4th September 1892 – 18th February 1958
British film director, scenario writer and author of several guide books on film-making. He was born in Brighton and educated in Harrow. He went into directing films after he formed a film company in 1916. During World War I, he served in the Film Department of the Ministry of Defence but started working as a scenario editor after the War ended in 1918. In the 1920s, he worked with Leslie Howard and A. A. Milne, creator of the famous Winnie the Pooh stories. His effective burlesquing in short comedies was his original contribution to the British cinema of his times. Some of his films such as Blighty (1927) and The Constant Nymph (1928) won him considerable fame.
Despite the negative effects of the arrival of sound, he managed to survive by writing guide books for aspiring film-makers. He was active in the Film Society Movement and also set up the Brunel and Montagu Company that regularly prepared imported films for British distribution. He also ventured into working as a scenario writer for an Indo-British talking film, Shikari (Hunter, 1932).
In 1949, he wrote his autobiography, Nice Work (1939). He died aged 76 in Gerrard’s Cross Hospital, Buckinghamshire. His work has not been assessed fully since few of his films have survived.
The above findings are part of the research which ensued in the project - A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration (1930-1951)