Donald M. Ashton
|Born||26 June 1919|
Edmonton, London, England
|Died||25 August 2004 85) (aged|
Donald M. Ashton (26 June 1919 – 25 August 2004) was an Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning English art director most noted for his work on such films as Billy Budd (1962), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) and Young Winston (1972).
Born Donald Martin Ashton in Edmonton, London, in 1917, Ashton was the son of a wine buyer. He was educated at Boxlane School, Palmers Green. After training as an architect, on the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the R.A.F., serving in the Middle and Far East. During the latter part of the war he was posted to Ceylon, where he served with Lord Louis Mountbatten's unit. He joined the film industry in 1947 at the suggestion of actor and playwright, Emlyn Williams,.His first job was working as an uncredited draughtsman for the Boulting brothers on their film Brighton Rock . The film starred Richard Attenborough, who was to employ Ashton many years later to design two of the films he directed. During the 1950s and 1970s Ashton acquired a reputation as one of the best production designers in the business with such works as The Bridge on the River Kwai and Young Winston . For this, his last film with Attenborough, Ashton was nominated for an Academy Award in the category for Best Art Direction.
In the early 1970s Harry Saltzman, the producer of the James Bond films, was so taken with Ashton's sets that he asked him to redesign the interior of his house. It was the beginning of a new chapter in Ashton's career as a designer of hotels and restaurants, particularly in Asia. His most famous is the magnificent five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, regarded as one of the most elegant hotels in the world. This work resulted in Ashton receiving commissions to design more Mandarin hotels and many of the Sheraton hotels being built around the world. The projects made Ashton a wealthy man, allowing him to purchase homes in Mayfair and Amersham, Buckinghamshire. He lived in Hong Kong for 20 years.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boulle. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. The cast includes Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Sessue Hayakawa.
Chaplin is a 1992 biographical comedy-drama film about the life of British comedian Charlie Chaplin. It was produced and directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Dan Aykroyd, Penelope Ann Miller, and Kevin Kline. It also features Charlie Chaplin's own daughter, Geraldine Chaplin in the role of his mother, Hannah Chaplin.
Oh! What a Lovely War is a 1969 British comedy and musical film directed by Richard Attenborough, with an ensemble cast, including Maggie Smith, Dirk Bogarde, John Gielgud, John Mills, Kenneth More, Laurence Olivier, Jack Hawkins, Corin Redgrave, Michael Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm, Paul Shelley, Malcolm McFee, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Nanette Newman, Edward Fox, Susannah York, John Clements, Phyllis Calvert and Maurice Roëves.
Edward Charles Morice Fox, is an English stage, film and television actor.
Michael Wilson was an American screenwriter who was blacklisted by the Hollywood film studios during the era of McCarthyism for being a communist.
John Maurice Roëves was a British film and television actor, born in Sunderland, but raised in Glasgow.
Young Winston is a 1972 British adventure drama war film covering the early years of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, based in particular on his 1930 book, My Early Life. The first part of the film covers Churchill's unhappy schooldays, up to the death of his father. The second half covers his service as a cavalry officer in India and the Sudan, during which he takes part in the cavalry charge at Omdurman, his experiences as a war correspondent in the Second Boer War, during which he is captured and escapes, and his election to Parliament at the age of 26.
A Countess from Hong Kong is a 1967 British romantic comedy film written, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin and starring Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Sydney Chaplin, Tippi Hedren, Patrick Cargill and Margaret Rutherford. It was the last film directed, written, produced and scored by Chaplin, and one of two films Chaplin directed in which he did not play a major role, as well as his only color film. Chaplin's cameo marked his final screen appearance.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is a five-star hotel located on Connaught Road in Central, Hong Kong, owned and managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. The hotel opened in 1963 as "The Mandarin". In 2005, the hotel spent US$150 million to renovate its 501 guestrooms, 10 restaurants, and numerous public spaces, as well as to construct the three-storey Mandarin Spa, one of a few Forbes Five-Star spas in Hong Kong.
The Eye 10 is a 2005 horror film directed by the Pang brothers. An international co-production of Hong Kong and Thailand, the film is the third entry in a trilogy, following the films The Eye and The Eye 2. It stars Bolin Chen, Kate Yeung, Isabella Leong, Bongkoj Khongmalai, Ray MacDonald and Kris Gu.
Geoffrey Horne is an American actor, director, and acting coach at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. His screen credits include The Bridge on the River Kwai, Bonjour Tristesse, The Strange One, Two People, The Twilight Zone episode "The Gift" in 1962, and as Wade Norton in "The Guests" episode of The Outer Limits.
Raymond Wong Pak-ming is a Hong Kong film producer, playwright, director and actor. He is one of the most successful producers in Hong Kong cinema, having been one of the comedians to establish Cinema City Studios in 1980.
Gerald Grant Sim was an English television and film actor who is perhaps best known for having played the Rector in To the Manor Born.
Young Soul Rebels is a 1991 British coming-of-age thriller written by Derek Saldaan McClintock, Isaac Julien and Paul Hallam, and directed by Julien as his first narrative feature film. The film examines the interaction between youth cultural movements during the late 1970s in the UK — namely skinheads, punks, and soulboys — along with the social, political, and cultural tensions between them. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 9 August 1991, followed by a North American release on 6 December 1991. The film was the feature film acting debut of Sophie Okonedo and Eamonn Walker.
Kevin Chu or Chu Yen-ping is a Taiwanese film director. Chu once said in an interview that he is "not an artist," but rather "a movie factory that puts out products to match the season", and is compared to Hong Kong director Wong Jing.
Vengeance is a 2009 action thriller film directed by Johnnie To, and written by Wai Ka-Fai. It stars Johnny Hallyday, Anthony Wong, Lam Ka-Tung, Lam Suet, Simon Yam and Sylvie Testud. The film tells the story of Francis Costello, a French chef and former assassin whose daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren are attacked by a gang of Triads. Costello travels to Macau to embark on a quest for revenge, enlisting the aid of three hitmen. The film explores the themes of assassination, violence and the influence of Triads in modern society. Produced by Milkyway Image, the film was released by ARP Sélection in France, and Media Asia Films in Hong Kong.
Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, was an English actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. He was the president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), as well as the life president of Chelsea FC. He joined the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and served in the film unit, going on several bombing raids over Europe and filming the action from the rear gunner's position. He was the older brother of broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and motor executive John Attenborough. He was married to actress Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death.
Gerald Leslie "Gerry" Turpin was an English cinematographer.
Anthony Mendleson was a British costume and set designer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1972 for Young Winston, and in 1976 for The Incredible Sarah.
Mr. Coconut is a 1989 Hong Kong Chinese New Year film directed by Clifton Ko, it stars Michael Hui, Raymond Wong Pak-ming, Ricky Hui, Olivia Cheng and Joey Wong. The film ran in theaters from 21 January 1989 until 6 February 1989. The film depicts society's immigration problem, telling the cultural differences and contradictions between the lives of the mainlanders and Hong Kong people. The movie was a box office success.