Films Ltd in 1935 although the two companies were considerably intertwined in the industry. Enrique's son James joined the company at about this time and was followed by grandson Michael about eight years later. William Hinds' son Anthony was also destined to be a major figure in the success of the company. Hammer Productions made four films in the next three years,
Exclusive continued to distribute films and, because of the tie-in between the two companies, many films around this era are incorrectly believed to be Hammer films. With a growing demand for British-produced supporting movies after the war, Hammer was re-formed in 1947 as a production subsidiary of Exclusive, finally being registered as a separate company, Hammer Film Productions Limited, in February 1949. The directors were William Hinds, Enrique Carreras, James Carreras and Anthony Hinds.
The first production from the regenerated company was 'River Patrol' in 1948 which was followed by a succession of well-received 'Dick Barton - Special Agent' films. By starting co-producing with the American company Robert Lippert Productions in 1951 they gained a valuable toe-hold in the lucrative U.S. market and began making films which starred American artists. Their first colour film was 'Men of Sherwood Forest' in 1954.
Lippert was swallowed up by 20th Century Fox in 1955, the same year seeing Hammer's first really successful production which was 'The Quatermass Xperiment' , re-titled 'The Creeping Unknown' for the U.S. market, and the decision was made to build on the success of this genre of film by remaking the old 'Dracula' and 'Frankenstein' movies. 'The Curse of Frankenstein' was the first, in 1956, followed the year after by 'Dracula', both of which were to spawn a whole series of money-making sequels and give the company the reputation which it holds today as the premiere horror-film producers.
The move towards American distributors meant the gradual winding-down of Exclusive which was eventually liquidated in 1968. Michael Carreras left to form his own company in 1961 called Capricorn Films but continued to produce films for Hammer, which now included thrillers, comedies, historical ( and pre-historical! ) films and a succession of highly successful television series and movie spin-offs, on a 'freelance' basis.
the Sixties Hammer started to work with major American distributors like
20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers and, by the end
of the decade, were fast approaching their period of maximum production.
The company received the Queen's Award for Industry in 1968 after having
brought £4.5 million in U.S. dollars into the U.K. in the preceding
three years. Michael Carreras rejoined the now booming company in 1971.