The Lion That Lost Its Way: And Other Cautionary Tales of the Show Business Jungle

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Sydney Box was one of the most important film producers in British cinema. Between 1940 and 1967 he made over 60 feature films and over 100 documentaries. After the huge success of The Seventh Veil (1945) - which earned him an 'scar® for Best Original Screenplay - Box became head of Gainsborough Pictures from 1946 to 1949. In 1963 he initiated an ambitious and innovative scheme to challenge the monolithic structures of British film and television by acquiring British Lion and the London Weekday television franchise. Ill health forced his retirement in 1967. In this candid and witty autobiography, Box provides fascinating and illuminating insights into the working of the British film industry. The autobiography covers the whole of Box's varied career in British cinema over the period 1940-65, as well as his earlier career as a writer and his later role as an impresario. This memoir also contains many perceptive portraits of those he worked with, including Dylan Thomas, Noël Coward, W. Somerset Maugham, the Duke of Windsor, J. Arthur Rank, Leslie Caron, Alec Guinness and George Bernard Shaw. The memoir is supplemented by an introduction and notes from film scholar Andrew Spicer who clarifies any obscurities and assesses Box's significance to the British film industry. Includes 16 photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Film Review
An illuminating insight into the workings of the British film industry in the post war years, the book provides a genuine insider's-eye-view of the filmmaking process (or what Box terms 'the world's greatest gamble'). All told, a fascinating read, as well as a real find for archivists. FOUR STARS
Reference and Research Book News
Between 1940 and 1967, Sydney Box made more than 60 feature films and 100 documentaries, served a term as the head of Gainsborough Pictures, and initiated an innovative scheme to challenge the monolithic structures of British film and television. His autobiography covers his film career as well as his earlier profession as a writer and his later role as an impresario. Spicer (art, media and design, U. of the West of England) supplies an introduction and notes that establish a context for Box's reminiscences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810856776
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Series: Scarecrow Filmmakers Series, #122
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.64 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Sydney Box (1907-1983) had a varied career in the film industry, which included work on a number of significant productions including The Astonished Heart, The Beachcomber, and The Seventh Veil. Andrew Spicer is a Reader in Cultural History in the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface Part 3 Introduction Part 4 A Letter to My Publisher Chapter 5 1 The Lion That Lost Its Way Chapter 6 2 First Footsteps in the Jungle Chapter 7 3 The Woolf of Wardour Street Chapter 8 4 The Man Who Put the "OD" into Odeon Chapter 9 5 "Want to Buy a Dirty Picture?" Chapter 10 6 Per Ardua ad 'strer Chapter 11 7 A Murmuration of Millionaires Chapter 12 8 God's Gift to the Theater Chapter 13 9 The Ones That Got Away Chapter 14 10 The Price of Fear Chapter 15 11 Where the Money Went Chapter 16 12 Laughter in Court Chapter 17 13 "Music, Maestro, Please!" Chapter 18 14 The Sparticle Tree Chapter 19 15 Detritus from My Diary Part 20 Afterword Part 21 Appendix A: Box's Writing Part 22 Appendix B: Gainsborough Films Produced during Box's Tenure Part 23 Index Part 24 About the Editor

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