Thorold Dickinson


Director

About

Birth Place
Bristol, England, GB
Born
November 16, 1903
Died
April 14, 1984

Biography

Noted British cineaste whose reputation was established with the original screen version of the psychological thriller, "Gaslight" (1940). A skilled, intelligent director with a flair for fluid camerawork and a penchant for melodramas about men under great duress, Dickinson was also a keen documentarist, producing military training films for the British Army Kinematograph Service during ...

Family & Companions

Joanna MacFadyen
Wife
Architect. Collaborated on screenplay of "Hill 24 Doesn't Answer" (1955).

Bibliography

"A Discovery of Cinema"
Thorold Dickinson (1971)
"Soviet Cinema"
Thorold Dickinson and Catherine de la Roche (1948)

Biography

Noted British cineaste whose reputation was established with the original screen version of the psychological thriller, "Gaslight" (1940). A skilled, intelligent director with a flair for fluid camerawork and a penchant for melodramas about men under great duress, Dickinson was also a keen documentarist, producing military training films for the British Army Kinematograph Service during WWII and serving as Chief of Film Services for the United Nations between 1956 and 1960. Dickinson made a handful of feature films on an intermittent basis during the 1940s and 50s, including a genuinely strange and haunting version of the Pushkin semi-fantasy, "The Queen of Spades" (1948) and one of the first important films in the history of Israeli cinema, "Hill 54 Does Not Answer" (1955).

Dickinson was also a key figure in the introduction of film studies to British higher education, founding the Film Department of London University in 1960 and becoming Britain's first Professor of Film in 1967. He was also the author of "Soviet Cinema" (1948, with Catherine de la Roche) and "A Discovery of Cinema" (1971).

Life Events

1937

Feature film directing debut, "The High Command"

1955

Last feature film, "Hill 54 Does Not Answer"

Videos

Movie Clip

Secret People (1952) - You Are English Now Director Thorold Dickinson jumps years forward, finding matured Valentina Cortese as Maria and sister Eleanora grown up to be Audrey Hepburn, refugees from an un-named fascist Italy, with their sponsor Anselmo (Charles Goldner) on the day they become British citizens, in Secret People, 1952.
Secret People (1952) - Is That The Man Who Killed Father? At the Paris Exposition, 1937, naturalized Brits Maria and Eleanora (Valentina Cortese, Audrey Hepburn), with friend Anselmo (Charles Goldner), see the hated dictator (Hugo Schuster) from their un-named homeland, and meet long-lost boyfriend Louis (Serge Reggiani), in Secret People, 1952.
Gaslight (1940) - A Delicate Woman Ex-cop turned stable owner Rough (Frank Pettingell) with a house agent (Aubrey Dexter), scrounging up info about Bella (Diana Wynyard), whose husband resembles a criminal he pursued, and whom he shortly contrives to meet, in the original Gaslight, 1940.
Gaslight (1940) - Dreadful Murder Smashing opening from English director and film scholar Thorold Dickinson, Marie Wright as the victim, camera by early Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Knowles, from the original British National production of Gaslight, 1940.
Prime Minister, The (1942) - Foppish Young Novelist Most of the prologue and the opening scene with John Gielgud, as advertised, in a most uncharacteristic prissy tone, as the young-ish Benjamin Disraeli, meeting the unsuspecting widow Wyndham Lewis (Diana Wynyard), in director Thorold Dickinson's The Prime Minister, 1942.
Prime Minister, The (1942) - You Will Hear Me! Observed by his smitten sponsor, the widow Wyndham Lewis (Diana Wynyard), the snobby yet radical Disraeli (John Gielgud) rises for his first speech in Parliament, 1837, rival Gladstone (Stephen Murray) smirking, early in director Thorold Dickinson's The Prime Minister, 1942.
Prime Minister, The (1942) - This Silly Dance The widow Mrs. Wyndham Lewis (Diana Wynyard), received by host Count D'Orsay (Anthony Ireland), hopes to end her brief estrangement from her pet politician Disraeli (John Gielgud), who is surrendered by the understanding Lady Blessington (Vera Bogetti), in The Prime Minister, 1942.
Gaslight (1940) - You Imagine Things Just getting to know suave Paul (Anton Walbrook) and skittish Bella (Diana Wynyard), just moved into the London house where her aunt was murdered, with their frisky maid Nancy (Cathleen Cordell) from the original Gaslight, 1940.

Trailer

Companions

Joanna MacFadyen
Wife
Architect. Collaborated on screenplay of "Hill 24 Doesn't Answer" (1955).

Bibliography

"A Discovery of Cinema"
Thorold Dickinson (1971)
"Soviet Cinema"
Thorold Dickinson and Catherine de la Roche (1948)