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      Lewis Gilbert

      Lewis Gilbert

      Highest Rated: 100% Damn the Defiant! (1962)

      Lowest Rated: 17% Friends (1971)

      Birthday: Mar 6, 1920

      Birthplace: London, England, UK

      One of Britain's most celebrated filmmakers, Oscar-nominated Lewis Gilbert made nearly a dozen war movies during his 70-year career, but is best-known for his work on the James Bond franchise and British comedies "Alfie" (1966), "Educating Rita" (1982) and "Shirley Valentine" (1989). Born in Hackney, London in 1920, Gilbert spent his early childhood touring with his vaudeville performer parents, first appearing on stage with them aged just five. In his teens Gilbert made the move to the big screen, playing Jem in "Dick Turpin" (1934) and appearing alongside Laurence Olivier in "Divorce of Lady X" (1938). But Gilbert was more interested in pursuing a career behind-the-scenes and after studying directing at Alexander Korda's Denham studios, assisted on Alfred Hitchcock's last British film, "Jamaica Inn" (1939). During World War II, Gilbert volunteered for the Royal Air Force's film unit and worked alongside Hollywood greats William Keighley and Frank Capra in the U.S. Army Air Forces' First Motion Picture Unit. After the war ended, Gilbert helmed several documentary shorts for Gaumont British, made his full-length directorial and screenwriting debut with Margot Fonteyn vehicle "The Little Ballerina" (1947), and first caught major attention with race-against-the-clock medical thriller "Emergency Call" (1952) and then controversial crime drama "Cosh Boy" (1953). After receiving his first of many producer credits on adventure "Johnny on the Run" (1953), Gilbert made crime noirs "The Good Die Young" (1954) and "Cast a Dark Shadow" (1955), clashed with star Orson Welles on "Ferry to Hong Kong" (1959) and established himself as a war movie master thanks to the adaptation of John Harris novel "The Sea Shall Not Have Them" (1954), biopic of aviator Douglas Bader, "Reach for the Sky" (1956), and the true story of SOE agent Violette Szabo, "Carve Her Name with Pride" (1959). "Sink the Bismarck!" (1960), "Light Up the Sky" (1960), "H.M.S. Defiant" (1962) and "The 7th Dawn" (1964) all followed, but Gilbert achieved his biggest success when he moved away from the war genre. Starring Michael Caine as a fourth wall-breaking playboy, Gilbert's romantic comedy "Alfie" (1966) picked up five Oscar nominations including Best Picture, while a year later he was hired to direct Sean Connery's proposed swansong as James Bond, "You Only Live Twice" (1967). Gilbert would twice return to the 007 franchise with "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) and "Moonraker" (1979), but not before working on notorious flop "The Adventurers" (1970), teen romance "Friends" (1971) and its sequel "Paul and Michelle" (1974), and his final war movie "Operation Daybreak" (1975). Gilbert achieved both box-office and critical success in the 1980s with adaptations of two Willy Russell plays, "Educating Rita" (1982) in which he reunited with Michael Caine, and Shirley Valentine (1989), before working on Liza Minnelli musical comedy "Stepping Out" (1991), paranormal horror "Haunted" (1995) and family comedy "Before You Go" (2002). He passed away at his Monaco home in 2018 just a week shy of his 98th birthday.


      THE ADVENTURERS, writer Harold Robbins, producer, director, Lewis Gilbert, on location in Rome, 1970 EDUCATING RITA, director Lewis Gilbert, 1983, ©Columbia Pictures / SHIRLEY VALENTINE, director Lewis Gilbert, Tom Conti, Pauline Collins, screenwriter Willy Russell, on set, 1989. ©Paramount Pictures



      No Score Yet 27% Before You Go Director - 2002
      80% 51% Haunted Director,
      - 1995
      No Score Yet 71% Stepping Out Director,
      $232.3K 1991
      72% 86% Shirley Valentine Director,
      $4.7M 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Not Quite Paradise Director - 1985
      82% 81% Educating Rita Director,
      - 1983
      60% 43% Moonraker Director - 1979
      82% 77% The Spy Who Loved Me Director - 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Price of Freedom Director - 1976
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Seven Nights in Japan Director - 1976
      No Score Yet 77% Operation Daybreak Director - 1975
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Paul and Michelle Director - 1974
      17% 76% Friends Director,
      - 1971
      No Score Yet 59% The Adventurers Director,
      - 1970
      74% 68% 007 - You Only Live Twice Director - 1967
      97% 76% Alfie Director,
      - 1966
      No Score Yet 69% The 7th Dawn Director - 1964
      100% 63% Damn the Defiant! Director - 1962
      No Score Yet 50% Loss of Innocence Director - 1961
      No Score Yet 60% Light Up the Sky Director,
      - 1960
      86% 77% Sink the Bismarck! Director - 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Skywatch Director - 1960
      No Score Yet 0% Ferry to Hong Kong Director,
      - 1959
      No Score Yet 71% A Cry From the Streets Director - 1958
      No Score Yet 77% Carve Her Name With Pride Director,
      - 1958
      No Score Yet 71% Paradise Lagoon Director - 1957
      80% 88% Reach for the Sky Director,
      - 1957
      83% 60% Cast a Dark Shadow Director - 1955
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Break to Freedom Director - 1955
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Sea Shall Not Have Them Director,
      - 1954
      No Score Yet 50% The Good Die Young Director - 1954
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Cosh Boy Director,
      - 1953
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny on the Run Director,
      - 1953
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Emergency Call Director,
      - 1952
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Wall of Death Director - 1951
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Time Gentlemen, Please Director - 1951
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Little Ballerina Director - 1951
      No Score Yet 54% Marry Me Screenwriter - 1949
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Ten Year Plan Director,
      - 1945
      No Score Yet 33% Over the Moon Unknown (Character) - 1940
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Hound of the Baskervilles Roger Stapleton Baskerville (Character) - 1921