January 2, 2017


Ivor Montagu (1904-1984) b. London, England.

Ivor Montagu

British producer, writer and director. Communist, aristocrat, son of the banker Lord Swaythling, the Hon. Ivor Montagu was a leading fixture in left-wing film activity in the 1930s. One of the founders of the London Film Society in 1924, in 1934 he organised the Progressive Film Institute (PFI) as a producing and distributing body for the Communist Party. The PFI sent a crew (including Thorold Dickinson and Norman McLaren) to Spain during the Civil War, where Montagu produced and directed In Defence of Madrid (1936). Peace and Plenty (1939), directed by Montagu for the Communist Party, followed McLaren’s Hell Unlimited, (1936) in using graphics, puppets and animation to attack Chamberlain’s appeasement policy. Montagu was editor and title writer for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1926), associate producer of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935), and first film critic of the Observer and the New Statesman. He was a friend and translator of Eisenstein, and accompanied him on his visit to Hollywood and Mexico, recording the trip in his book With Eisenstein in Hollywood (1968). During World War II he worked for the Ministry of Information, and he was a scriptwriter at Ealing after the war. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1959.

blog comments powered by Disqus