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Gongman

From Academic Kids

One of the best known company trademarks in the world is the man-with-the-gong, also known as the Gongman. In Britain, past research has shown that 94% of households recognise the famous man-with-the-gong as the Rank Organisation's trademark symbol, used as the introduction to all Rank films (often created at their Pinewood Studios).

The first film of the Gongman was created in 1935 using former British heavyweight boxing champion "Bombardier" Billy Wells to make the first film sequence. By combining the strength of a perfect physical specimen of a man with the deep resonance of a huge gong the intention was to achieve a simultaneous impact in vision and sound. However, at the time, Billy Wells was over 40 years old and the gong was made of plaster. The sound of the gong was created by James Blades on a Chinese instrument called a tam tam.

The Gongman was often parodied over the years. In Carry On up the Khyber, Kenneth Williams' character refers to an over-enthusiastic gongman's attitude as "rank stupidity".

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