Desmond Davis

Desmond Davis (born 24 May 1926 in London, England) is a British film and television director.

Early career

After serving a long apprenticeship as a clapper boy in the 1940s, with Britain's Army Film Unit, Davis eventually worked his way up to focus puller and camera operator in low-budget British films of the 1950s. By the 1960s, Davis worked as a camera operator on such internationally acclaimed films as A Taste of Honey, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Freud (directed by John Huston) and Tom Jones, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.


Davis made his directorial debut in 1964 with Girl with Green Eyes winning the US National Board of Review award for Best Director.

His best known film is the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans.

Davis reunited with the two female stars of Girl with Green Eyes, Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave, in Smashing Time (1967), a comedy set in 1960s swinging London.

At the 1966 San Sebastian International Film Festival, he won the Golden Seashell award for I Was Happy Here, which starred Sarah Miles.

In the 1970s Davis took a long hiatus from feature films, and turned his focus on television for work, including episodes of Follyfoot and The New Avengers, as well as an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in the BBC Television Shakespeare series.

After directing Clash of the Titans, he directed the 1985 feature film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Ordeal by Innocence starring Donald Sutherland and Faye Dunaway. Davis also directed the 1983 television adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four with Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes.

He continued his work in television, directing a version of Camille with Greta Scacchi and Colin Firth in 1984 and the British drama series The Chief.[1]


  1. ^ Monahan, Mark (11 Jan 2003). "Film-makers on film: Desmond Davis". Telegraph.

External links

25th Venice International Film Festival

The 25th annual Venice International Film Festival was held from 27 August to 10 September 1964.

A Nice Girl Like Me

A Nice Girl Like Me is a 1969 British comedy film directed by Desmond Davis. The plot revolves around a girl who lives with her shrewd aunts, goes on a trip, gets pregnant, and must lie to her aunts that the baby is not hers.

An Inspector Calls (1954 film)

An Inspector Calls is a British 1954 film directed by Guy Hamilton and written for the screen by Desmond Davis. It is based upon the play An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. It stars Alastair Sim.

Angela Davis (musician)

Angela Davis (born 23 June 1985) is an Australian saxophonist currently residing in Melbourne. Her first release "The Art of The Melody received strong reviews in the United States and Australia and was successful on the US Jazz Charts. She is known for her pure sound reminiscent of Lee Konitz (with whom she studied), Art Pepper and Paul Desmond. Davis is a 2014 recipient of the prestigious Brian Boak Bursary in Queensland.

Camille (1984 film)

Camille is a 1984 television film based on the 1848 novel and play La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils. It was adapted by Blanche Hanalis and directed by Desmond Davis. It stars Greta Scacchi, Colin Firth, John Gielgud, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Ryecart, Denholm Elliott and Ben Kingsley.

Clash of the Titans (1981 film)

Clash of the Titans is a 1981 British-American heroic fantasy adventure film directed by Desmond Davis and written by Beverley Cross which retells the Greek mythological story of Perseus. It stars Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith and Laurence Olivier. The film features the final work of stop motion visual effects artist Ray Harryhausen. It was released on June 12, 1981 and grossed $41 million at the North American box office, which made it the 11th highest-grossing film of the year. A novelization of the film by Alan Dean Foster was published in 1981.

Warner Bros. released a 3D remake on April 2, 2010.

Girl with Green Eyes

Girl with Green Eyes is a 1964 British drama film, which Edna O'Brien adapted from her own novel, The Lonely Girl. It tells the story of a young, naive country girl's romance with a sophisticated older man. Directed by Desmond Davis, the film stars Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave and Julian Glover.

ITV Play of the Week

ITV Play of the Week is a 90-minute UK television anthology series produced by a variety of companies including Granada Television, Associated-Rediffusion, ATV and Anglia Television. From 1956 to 1966 approximately 500 episodes aired on ITV. The first production was Ten Minute Alibi, produced by Associated-Rediffusion on 14 May 1956 and the earliest to survive is There Was a Young Lady, transmitted on 23 July 1956. The first production not to be transmitted live was Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck which was recorded on film. The first to be pre-recorded on videotape was Mary Broome, a Granada production broadcast on 3 September 1958. Subsequently, only one play was transmitted live, Associated-Rediffusion's Search Party on 26 July 1960. The master tape of The Liberty Man, a Granada production broadcast on 1 October 1958, contains the original advertisements during the first commercial break. The Violent Years was networked from Anglia on its opening night, 27 October 1959, and exists at the University of East Anglia.Other productions included:

Look Back in Anger - produced by Granada, broadcast 28 November 1956, does not exist

Morning's at Seven - produced by H.M. Tennent for ATV, broadcast 21 August 1957, does not exist

Death of a Salesman - produced by Granada, broadcast 27 November 1957, does not exist

The Importance of Being Earnest - produced by Associated-Rediffusion, broadcast 26 March 1958, does not exist

Playboy of the Western World - produced by Granada, broadcast 26 November 1958, does not exist

The Skin of Our Teeth - produced by Granada, broadcast 17 March 1959, does not exist

The Member of the Wedding - produced by Granada, broadcast 16 February 1960, does not exist

The House of Bernarda Alba - produced by Associated-Rediffusion, broadcast 23 February 1960, does not exist

The Birthday Party - produced by Associated-Rediffusion, broadcast 22 March 1960, does not exist

I Remember Mama - produced by Associated-Rediffusion, broadcast 27 June 1961, does not exist

The Lark - produced by Granada, broadcast 28 August 1962, does not exist

The Rose Tattoo - produced by Granada, broadcast 13 January 1964, does not exist

Come Back, Little Sheba - produced by Anglia, broadcast 8 March 1965, does not exist

You in Your Small Corner - produced by Granada, broadcast 5 June 1962, existsAmong its directors were Tony Richardson, Peter Wood, Peter Brook, Vivian Matalon, and Desmond Davis.

Notable guest stars included Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Laurence Olivier, Vivian Leigh, Maggie Smith, Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Judi Dench, Deborah Kerr, Paul Scofield, Laurence Harvey, Glenda Jackson, Susannah York, Leslie Caron, Richard Harris, Edith Evans, James Mason, Claire Bloom, David McCallum, Donald Sutherland, John Gielgud, Oliver Reed, Mel Ferrer, Diana Rigg and Margaret Whiting.

I Was Happy Here

I Was Happy Here is a 1966 drama film directed by Desmond Davis. The film won three awards at the 1966 San Sebastián International Film Festival. The film was released in the U.S. as Time Lost and Time Remembered.

Joan Kemp-Welch

Joan Kemp-Welch (1906–1999) was a British stage and film actress, who later went on to become a television director. After making her stage debut in 1926 at the Q Theatre, Kemp-Welch made her film debut in 1933 and appeared in fifteen films over the next decade largely in supporting or minor roles. Occasionally she played more substantial parts as in Hard Steel and They Flew Alone (both 1942).

Post-Second World War, she moved into television working as both a producer and director of television films and episodes of television series. In 1959 she was one of the winners at the Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards. She also won the Prix Italia for her TV version of Harold Pinter's The Lover in 1963; and in the same year was the first woman to receive the Desmond Davis BAFTA for creative work in television. In 1964 she directed A Midsummer Night's Dream for ITV's Play of the Week. The same year she directed four Noël Coward adaptations for A Choice of Coward. Other work included directing episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs and Armchair Theatre.

Ordeal by Innocence (film)

Ordeal by Innocence is a 1985 mystery film directed by Desmond Davis. It stars Donald Sutherland, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Plummer and Sarah Miles. It is based on the Agatha Christie novel Ordeal by Innocence.

Smashing Time

Smashing Time is a 1967 British comedy film starring Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave. It is a satire on the 1960s media-influenced phenomenon of Swinging London.

It was written by George Melly and directed by Desmond Davis. The supporting cast included Ian Carmichael, Michael York, Jeremy Lloyd, Anna Quayle, Irene Handl, Arthur Mullard and Geoffrey Hughes.

Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards 1961

The 1961 Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards, the United Kingdom's premier television awards ceremony. The awards later became known as the British Academy Television Awards, under which name they are still given.

Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards 1962

The 1962 Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards, the United Kingdom's premier television awards ceremony. The awards later became known as the British Academy Television Awards, under which name they are still given.

Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards 1963

The 1963 Society of Film and Television Arts Television Awards, the United Kingdom's premier television awards ceremony. The awards later became known as the British Academy Television Awards, under which name they are still given.

The Chief (UK TV series)

The Chief is a British television crime drama series that aired on ITV from 20 April 1990 until 16 June 1995. A total of five series and thirty-five episodes were produced. The series followed the work of the fictitious "Eastland Constabulary", particularly focusing on Chief Constable John Stafford (Tim Pigott-Smith), and his efforts to restore order within his volatile team. Later, focus shifted towards Stafford's replacement, Alan Cade (Martin Shaw). The series was produced by Anglia Television and was mostly filmed and set in East Anglia. The series was notable for a lot of political content, in particular for Stafford's battles with the Home Office and local politicians. James Anderton, a former Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police, was an adviser on the show, allowing it to be portrayed as reflecting real life.A behind-the-scenes book, entitled On Duty with The Chief, written by Peter Haining, was published on 31 January 1995 to tie in with the broadcast of the fifth and final series. In 2010, Network Distributing began realising The Chief on Region 2 DVD, with a "12" certificate. The content has not been modified from the original broadcasts, and every episode contains the title cards for the commercial breaks. There are no special features.

The Sign of Four (1983 film)

The Sign of Four (a.k.a. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four) is a 1983 British made-for-television mystery film directed by Desmond Davis and starring Ian Richardson and David Healy. The film is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel of the same name, the second novel to feature Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

The Uncle

The Uncle is a 1965 British drama film directed by Desmond Davis and starring Rupert Davies.

Films directed by Desmond Davis

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