J. Lee Thompson

Front Cover
Manchester University Press, 2000 - Performing Arts - 380 pages
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First published on the fiftieth anniversary of his directorial debut, this book is the first to examine the work of a man once hailed as the finest film-maker to emerge from the British studio system after the Second World War. J. Lee Thompson first came to notice as a talented teenage playwright before entering the film business as a scriptwriter. In the unadventurous world of British film-making in the 1950s, he established himself as a controversial figure known for his innovative ideas and public clashes with the Censor. Before being recruited by Hollywood he made a string of classic films including: Yield to the Night (1956), Ice Cold in Alex (1958), Tiger Bay (1959), North West Frontier (1959) and The Guns of Navarone (1961). Lee Thompson worked in the Hollywood industry into his late eighties, making nearly thirty films as a director and producer between 1960 and 1990. He remains the best known, however, for his first: the immortal thriller Cape Fear (1962).

Drawing on extensive interview material, Steve Chibnall traces Lee Thompson's career in British cinema, and offers an analysis of his films which reveals remarkable, and previously unacknowledged, continuities of style and theme.

This is a book for anyone interested in the history of British cinema, and particularly those who enjoy the best of 1950s and 1960s film.

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About the author (2000)

Steve Chibnall is Professor of British Cinema and Director of the Cinema and Television Research Group at De Montfort University, Leicester

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