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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ronald Neame

Born(1911-04-23)23 April 1911
Died16 June 2010(2010-06-16) (aged 99)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
United States
EducationHurstpierpoint College
Alma materUniversity College School
  • Director
  • cinematographer
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1939–1991
Spouse(s)Beryl Yolanda Warburton

Heanly (m. 1933 – div. 1992)

Donna Friedberg
(m. 1993)
ChildrenChristopher Neame
Parent(s)Ivy Close
Elwin Neame

Ronald Neame CBE, BSC (23 April 1911 – 16 June 2010) was an English film producer, director, cinematographer, and screenwriter. Beginning his career as a cinematographer, for his work on the British war film One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1943) he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects. During a partnership with director David Lean, he produced Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), and Oliver Twist (1948), receiving two Academy Award nominations for writing.

Neame then moved into directing, and some notable films included, The Man Who Never Was (1956), which chronicled Operation Mincemeat, a British WWII deception operation, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), which won Maggie Smith her first Oscar, and the action-adventure disaster film The Poseidon Adventure (1972). He also directed I Could Go On Singing (1963), Judy Garland's last film, and Scrooge (1970), starring Albert Finney.

For his contributions to the film industry, in 1996 Neame was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the highest award the British Film Academy can give a filmmaker.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    12 161
    14 235
    318 485
  • Ronald Neame - Tunes of Glory Movie Review
  • This Happy Breed (1944)
  • Tunes of Glory - John Mills & Alec Guinness
  • The Odessa File (1974) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]
  • Action Adventure Full Movie | Golden Salamander (1950) | Retrospective


Early career

Born in Hendon, London,[1] Neame was the son of photographer Elwin Neame and actress Ivy Close.[2] He studied at University College School and Hurstpierpoint College. His father died in 1923,[3] and Neame took a job with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company as an office boy. Later, through his mother's contacts in the British film industry, Neame started at Elstree Studios as a messenger boy.[4]

He was fortunate enough to be hired as an assistant cameraman on Blackmail (1929), the first British talkie, directed by a young Alfred Hitchcock. Neame's own career as a cinematographer began with the musical comedy Happy (1933), and he continued to develop his skills in various "quota quickies" films for several years.

His credits as cinematographer include Major Barbara (1941), In Which We Serve (1942), and One of Our Aircraft Is Missing. At the 15th Academy Awards, In Which We Serve won an Academy Honorary Award, and Neame was nominated for an Best Special Effects for his camerawork on One of Our Aircraft Is Missing.[5]

As producer and screenwriter

Following the success of In Which We Serve, director David Lean,associate producer Anthony Havelock-Allan, and cinematographer Neame formed a new production company together, Cineguild. Though the company only produced nine films between 1944 and 1950, it launched the directing careers of Lean and Neame and the producing career of Havelock-Allan.

The trio's first three films were adaptations of Coward's works: This Happy Breed, Blithe Spirit, and Brief Encounter. All three films were Directed by Lean, shot by Neame, produced by Havelock-Allan, and co-written from all three. Brief Encounter, which was adapted from Coward's one-act play Still Life, earned all three partners an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay nomination.

Following their success adapting Coward, the trio decided to adapt the works of Charles Dickens. Their screenplay for their first adaptation, Great Expectations, earned the trio another Academy Award nomination. The film also marked an important shift in Neame's career, as it was his first film on which he was not cinematographer. Instead, he served as a producer alongside Havelock-Allan. The next year, he made his directorial debut with Take My Life, again produced by Havelock-Allan.

Cineguild's next film, Oliver Twist, was the beginning of the end for the production company. The film received criticism for antisemitism as a result of Alec Guinness' portrayal of Fagin. It was Havelock-Allan's last film with the company. Neame produced one more film for Cineguild, Lean's The Passionate Friends, before leaving to write, produce, and direct Golden Salamander. Lean's next film, Madeleine, was Cineguild's last, and the only Cineguild production without Neame or Havelock-Allan.

Following Cineguild's dissolution, Neame produced The Magic Box (1951), a screen biography directed by John Boulting about the life of British camera inventor William Friese-Greene, which was the film project for the Festival of Britain.

As director

Neame made his directorial debut under the Cineguild banner, with Take My Life (1947), which was released by British producer J. Arthur Rank's General Film Distributors in the United Kingdom in 1947 and by Rank's Eagle-Lion Films in the United States in 1949.[6] Neame began a transition to the American film industry at the suggestion of Rank, who asked him to study the Hollywood production system.[7]

He worked again with Alec Guinness (whom he had worked with on Great Expectations and Oliver Twist), this time as director, in three films: The Card (1952), The Horse's Mouth (1958), and Tunes of Glory (1960). Neame described Tunes of Glory as "the film I am proudest of".[4] He received two BAFTA Award nominations for Tunes of Glory. Neame and Guinness worked again on the musical Scrooge (1970) with Guinness playing the ghost of Jacob Marley to Albert Finney's Ebenezer Scrooge.

Neame also directed I Could Go On Singing (1963), Judy Garland's last film, co-starring Dirk Bogarde; and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), which won Maggie Smith her first Oscar.

Neame was recruited to direct The Poseidon Adventure (1972) after the contracted director left the production. He later characterised The Poseidon Adventure as "my favourite film" because it earned him enough to retire comfortably.[4] He enjoyed a long friendship with Walter Matthau, whom he directed in two later films, Hopscotch (1980) and First Monday in October (1981).

Neame's final feature-length film, Foreign Body, a comedy starring Victor Banerjee, was filmed in England and released in 1986.

Personal life

Neame married Beryl Heanly in 1933. They legally separated in 1971 and divorced in 1992. The couple had one son, Christopher, a writer/producer who died one year after his father's death. Ronald's only grandson, Gareth Neame, is a successful television producer, who represents the fourth generation of Neames in the film industry. Ronnie Neame's second marriage took place in Santa Barbara on 12 September 1993. His wife, Donna Bernice Friedberg, is also in the business – a film researcher and television producer, who worked on his 1979 movie Meteor. He referred to their meeting as a "coup de foudre".[citation needed]

In 1996 Neame was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for his contributions to the film industry. He had homes in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara, California. In 2003 Neame published an autobiography, Straight from the Horse's Mouth. (ISBN 978-0810844902)


Neame died on 16 June 2010 after suffering complications from a broken leg.[8] The break required two surgical procedures from which Neame never recovered.[9]

In an interview in 2006, he jokingly stated, "When people ask me about the secret to my longevity, I say the honest answer is two large vodkas at lunchtime and three large scotches in the evening. All my doctors have said to me, 'Ronnie, if you would drink less, you'd live a lot longer.' But, they're all dead, and I'm still here at 95."[10]

Selected filmography

Year Title Director Writer Producer Cinematographer Notes
1928 Toni No No No No Camera Operator
1928 Adam's Apple No No No No Camera Operator
1929 Blackmail No No No No Assistant camera
1932 The Maid of the Mountains No No No No Camera Operator
1932 Fires of Fate No No No No Camera Operator
1932 Mr. Bill the Conqueror No No No No Camera Operator
1932 For the Love of Mike No No No No Camera Operator
1933 Happy No No No No Camera Operator
1933 A Southern Maid No No No No Camera Operator
1934 Give Her a Ring No No No No Camera Operator
1934 Girls Will Be Boys No No No No Camera operator
1934 The Old Curiosity Shop No No No No Camera operator
1935 Radio Parade of 1935 No No No No Camera operator
1935 Drake of England No No No Yes
1935 Invitation to the Waltz No No No Yes
1935 Joy Ride No No No Yes
1935 Honours Easy No No No Yes
1936 The Improper Duchess No No No Yes
1936 King of the Castle No No No Yes
1936 Music Hath Charms No No No Yes
1936 The Crimes of Stephen Hawke No No No Yes
1936 Once in a Million No No No No Camera operator
1936 A Star Fell from Heaven No No No Yes
1936 Reasonable Doubt No No No Yes
1936 The Scarab Murder Case No No No Yes
1937 Strange Experiment No No No Yes
1937 Feather Your Nest No No No Yes
1937 Radio Lover No No No Yes
1937 Cafe Colette No No No Yes
1937 Catch as Catch Can No No No Yes
1937 Brief Ecstasy No No No Yes
1937 Variety Hour No No No Yes
1937 Against the Tide No No No Yes
1937 Keep Fit No No No Uncredited
1937 Member of the Jury No No No Yes
1938 The Gaunt Stranger No No No Yes
1938 I See Ice No No No Yes
1938 Second Thoughts No No No Yes
1938 Murder in the Family No No No Yes
1938 Who Goes Next? No No No Yes
1938 Penny Paradise No No No Yes
1938 It's in the Air No No No Yes
1938 The Ware Case No No No Yes
1939 Young Man's Fancy No No No Yes
1939 Let's Be Famous No No No Yes
1939 Trouble Brewing No No No Yes
1939 The Four Just Men No No No Yes
1937 Young Man's Fancy No No No Yes
1939 Cheer Boys Cheer No No No Yes
1939 Come on George! No No No Yes
1940 Return to Yesterday No No No Yes
1940 Let George Do It! No No No Yes
1940 Saloon Bar No No No Yes
1941 Major Barbara No No No Yes
1941 A Yank in the R.A.F. No No No Yes Flying sequences
1942 One of Our Aircraft Is Missing No No No Yes
1942 In Which We Serve No No No Yes
1944 This Happy Breed No Yes associate producer, uncredited Yes
1945 Blithe Spirit No Yes No Yes
1945 Brief Encounter No Yes uncredited No Nominated – Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay;
Also production manager
1946 Great Expectations No Yes Yes No Nominated – Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
1947 Take My Life Yes No No No
1948 Oliver Twist No No Yes No
1949 The Passionate Friends No No Yes No
1950 Golden Salamander Yes Yes Yes No
1951 The Magic Box No No Yes No
1952 The Card Yes No No No
1953 The Million Pound Note Yes No No No
1956 The Man Who Never Was Yes No No No
1957 The Seventh Sin Yes No No No
1957 Windom's Way Yes No No No
1958 The Horse's Mouth Yes No Yes No
1960 Tunes of Glory Yes No No No
1962 Escape from Zahrain Yes No Yes No
1963 I Could Go On Singing Yes No No No
1964 The Chalk Garden Yes No No No
1965 Mister Moses Yes No No No
1966 A Man Could Get Killed Yes No No No
1966 Gambit Yes No No No
1968 Prudence and the Pill Uncredited No No No
1969 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Yes No No No
1970 Hello-Goodbye uncredited No No No Original director Jean Negulesco quit after three weeks, so Neame finished the film as a favor to Darryl F. Zanuck
1970 Scrooge Yes No No No
1972 The Poseidon Adventure Yes No No No
1974 The Odessa File Yes No No No
1979 Meteor Yes No No No also British Representative
1980 Hopscotch Yes No No No
1981 First Monday in October Yes No No No also Speaker Over PA System (uncredited)
1986 Foreign Body Yes No No No
1990 The Magic Balloon Yes Yes No No Short film



External links

This page was last edited on 22 October 2023, at 18:22
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