Brock Williams (screenwriter)

Last updated

Brock Williams
Born(1894-07-08)8 July 1894
Died19 February 1964(1964-02-19) (aged 69)
Richmond, Surrey, England
Years active1930 1962

Brock Williams (8 July 1894 19 February 1964) was a prolific English screenwriter with over 100 films to his credit between 1930 and 1962. He also had a brief directorial career, and later also worked in television.



A native of Cornwall, in 1930 Williams joined Teddington Studios, the British arm of Warner Brothers, where he would spend the next 15 years. The 1930s was the golden age of the quota quickie, when Teddington was churning out quickly and cheaply shot films by the week, so work was plentiful. With few exceptions, these films were deemed of ephemeral value, with no worthwhile life after their first cinema run. The unfortunate result for modern film historians is that a good proportion are now classed as lost films, while those that have survived did so more by chance than intention. Films on which Williams worked included three early Michael Powell ventures Something Always Happens , The Girl in the Crowd and Someday , of which only the first is still extant. Between 1936 and 1939 he also formed part of a regular four-way working partnership with director Arthur B. Woods, producer Irving Asher and cinematographer Basil Emmott, most notably on Q Planes .

The quota quickie assembly line died with the outbreak of World War II, when Britain's major studios started to concentrate on making fewer pictures with higher production values and quality, often with an overtly patriotic and propagandistic tone. Williams remained contracted to Teddington until 1944, scripting such films as Contraband and Candlelight in Algeria . He then went freelance, starting with the Gainsborough ghost story A Place of One's Own in 1945.

Williams made two forays into film directing, with the 1947 Phyllis Calvert melodrama The Root of All Evil and I'm a Stranger (1952), a comedy starring Greta Gynt. He spent the rest of his film career mainly in the 1950s B-movie fields of thrillers and crime, with his last credits coming in two Lance Comfort productions in 1961 and 1962. He also ventured into television, scripting eight episodes of early police procedural drama Fabian of the Yard for the BBC (1955–56), five episodes of historical adventure serial The Gay Cavalier for Associated-Rediffusion (1957), and six of The New Adventures of Charlie Chan for ITC Entertainment (1957–58). Williams died on 19 February 1964, aged 69.


Related Research Articles

Ward Bond American actor

Wardell Edwin Bond was an American film character actor who appeared in more than 200 films and starred in the NBC television series Wagon Train from 1957 to 1960. Among his best-remembered roles are Bert, the cop, in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Captain Clayton in John Ford's The Searchers (1956).

The Our Gang personnel page is a listing of the significant cast and crew from the Our Gang short subjects film series, originally created and produced by Hal Roach which ran in movie theatre's from 1922 to 1944.

Edward Brophy American actor and comedian

Edward Santree Brophy was an American character actor and comedian. Small of build, balding, and raucous-voiced, he frequently portrayed dumb cops and gangsters, both serious and comic.

Wally Patch Comedian and television actor from Britain

Walter Sydney Vinnicombe, known as Wally Patch, was an English actor and comedian. He worked in film, television and theatre.

Edwin Maxwell was an Irish character actor on in Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s, frequently cast as shady businessmen and shysters, though often ones with a pompous or dignified bearing. Prior to that, he was an actor on the Broadway stage and a director of plays.

Hugh Williams actor

Hugh Anthony Glanmore Williams was a British actor, playwright and dramatist of Welsh descent.

Alfred Junge was a German-born production designer who spent a large part of his career working in the British film industry.

Lawrence Grant actor (1870-1952)

Percy Reginald Lawrence-Grant was an English actor known for supporting roles in films such as The Living Ghost, I'll Tell the World, Shanghai Express, The Mask of Fu Manchu and Son of Frankenstein. He was host of the 4th Academy Awards ceremonies in 1931.

Guinn "Big Boy" Williams American actor

Guinn Terrell Williams Jr. was an American actor who appeared in memorable westerns such as Dodge City (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and The Comancheros (1961). He was nicknamed "Big Boy" as he was 6' 2" and had a muscular build from years of working on ranches and playing semi-pro and professional baseball.

Alfred E. Green American film director

Alfred Edward Green was an American movie director. Green entered film in 1912 as an actor for the Selig Polyscope Company. He became an assistant to director Colin Campbell. He then started to direct two-reelers until he started features in 1917.

J. M. Kerrigan Irish actor

Joseph Michael Kerrigan, better known as J. M. Kerrigan, was an Irish character actor.

George King was an English actors' agent, film director, producer and screenplay writer. He is associated with the production of quota quickies. He helmed several of Tod Slaughter's melodramas, including 1936's The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Paul Porcasi Italian actor

Paul Porcasi was an Italian actor. He appeared in 142 films between 1917 and 1945.

John Wray was an American character actor of stage and screen.

Halliwell Hobbes British actor

Herbert Halliwell Hobbes was an English actor.

Geoffrey Faithfull B.S.C., was a British cinematographer who worked on more than 190 feature films from starting in the industry in the 1910s. Faithfull also directed two films: For You Alone (1945) and I'll Turn to You (1946). He worked on several films with Michael Powell and among his later work was responsible for the 1960 SF classic Village of the Damned.

Garry Marsh British actor

Garry Marsh was an English stage and film actor.

Julius Hagen (1884–1940) was a German-born British film producer who produced more than a hundred films in Britain.

Maclean Rogers was a British film director and screenwriter.

Norman G. Arnold was a British art director who designed the sets for over a hundred and twenty films.