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Overview for Jack Clayton
Jack Clayton

Jack Clayton


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Also Known As: Died: February 25, 1995
Born: March 1, 1921 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brighton, England, GB Profession: Producer ... director producer editor assistant director production manager


Solid, professional craftsman who from 1935 worked his way up from third assistant director to editor with Alexander Korda's London Films before directing the medium-length film, "The Bespoke Overcoat" (1955), which won a short-subject Oscar and a prize at the Venice Film Festival. Clayton then served as producer on several routine pictures before directing his first feature, the powerful, class-conscious drama, "Room at the Top" (1958), which inaugurated a new kind of kitchen-sink realism and frank sensuality in the British cinema.

Working once again in black and white with cinematographer Freddie Francis, Clayton followed with "The Innocents" (1961), the chilling, atmospheric retelling of Henry James' classic ghost story, "The Turn of the Screw" which perfectly exemplified the recurring theme in the majority of his films--"Room," "The Great Gatsby" (1974), "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (1983)--the clash betweeen innocence and corruption often involving the loss of a child's innocence and the power of the supernatural.

After a four-year absence from film, Clayton returned in 1987 to direct the critically acclaimed, heartbreakingly bleak, "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne," once again demonstrating his skill with actors and eliciting sensitive performances from Maggie Smith and Bob Hoskins.

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