Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ronald Neame, 1911-2010

Ronald Neame receiving an award late in life

The death of director Ronald Neame has been announced. He was 99. He directed quite a few movies, and perhaps his best-known movie, at least by people who aren't movie buffs, might be The Poseidon Adventure

Neame was a director, but he was much more talented than that. He started his career in movies all the way back at the dawn of sound, having been an assistant cameraman on the first British talking picture, Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail. This eventually grew into cinematography, working with Noël Coward on movies such as In Which We Serve, working alongside fellow future director David Lean.

Neame of course later became a director, first in the UK and then in Hollywood. In addition to The Poseidon Adventure, he directed Maggie Smith to a Best Actress Oscar in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as Judy Garland's final film, I Could Go On Singing, which I recommended just last week. And as a measure of how varied Neame's output was, he also directed the neo-Nazi thriller The Odessa File.

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