January 2, 2017


Sir Alexander Korda (1893-1956) b. Turkeye, Hungary.

Alexander Korda

One of the most colourful figures in British films, Korda was also the most ambitious and at one time appeared to be single handily saving the industry. A man of persuasive charm and excellent taste, he arrived in the early thirties by way of Paris and Hollywood and instantly began making quota quickies.

In 1933 he produced and directed The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) which was a resounding success on both sides of the Atlantic, and inspired the grandiose plans for his London Films. In the years following. The vast Denham Studios were built by Korda on money borrowed from the Prudential Insurance company. Among the films he produced in the pre-war period were The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), The Ghost Goes West (1935), Sanders of the River (1935), Things to Come (1936), Rembrandt (1936), Knight Without Armour (1937), Elephant Boy (1937), The Drum (1938), The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and many more.

The bubble burst and the studios were sold up, but after the war Korda renewed his energies, producing such post-war successes as The Third Man (1949). His brother Zoltan was an able director in his own right of such films as The Four Feathers (1939), and another brother, Vincent, an excellent art director.

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