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Roy Boulting

Roy Boulting

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Also Known As: Roy A C Boulting Died: November 5, 2001
Born: November 21, 1913 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Bray, England, GB Profession: Director ... director screenwriter producer
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BIOGRAPHY

Director-producer-screenwriter Roy Boulting may be best known to Americans through the gossip columns thanks to his May-December marriage to actress Hayley Mills, but in the film world he is heralded, along with his identical twin brother John, as a major force in the post-war British film industry. Roy directed (and John produced) such gritty dramas as "Thunder Rock" (1942) and "Brighton Rock/Young Scarface" (1947), then, in the 1950s, John directed and Roy produced such raucous comedies as "Private's Progress" (1955) and the trade union satire "I'm All Right, Jack" (1959).

Though British, the Boultings went to college in Canada, where Roy wrote dialogue for at least one Canadian film. Returning to Britain around 1933, he first worked in film sales, then slid into production as the assistant director of "Apron Fools" (1936). In 1937, the Boultings formed Charter Films, but first concentrated on making several shorts. For most of the late 30s and through the 40s, John produced and Roy directed (and often co-edited and co-wrote). In the 1950s, John and Roy alternated directorial chores.

Roy Boulting made his directorial debut with "Consider Your Verdict" (1938), which set the standard for the indistinguishable style of the brothers--economical, well-plotted, strong on local atmosphere and well acted. "Thunder Rock", based on a stage play, was set at a lighthouse where the faith of a newspaperman is renewed when he has visions of drowning people. "The Guinea Pig" (1948), which Roy directed and co-wrote, was a critically-acclaimed study of a boy from a modest background who wins a place at a posh British school and faces class snobbery as he tries to adapt. "Singlehanded/Sailor of the King" (1953) offered Jeffrey Hunter in a well-received tale of naval action while "Run for the Sun" (1956), a remake of 1932's "The Most Dangerous Game", cast Richard Widmark as a man who stumbles onto a mysterious plantation run by Trevor Howard. Roy co-scripted and John directed "Seven Days to Noon" (1950), a successful thriller centering on a scientist threatening to blow up London that one an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Story. Also well received in the Boultings' drama canon was "Rotten to the Core" (1965), directed by John and produced and written by Roy, and in which three hoods go on a burglary spree.

The Boulting brothers were less successful when they attempted comedy; their films tended to seem contrived and featured overacting, although Roy directed the amiable "Brothers-in-Law" (1956), about the misadventures of a young lawyer. That same year he produced "Private's Progress" in which a British dweeb joins the army and struggles to adapt. Roy also produced "I'm All Right, Jack", in which a young man causes a strike at his uncle's factory. "The Family Way" (1966), directed by Roy, was a bit nasty in its comic look at a newlywed couple struggling through bad luck. The silly Peter Sellers/Goldie Hawn vehicle "There's a Girl in My Soup" (1970) failed to ignite, although Hawn was hot at the time. The Boultings last film together was the unsuccessful "The Number" (1979), which Roy produced and John directed. Perhaps ironically, Roy's final film as director was "The Last Word" (also 1979), a satire dealing with the media's handling of a man who literally takes on city hall.

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