Walter C. Mycroft: the time of my life, the memoirs of a British film producer

W. Mycroft, V. Porter (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Walter Charles Mycroft (1890-1959) was the film critic of the Evening Standard from 1922-1927, and also a founding member of London's Film Society. In 1928, he was appointed Head of the Scenario Department-and then Director of Production-at British International Pictures (later Associated British Pictures). In 1941 Mycroft was sacked following the death of the company's Managing Director and the requisition of Elstree studios by the British Government for war purposes. After that his career went into steady decline, although after the Second World War he worked for nearly a decade as Scenario Adviser to Robert Clark, who ran the rebuilt Elstree studios. This long-lost memoir, which Mycroft wrote mainly in the 1940s, offers a detailed account of the vagaries and complex economic vicissitudes of British film production in the 1930s. Mycroft also recalls how he selected film stories for directors Harry Lachman, E. A. Dupont and Alfred Hitchcock, and he reveals, for the first time, the true story behind Hitchcock's departure from British International Pictures. Mycroft also provides incisive portraits of British film industry captains: the charismatic Alexander Korda, C. M. Woolf, the rising J. Arthur Rank, and above all John Maxwell, the shrewd iconoclastic Scots lawyer who built Associated British into the largest and most financially successful film corporation in pre-war Britain. The memoirs conclude with the death of Maxwell and Mycroft's fall from grace at Elstree. The volume is supplemented by four appendixes consisting of Mycroft's earlier writings on the aesthetics and business of film production, along with a filmography of over 200 films on which he worked. This memoir provides both scholars and the general reader with new and fascinating insights into the worlds of British journalism during the first two decades of the twentieth century and of British film production during the 1930s.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLanham
PublisherScarecrow Publishing
Number of pages233
Edition125
ISBN (Print)9780810857230
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameFilmmakers series
PublisherScarecrow Press
No.125

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