Tony Williams was an executive best known for his long association with the Rank Organisation, including a stint as head of production in the late 1970s. This ended when Rank decided to cease funding films altogether.
Williams joined Rank as a trainee in the late 1960s and worked in theatre management and exhibition. He was appointed head of production for Rank in 1977. According to film critic Alexander Walker, "his enthusiasm was boundless; his knowledge of boardroom politics and organisation rivalries was narrower. Like Bryan Forbes at EMI, he now found his own company's distribution outfit was not always the most eager taker for many of the pictures he put into production".
In his time at Rank the company produced eight films at a cost of £10 million, resulting in a loss of £1.6 million.The films were:
Walker later wrote of Williams' slate that "they were in truth an odd lot: the overriding formula seemed to be 'something for everyone' – the predictable end result was 'nothing for anyone'."He added that, "apart from Bad Timing all these Rank films were determinedly 'clean-faced'."
Films he announced but did not make include:
The Bounty is a 1984 British historical drama film directed by Roger Donaldson, starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, and produced by Bernard Williams with Dino De Laurentiis as executive producer. It is the fifth film version of the story of the mutiny on the Bounty. The film also features Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson.
The Rank Organisation was a British entertainment conglomerate founded by industrialist J. Arthur Rank in April 1937. It quickly became the largest and most vertically integrated film company in the United Kingdom, owning production, distribution and exhibition facilities. It also diversified into the manufacture of radios, TVs and photocopiers. The company name lasted until February 1996, when the name and some of the remaining assets were absorbed into the newly structured The Rank Group Plc. The company itself became a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox and was renamed XRO Limited in 1997.
The Legend of the Lone Ranger is a 1981 American Western film that was directed by William A. Fraker and stars Klinton Spilsbury, Michael Horse and Christopher Lloyd.
EMI Films was a British film studio and distributor. A subsidiary of the EMI conglomerate, the corporate name was not used throughout the entire period of EMI's involvement in the film industry, from 1969 to 1986, but the company's brief connection with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Anglo-EMI, the division under Nat Cohen, and the later company as part of the Thorn EMI conglomerate are outlined here.
Bad Timing is a 1980 British psychological drama film directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel and Denholm Elliott. The plot focuses on an American woman and a psychology professor living in Vienna, and, largely told through nonlinear flashbacks, examines the details of their turbulent relationship as uncovered by a detective investigating her apparent suicide attempt.
Colin Higgins was an Australian-American screenwriter, actor, director, and producer. He was best known for writing the screenplay for the 1971 film Harold and Maude, and for directing the films Foul Play (1978) and 9 to 5 (1980).
Sharky's Machine is a 1981 neo-noir action thriller film directed by Burt Reynolds, who stars in the title role. It is an adaptation of William Diehl's first novel Sharky's Machine (1978) with a screenplay by Gerald Di Pego. It also stars Vittorio Gassman, Brian Keith, Charles Durning, Earl Holliman, Bernie Casey, Henry Silva, Darryl Hickman, Richard Libertini, Rachel Ward and Joseph Mascolo.
Mr. Horn is a 1979 television film chronicling the life of Tom Horn. It was directed by Jack Starrett from a screenplay by William Goldman.
Movie Movie is a 1978 American double bill directed by Stanley Donen. It consists of two films, Dynamite Hands, a boxing ring morality play, and Baxter's Beauties of 1933, a musical comedy, both starring the husband-and-wife team of George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere. A fake trailer for a flying-ace movie set in World War I entitled Zero Hour is shown between the double feature.
The Fifth Musketeer is a 1979 German-Austrian film adaptation of the last section of the 1847-1850 novel The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas, père, which is itself based on the French legend of the Man in the Iron Mask. It was released in Europe with the alternative title Behind the Iron Mask.
The Choirboys is a 1977 American comedy-drama film directed by Robert Aldrich, written by Christopher Knopf and Joseph Wambaugh based on Wambaugh's novel of the same title. It features an ensemble cast including Charles Durning, Louis Gossett Jr., Randy Quaid, and James Woods. The film was released to theaters by Universal Pictures on December 23, 1977.
The Golden Gate is a novel written by the Scottish author Alistair MacLean. It was first released in the United Kingdom by Collins in 1976 and later in the same year by Doubleday in the United States.
Bear Island is a 1979 Anglo-Canadian thriller film loosely based on the novel Bear Island by Alistair MacLean. It was directed by Don Sharp and starred Donald Sutherland, Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee and Lloyd Bridges.
Raise the Titanic is a 1980 adventure film produced by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment and directed by Jerry Jameson. The film, which was written by Eric Hughes (adaptation) and Adam Kennedy (screenplay), was based on the 1976 book of the same name by Clive Cussler. The story concerns a plan to recover the RMS Titanic due to the fact that it was carrying cargo valuable to Cold War hegemony.
Hennessy is a 1975 British thriller film directed by Don Sharp and starring Rod Steiger, Trevor Howard, Lee Remick, Richard Johnson, Peter Egan, Stanley Lebor and Patrick Stewart, the latter in his film debut.
Steve Carver is an American film director and producer from Brooklyn, New York.
Green Ice is a 1981 British adventure film starring Ryan O'Neal. It was also released under the name Operation Green Ice.
Players is a 1979 American romance drama film directed by Anthony Harvey and starring Ali MacGraw and Dean Paul Martin, about a young tennis player who has an affair with an older woman.
Melvin Simon Productions was a short lived film production company of the 1970s and 1980s. It was founded by real estate magnate Melvin Simon.
First Artists was a production company which operated from 1969 to 1980. It made films for stars such as Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen, who agreed to take lesser fees in exchange for greater creative control and a share of the profits. Movies made by the company include The Getaway,