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James Ivory

James Ivory

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Also Known As: James Francis Ivory Died:
Born: June 7, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Berkeley, California, USA Profession: director, producer, screenwriter, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

James Ivory began his career as a documentary filmmaker before teaming up with producer Ismail Merchant to make "The Householder" (1963). Based on a novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the film marked the first of the trio's features centering on the people and culture of India. The team's second effort, "Shakespeare Wallah" (1965), attracted international attention for its sensitive portrayal of a family of British touring actors and its insights into the legacy of colonialism. Merchant and Ivory went on to earn a reputation for quality films made on shoestring budgets, with their best work--heavily influenced by Satyajit Ray--examining the interplay between different cultures ("Bombay Talkie" 1970, "Heat and Dust" 1983).

James Ivory began his career as a documentary filmmaker before teaming up with producer Ismail Merchant to make "The Householder" (1963). Based on a novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the film marked the first of the trio's features centering on the people and culture of India. The team's second effort, "Shakespeare Wallah" (1965), attracted international attention for its sensitive portrayal of a family of British touring actors and its insights into the legacy of colonialism. Merchant and Ivory went on to earn a reputation for quality films made on shoestring budgets, with their best work--heavily influenced by Satyajit Ray--examining the interplay between different cultures ("Bombay Talkie" 1970, "Heat and Dust" 1983).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  White Countess (2005) Director
3.
  Golden Bowl, The (2000) Director
5.
  Lumiere Et Compagnie (1996) Featured Co-Director (Merchant-Ivory)
6.
  Surviving Picasso (1996) Director
7.
  Jefferson in Paris (1995) Director
8.
  The Remains Of The Day (1993) Director
9.
  Howard's End (1992) Director
10.
  Mr. And Mrs. Bridge (1990) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Europeans (1979) Man In Warehouse
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1953:
Directed, wrote, edited and photographed the student short "Four in the Morning"
1957:
Produced, directed, wrote and photographed the documentary short "Venice: Theme and Variations"
1959:
Helmed the documentary short "The Sword and the Flute", featuring the sitar music of Ravi Shankar
1961:
Met Ishmail Merchant at a screening of "The Sword and the Flute"; together formed Merchant Ivory Productions (MIP)
1963:
Feature directing debut (and first MIP production), "The Householder"; first collaboration with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala who adapted from her novel
1965:
Co-wrote (with Jhabvala) and directed "Shakespeare Wallah", about a troupe of English actors travelling in India
1969:
First US-financed film, "The Guru", which he co-wrote with Jhabvala
1975:
Switched focus from India to America with "The Wild Party", evoking 1920s Hollywood
1979:
Feature acting debut as Man in Warehouse in "The Europeans"; first picture adapted form the work of Henry James; collaborated on screenplay with Jhabvala and directed
1981:
Helmed and adapted (with Jhabvala) "Quartet" from the novel by Jean Rhys
1984:
Second adaptation of James, "The Bostonians", featuring Christopher Reeve and Vanessa Redgrave
1985:
US TV producing debut, "Noon Wine" (PBS)
1986:
Breakthrough feature, "A Room With a View", based on the E.M. Forster novel; earned Best Director Oscar nomination
1987:
Directed second Forster adaptation, "Maurice"
1992:
First collaboration with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, "Howards End"; garnered second Best Director Oscar nomination; Vanessa Redgrave also co-starred
1993:
Directed Hopkins and Thompson in "The Remains of the Day", earning another Oscar nomination for Best Director; Christopher Reeve had featured role
1996:
Reteamed again with Hopkins for "Surviving Picasso"
1997:
Merchant-Ivory entered into production agreement with the UK-based Capitol Films
1998:
Directed critically-acclaimed "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries", based on the autobiographical novel by Kaylie Jones, daughter of novelist James Jones; shared screenplay credit with Jhabvala
2000:
Directed the period drama "The Golden Bowl"; released in USA in 2001
:
With Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, wrote screenplay for "Le Divorce" (lensed 2002); also directed
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Oregon: Eugene , Oregon - 1951
University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1957

Notes

"I never thought of myself as one of those fiery directors. In front of audiences, at any rate, Ismail [Merchant] is just the opposite. Which is good. Our team is really three people, including Ruth [Prawer Jhabvala]. Of course, we quarrel often, but never in a loud-voiced way. In the end, we work together, each with a strong ego, but never coming down flatly on one another. If one of us is not with the others, that one is missed. Filmmaking just wouldn't be as much fun without Ruth and Ismail." --James Ivory quoted in Biography Magazine, November 1998.

"I would like to think [our films are] elegant, but that the elegance is a mental one. The elegance is in the script--not only just as an adjective. The script is well-thought out and has been well-written. I think that's where elegance shows in a movie. You can have people in all sorts of fancy clothes and have the most elegant big cars, but if it's a lousy script, you go nowhere. The script is where elegance starts in a film." --Ivory quoted in DGA News, April-May 1995.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Edward Patrick Ivory. Lumber company owner. Provided substantial backing for first MIP production "The Householder" (1963).
mother:
Hallie Millicent Ivory.

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