Carol Reed


Director
Carol Reed

About

Also Known As
Sir Carol Reed
Birth Place
London, England, GB
Born
December 30, 1906
Died
April 25, 1976

Biography

Reed began his film career in 1927 as an assistant to Edgar Wallace at British Lion films, supervising the adaptation of Wallace's works into film. After a spell as dialogue director and assistant director for Basil Dean, he had an early directing credit of his own with "Midshipman Easy/Men of the Sea" (1936).Reed soon earned a reputation for his finely observed portrayals of working-cla...

Photos & Videos

The Third Man - Pressbook
The Fallen Idol - Movie Poster
The Third Man - Lobby Card Set

Family & Companions

Diana Wynyard
Wife
Actor. Married 1943, divorced 1947.
Penelope Dudley Ward
Wife
Married 1948.

Notes

Knighted 1952 for services to British film industry

Biography

Reed began his film career in 1927 as an assistant to Edgar Wallace at British Lion films, supervising the adaptation of Wallace's works into film. After a spell as dialogue director and assistant director for Basil Dean, he had an early directing credit of his own with "Midshipman Easy/Men of the Sea" (1936).

Reed soon earned a reputation for his finely observed portrayals of working-class life, such as "Bank Holiday" (1938), "The Stars Look Down" (1939)--the film which established Reed as a major director--and "Kipps" (1941), adapted from the novel by H.G. Wells. He also earned attention for "Night Train to Munich" (1940), a wartime comedy-thriller which borrowed heavily--but creditably--from Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes." (Both films were written by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.) These early features confirmed Reed as a capable craftsman with a sharp eye for detail, an unpretentious style and a knack for extracting fine performances from his actors.

During WWII, Reed worked as a director for the Army Kinematograph Service and directed the acclaimed propaganda feature, "The Way Ahead" (1944), starring David Niven. He also co-directed, with Garson Kanin, "The True Glory" (1945), an Oscar-winning documentary compiled from footage shot by Allied army cameramen.

Reed hit his peak in the post-war years with a string of features which remain landmarks in English film history. These began with "Odd Man Out" (1947), a superb hunt drama which follows a wounded Irish revolutionary (James Mason) through the final encounters of his life. The success of "Odd Man Out" led to a contract with Alexander Korda, for whom Reed made five films, beginning with "The Fallen Idol" (1948). A superbly crafted thriller which turns on a child's misconception of adult emotional entanglements, it was followed in 1949 by the director's acknowledged masterpiece, "The Third Man." Justly regarded as the finest of the many films to have been adapted from the works of Graham Greene, this atmospheric thriller made superb use of its postwar Viennese locations and featured fine performances from Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard and Orson Welles.

After his excellent but unjustly neglected "An Outcast of the Islands" (1951), Reed found his critical reputation taking a somewhat downward turn in the 1950s and early 60s, when he turned out a number of more expensive, but less meticulously crafted productions such as the Hollywood-made "Trapeze" (1958) and "The Agony and the Ecstasy" (1965). His fortunes revived with "Oliver!" (1968), an exuberant musical version of Dickens's "Oliver Twist" which won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Reed's first marriage (1943-47) was to the distinguished stage and screen actress Diana Wynyard; he married another actress, Penelope Dudley Ward, in 1948. He was knighted in 1952 for his services to the British film industry.

Life Events

1927

Began film career, assisting Edgar Wallace at British Lion Films

1935

Began directing his own films, beginning with the romance "It Happened in Paris" and the Napoleonic War-set drama "Midshipman Easy/Men of the Sea"

1936

Directed Edmund Gwenn and Cedric Hardwicke in "Laburnum Grove"

1937

Helmed the comedy "Who's Your Lady Friend?"; directed and co-scripted the forgettable melodrama "Talk of the Devil"

1938

Won notice with "Bank Holiday", an ambitious episodic portrait of working class Britain

1939

Helmed "The Stars Looked Down", a gripping tale of Welsh coalminers starring Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood

1939

Directed Lockwood in "A Girl Must Live", a drama about a young woman who goes from a proper prep school to a chorus

1941

Was the director of the suspense-filled drama "Night Train to Munich", starring Lockwood and Rex Harrison

1941

Directed wife Diana Wynyard and Michael Redgrave in "Kipps", based on H.G. Wells' novel about a shopkeeper who rises above his social standing through an inheritance

1942

Helmed the biopic "The Young Mr. Pitt", starring Robert Donat as the British Prime Minister elected at age 24

1947

Won accclaim for his feature "Odd Man Out", an affecting drama about a rebel Irish leader (James Mason)

1949

Produced and directed his seminal work, "The Third Man", a mystery starring Orson Welles, Trevor Howard and Joseph Cotten, based on the novel by Graham Greene

1951

Helmed a harrowing adaptation of Joseph Conrad's "An Outcast of the Islands", set in the exotic jungles of Malaysia and starring Trevor Howard and Robert Morley

1952

Knighted by King George VI

1953

Directed "The Man Between", a post-World War II Berlin-set drama starring James Mason

1955

Helmed "A Kid For Two Farthings", a fable about a young boy in London's Jewish ghetto who keeps a sickly goat with one horn as his magical unicorn

1956

Directed Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lollobrigida in "Trapeze"

1958

Helmed "The Key", a World War II-set romantic drama starring William Holden and Sophia Loren

1960

Directed second adaptation of a Graham Greene novel, the spy comedy "Our Man in Havana", starring Alec Guinness

1963

Helmed the crime drama "The Running Man", starring Laurence Harvey as the titular fugitive who fakes his death in order to collect insurance money

1965

Directed "The Agony and the Ecstasy", starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo conflicting with Rex Harrison's Pope Julius II over the Sistine Chapel

1968

Helmed "Oliver!", a musical based on the Dickens classic "Oliver Twist"; won an Oscar for his work

1970

Was director of "Flap", a comedic look at the plight of modern Native Americans

1972

Directed last feature, "Follow Me"

1999

"The Third Man" named best British film of all time by the British Film Institute

Photo Collections

The Third Man - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for The Third Man (1949). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Fallen Idol - Movie Poster
Here is the 1-sheet movie poster from the American release of the British film The Fallen Idol (1948), starring Ralph Richardson. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Third Man - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from The Third Man (1949). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Odd Man Out - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for the British film Odd Man Out (1947), directed by Carol Reed. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Man Between - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Carol Reed's The Man Between (1953), starring James Mason and Claire Bloom. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Flap (1970) - Holy Last Resting Place At a loose tribal meeting, Anthony Quinn (title character, “Flapping Eagle”) is charged with stealing a bulldozer, when lawyer Wounded Bear (Victor Jory) steps in, Anthony Caruso the chairman, Don Collier the plaintiff, Victor French the cop, Claude Akins a pal, in Flap, 1970, Carol Reed directing.
Flap (1970) - Us Indians Only Got One Speed Sir Carol Reed directing his follow-up to his Academy Award win for Oliver!, on Central Ave. (also Route 66) in downtown Albuquerque, Anthony Quinn his Native American title character, Claude Akins and Tony Bill his pals in make-up, Victor French the nasty cop, in Flap, 1970.
Flap (1970) - Dorothy Bluebell No dialogue and maybe some stereotyping, as Anthony Quinn (title character “Flapping Eagle”) and pals (Claude Akins, Tony Bill), flush with cash, arrive at the brothel run by Dorothy (Shelley Winters, her first scene), in Flap, 1970, directed by Carol Reed from a Clair Huffaker novel.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - He Played For The Gentlemen Two new characters, about an hour into the picture, Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as Brits Charters and Caldicott are catching the Berlin to Munich train when they’re surprised to see Rex Harrison, as undercover agent Randall, posing as a Nazi, sneaking Margaret Lockwood and her father out of Germany, watched by suspicious Paul Henreid, with a not-too obscure cricket reference, in Carol Reed’s Night Train To Munich, 1940.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - So Did Napoleon By way of introducing the Times of London, with a reference to the German foreign minister, Czech refugee Anna (Margaret Lockwood) has been advised by her rescuer Karl (Paul Henreid), not realizing HE’s an undercover Nazi spy, to place an ad, in hopes she’ll lead him to her fugitive scientist father, but she trusts Roland Culver, the British intelligence man on the phone, another wrinkle, in Night Train To Munich, 1940.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - Only Love Can Lead The Way In his first scene, Rex Harrison poses as singer Gus, practicing tradecraft as he initially rebuffs Czech refugee Anna (Margaret Lockwood), who got mysterious instructions to come to coastal Brightbourne (modeled on Brighton), in search of her exiled scientist father, not aware the Nazis are watching her (!), in Carol Reed’s Night Train To Munich, 1940.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - I'm Suffering From An Eye Strain Substantial plot twist, to infuriate any viewer who was liking Paul Henreid as Karl Marsen, Czech concentration camp escapee who, now in London, reveals himself to be a Nazi mole, visiting an opthalmologist (Felix Aylmer) who, after a clever bit with an eye chart, does exposition, in Night Train To Munich, 1940, from director Carol Reed and producer Alexander Korda.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - We Shall Be Invaded After a prologue on various Nazi invasions of 1939, with Hitler in newsreels, then indirectly portrayed, we meet James Harcourt as Czech scientist Bomasch, with chiefs of his military industry employer, who winds up calling his daughter, top-billed Margaret Lockwood, in Alexander Korda and Carol Reed’s Night Train To Munich, 1940.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - Nature Endowed Me With A Gift Rex Harrison, whom we now know to be a British intelligence man posing as a seaside singer, intercepts a letter sent by Anna (Margaret Lockwood), testy daughter of the Czech fugitive scientist he’s minding, which we also know was addressed to a Nazi agent who’s got people watching her Carol Reed’s Night Train To Munich, 1940.
Night Train To Munich (1940) - Insolence Does Not Pay Daughter of an exiled Czech scientist, now conscripted by the Nazi occupiers as a prison nurse, Margaret Lockwood (as Anna) observes as a snarling doctor (John Wengraf) examines Paul (von) Henreid, as inmate Marsen, who seems a lot like Victor Laszlo, his first scene, in director Carol Reed’s Night Train To Munich 1940.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) - You'd Best Join My War In a storm at sea, Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard) awakens and overrides the orders of Christian (Marlon Brando) causing the death of a sailor and a big spat, in the director Lewis Milestone's remake of Mutiny On The Bounty, 1962.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) - A Matter Of Supernatural Indifference As Tahiti comes into view, Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard) lectures Mr. Christian (Marlon Brando) and crew on the natives, followed by spectacle, in Mutiny On The Bounty, 1962.

Trailer

Family

Oliver Reed
Nephew
Actor. Featured in "Oliver!".

Companions

Diana Wynyard
Wife
Actor. Married 1943, divorced 1947.
Penelope Dudley Ward
Wife
Married 1948.

Bibliography

Notes

Knighted 1952 for services to British film industry