Daniel Birt

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Daniel Birt
Born(1907-06-23)23 June 1907
Died15 May 1955(1955-05-15) (aged 47)
London, England
OccupationFilm director and editor
Years active1932 1955

Daniel Birt (23 June 1907 15 May 1955) was an English film director and editor. [1]

Contents

Career

Birt began his career as an editor in 1932 with an assistant credit on The Lucky Number and went on to edit 12 films during the 1930s. [1] World War II brought a career hiatus and Birt didn't return to the film industry until the late 1940s.

The Lucky Number is a 1933 British sports comedy film directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Clifford Mollison, Gordon Harker, Joan Wyndham and Frank Pettingell. The screenplay concerns a professional footballer who attempts to recover a winning pools ticket. The film was made by Gainsborough Pictures and shot at Islington and Welwyn Studios with sets designed by Alex Vetchinsky. The football scenes were filmed in and around Highbury Stadium in North London.

Having worked as supervising editor on Green Fingers and The Ghosts of Berkeley Square , he was given his first directorial assignment in 1947 - The Three Weird Sisters , a pseudo-Gothic tale set in a decaying Welsh mansion. [2] This was followed in 1948 by No Room at the Inn (co-scripted, like the previous film, by Dylan Thomas), a powerful and unsparing film dealing with child cruelty in an evacuee household during the war. [3]

<i>Green Fingers</i> 1947 film by John Harlow

Green Fingers is a 1947 British drama film directed by John Harlow and starring Robert Beatty, Carol Raye and Nova Pilbeam. The film's plot involves a young man who, after returning from fighting in a war, discovers that he has what appear to be healing powers. It was made by British National Films at the Elstree Studios complex with some scenes shot on location in Whitby in Yorkshire. The film's sets were designed by the art director Wilfred Arnold.

<i>The Ghosts of Berkeley Square</i> 1947 film by Vernon Sewell

The Ghosts of Berkeley Square is a 1947 British comedy film, directed by Vernon Sewell and starring Robert Morley and Felix Aylmer. The film is an adaptation of the novel No Nightingales by Caryl Brahms and S. J. Simon, inspired by the enduring reputation of the property at 50 Berkeley Square as "the most haunted house in London". Despite its stellar cast of highly respected character actors and its inventive use of special effects, the film proved less successful at the box-office than had been hoped.

<i>The Three Weird Sisters</i> 1948 film by Daniel Birt

The Three Weird Sisters is a 1948 British melodrama film directed by Daniel Birt and starring Nancy Price, Mary Clare, Mary Merrall, Nova Pilbeam and Raymond Lovell. The film has Gothic influences. The screenplay was adapted by Dylan Thomas and Louise Birt from the novel The Case of the Weird Sisters by Charlotte Armstrong. The film was Birt's feature film directorial debut. It also marked the last screen appearance of Nova Pilbeam, who retired from acting after it was completed.

Birt directed a further ten films in the crime/thriller genre, mostly second features, [4] before his early death, aged 47, in May 1955. He also directed three episodes of the first series of the ITV television drama The Adventures of Robin Hood , which were broadcast posthumously in late 1955. Birt's final film, the Anglo-Danish co-production Laughing in the Sunshine, was also released after his death, entering UK general release on 2 January 1956. [5]

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, that was established in 1932. ITV is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

<i>The Adventures of Robin Hood</i> (TV series) British television series

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes broadcast weekly between 1955 and 1959 on ITV. It starred Richard Greene as the outlaw Robin Hood, and Alan Wheatley as his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The show followed the legendary character Robin Hood and his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest and the surrounding vicinity. While some episodes dramatised the traditional Robin Hood tales, most were original dramas created by the show's writers and producers.

Selected filmography

Editor

Channel Crossing is a 1933 British crime film directed by Milton Rosmer and starring Matheson Lang, Constance Cummings, Anthony Bushell and Nigel Bruce.

<i>Honeymoon for Three</i> (1935 film) 1935 film by Leo Mittler

Honeymoon for Three is a 1935 British musical comedy film directed by Leo Mittler and starring Stanley Lupino, Aileen Marson and Jack Melford. It was made at Ealing Studios. The film's sets were designed by J. Elder Wills. It was the first film Lupino made after leaving British International Pictures and trying his luck as an independent producer.

Variety is a 1935 British musical film directed by Adrian Brunel and starring George Carney, Barry Livesey, Sam Livesey. The film follows a revue show format, with a number of performers playing themselves. It was made at Cricklewood Studios.

Director

<i>No Room at the Inn</i> 1948 film by Daniel Birt

No Room at the Inn is a 1945 play by Joan Temple that became a 1948 film directed by Daniel Birt. Both play and film are presented in flashback mode and share the same subject matter – cruelty, neglect and mental and physical abuse meted out to evacuee children during World War II. Temple's attack on those who turn a blind eye to child abuse, be they public officials or private individuals, was considered frank and uncompromising in its time.

<i>The Interrupted Journey</i> 1949 film by Daniel Birt

The Interrupted Journey is a 1949 British thriller film directed by Daniel Birt and starring Valerie Hobson, Richard Todd, Christine Norden and Tom Walls. The railways scenes were shot at Longmoor in Hampshire. The film includes a train crash occurring after someone pulls the emergency cord, as had happened in the Winsford train crash the previous year.

<i>She Shall Have Murder</i> 1950 film by Daniel Birt

She Shall Have Murder is a 1950 British drama film directed by Daniel Birt and starring Rosamund John, Derrick De Marney and Felix Aylmer. The screenplay concerns a law office clerk who becomes a detective.

Producer

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References

  1. 1 2 "Daniel Birt".
  2. Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema (3rd edition), pages 37/38, Reynolds & Hearn 2004
  3. "No Room at the Inn (1948) - Daniel Birt - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
  4. Steve Chibnall, Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film, page 149, BFI/Palgrave Macmillan 2009
  5. F Maurice Speed, Film Review 1956-1957, page 85, Macdonald & Co 1956