January 2, 2017


Carol Reed (1906-1976) b. London, England, UK.

Carol Reed

Carol Reed, upon graduation from school was interested in theatre and made a career as an actor from the mid 1920s, and later as a stage manager. He moved into film as a dialogue director to filmmaker Basil Dean and became a director himself in 1935, specialising in modestly budgeted dramas. He joined the British Army’s documentary film unit during World War II, making training films. However, it was with the end of hostilities that Reed came into his own as a director with the dark psychological drama Odd Man Out (1946), about the last hours of a dying IRA gunman. The Fallen Idol (1948), a story of a boy desperately trying to hide the guilt of his friend, a butler suspected of killing his wife, followed soon after. The Third Man (1949) made Reed’s career internationally, its tale of corruption and decay in post-war Vienna. Unfortunately, the retrenchment of the British film industry that began at the outset of the 1950s seemed to cost Reed several opportunities, and his next widely-seen works were such high-profile, large-scale films as Trapeze (1956) and the disastrous blockbuster Mutiny On the Bounty (1962). He made a commercial recovery with the musical Oliver! (1968), but suitable projects were hard to find, and Reed’s later films lack any of the tautness, style, and care of his 1940s work.

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