British theater and film director primarily associated with the "Angry Young Man" movement of the late 1950s and early 60s. Richardson worked as a producer with the BBC from 1952 to 1955 and co-direct...
Yorkshire, England, GB
|Women and Men: Stories of Seduction||Director||n/a||4|
|A Death in Canaan||Director||n/a||4|
|A Taste of Honey||1962||Director||n/a||4|
|Laughter in the Dark||1969||Director||n/a||4|
|After Midnight||1987 1986 - 1987||Director||n/a||4|
|The Loved One||1964||Director||n/a||4|
|Look Back in Anger||1958||Director||n/a||4|
|The Sailor From Gibraltar||1967||Director||n/a||4|
|Phantom of the Opera: Season: 1||Director||n/a||4|
|The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner||1961||Director||n/a||4|
|A Delicate Balance||1972||Director||n/a||4|
|Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun: Season: 1||Director||n/a||4|
|The Hotel New Hampshire||1984||Director||n/a||4|
|Red and Blue||1966||Director||n/a||4|
|A Death in Canaan||Director||n/a||4|
|The Charge of the Light Brigade||1968||Director||n/a||4|
|Momma Don't Allow||1954||Director||n/a||4|
|Women and Men: Stories of Seduction||Director||("Hills Like White Elephants")||4|
|A Taste of Honey||1962||Producer||n/a||3|
|Saturday Night and Sunday Morning||1961||Producer||n/a||3|
|The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner||1961||Producer||n/a||3|
|A Taste of Honey||1962||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|The Hotel New Hampshire||1984||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|The Sailor From Gibraltar||1967||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Joseph Andrews||1976||From Story||from screenplay||1|
|Directed the film adaptation of Edward Albee's play, "A Delicate Balance"|
|Joined the BBC TV directors' training program|
|Directed one of three short stories for HBO's anthology special, "Women and Men: Stories of Seduction"|
|Produced first feature, "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning"; directed by Karel Reisz|
|Fired by Motown head Berry Gordy shortly after production began on "Mahogany," starring Diana Ross; Gordy took over directing|
|Last feature film, "Blue Skies," starring Jessica Lange in her Oscar winning performance (completed in 1991 and released posthumously)|
|Helped form the English Stage Company with George Goetschius and George Devine|
|Directed groundbreaking production of John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" at London's Royal Court Theatre|
|Helmed first color film, "Tom Jones"|
|Wrote articles on film for Sight and Sound|
|Wrote and directed the film adaptation of "The Hotel New Hampshire," starring Jodie Foster, Rob Lowe and Beau Bridges|
|Formed own film company, Woodfall Film Productions with John Osborne|
|Stage directing debut, "The Country Wife" at the Royal Theatre in England|
|Directed first feature, the film adaptation of Osborne's "Look Back in Anger"; produced through Woodfall Film|
|Made Broadway directing debut when "Look Back in Anger" moved to New York|
|Helmed the British drama, "The Sailor from Gibraltar," starring Jeanne Moreau and then wife Vanessa Redgrave|
|Directed first Hollywood film, "Sanctuary"|
|Co-directed first short film, "Mama Don't Allow" with Karel Reisz|
|Directed then wife, Vanessa Redgrave in "The Charge of the Light Brigade"|
|Directed first US TV-movie, "A Death in Canaan"|
|Began directing for the BBC with such productions as "Othello" and Dostoyevsky's "Gambler"|
Richardson continued to work with Osborne in the theater and, in 1958, the two formed Woodfall Film Productions to bring the new theatrical sensibility to the screen. The company's first two features were adaptations of Richardson's and Osborne's stage collaborations, "Look Back in Anger" (1959) and "The Entertainer" (1960). Both featured fine performances, Richard Burton in the former and Laurence Olivier in the latter, but failed to attract much interest at the box office. Woodfall's first commercial success came with 1960's "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", directed by Reisz.
Richardson scored his first major hit with the beautifully rendered "A Taste of Honey" (1961), a realistic yet lyrical, poignant tale of working-class life in Manchester based on Shelagh Delaney's novel. Both critics and public alike responded to a fine central performance from Rita Tushingham, sterling support from Dora Bryan and Murray Melvin, and striking the industrial landscapes poetically photographed by Walter Lassally.
The influence of the French New Wave was particularly noticeable in Richardson's next two films, Alan Sillitoe's "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" (1962)--which used a flashback narrative structure to weave a "400 Blows"-style story of adolescent rebellion--and "Tom Jones" (1963), considered by many to be the director's masterpiece.
"Tom Jones" was a hilarious, bawdy romp through 18th-century England, adapted by Osborne from the Joseph Fielding novel and superbly acted by Albert Finney, Susannah York, David Warner and Hugh Griffiths. The film was particularly noted for Lassally's imaginative location camerawork. The film earned nearly $40 million and won three Oscars for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Little of Richardson's subsequent work has equaled his earlier achievements, but critical reassessment suggests that the contemporary reactions to his work were a bit harsh on a filmmaker who was always, at the very least, an interesting talent to watch. "Mademoiselle" (1965) and "The Sailor from Gibraltar" (1967) were both castigated at the time of their release, but are visually sumptuous and intriguing, if flawed, studies of tormented passion. "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1968), meanwhile, earned measured praise for its unromanticized portrait of Victorian military life; "Hamlet" (1969), starring Nicol Williamson, and "A Delicate Balance" (1973), with Katharine Hepburn and Paul Scofield, were effective examples of stage productions transposed to the screen; and "Joseph Andrews" (1977) was an unsuccessful attempt to repeat the "Tom Jones" formula.
Richardson's later features were produced in the US. "The Border" (1982) was noted more for Jack Nicholson's performance than for the direction; "Hotel New Hampshire" (1984), a faithful adaptation of John Irving's novel featuring a star-studded cast (Jodie Foster, Beau Bridges, Nastassja Kinski, et al.), met with only limited critical and commercial success.
In the late 1970s Richardson turned to American TV, where he directed "A Death in Canaan" (1978), "Penalty Phase" (1986), "Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun" (1988) and the elaborate "Phantom of the Opera" (1990) starring Burt Lancaster and Charles Dance. Filmed in 1991 and unreleased until after his death, Richardson's final feature "Blue Skies" (1994) was hailed as a return to form. This sensitively handled domestic drama featured an Oscar-winning lead performance by Jessica Lange.
From 1962-67, Richardson was married to actress Vanessa Redgrave. Their two daughters, Natasha and Joely Richardson were both actresses.
|Katherine Grimond||Daughter||Mother, Grizelda Grimond|
|Jeanne Moreau||Companion||Was named as co-respondent in his 1967 divorce from Redgrave|
|Vanessa Redgrave||Wife||Married April 29, 1962; Divorced in 1967 on grounds of adultery, Jeanne Moreau named as correspondent|
|Joely Richardson||Child||Born January 9, 1965; mother, Vanessa Redgrave|
|Natasha Richardson||Child||Born May 11, 1963; mother, Vanessa Redgrave|
|University of Oxford|
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