Lance Comfort - Rotten Tomatoes

Lance Comfort

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Lance Comfort was somewhere between 18 and 20 years old when he started his film career as director and animator of British medical training shorts. Comfort's first feature was The Courageous Mr. Penn (1941), an ambitious biopic marred by amateurish miniature work and a stilted script. He followed this with the successful big-budgeter Hatter's Castle (1941), starring Robert Newton and featuring a young James Mason, then delighted the folks in the cheap seats with the knockabout comedy Old Mother Riley, Detective (1942). In contrast to the low-brow humor of the latter film, Comfort aimed his sights high and scored a major commercial and critical hit -- possibly the biggest of his career -- with the thriller Squadron Leader X (1943), adapted from a story by Emeric Pressburger and starring Eric Portman in the title role. The latter film, as of 2011, is regarded as a lost classic of the era and has been the subject of searches and inquiries by the BFI in recent decades for a complete print. Squadron Leader X was produced by Victor Hanbury, an older contemporary of Comfort's who filled that same role in Comfort's subsequent wartime efforts Escape To Danger (1943) (also starring Portman -- and also a lost film), Hotel Reserve (1944) (starring James Mason) and Great Day (1945) (starring Portman, Flora Robson, and Sheila Sim). Upon the war's end, he moved into the orbit of John Corfield's British National studios, and reached the pinnacle of popular mainstream cinema with the Margaret Lockwood suspense vehicle Bedelia (1945), based on a novel by Vera Caspary. He and Hanbury also went on to make the thriller Daughter of Darkness (1948), a groundbreaking film in terms of its psycho-sexual plotline, which also created numerous headaches for the censors. Given his track record, Comfort came to specialize in thrillers, and many of his postwar pictures, notably Eight O'Clock Walk (1954) and Tomorrow At Ten (1962), were distinguished by their creative utilization of actual locations and well-sustained levels of suspense. A busy TV director, Lance Comfort was also co-producer of the internationally popular anthology series Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Presents (1952-1955). He continued working, mostly on theatrical thrillers and television adeventure and suspense series, into the mid-1960s, taking a break from those genres for the 1964 jukebox movie (#Sing And Swing, which featured the talents of David Hemmings, Heinz Burt, jazz band leader Kenny Ball, and the British band the Outlaws, featuring a young Ritchie Blackmore on guitar and drummer Mick Underwood.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Hatter's Castle (A.J. Cronin's Hatter's Castle)
  • Director
2014
No Score Yet Man from Tangier (Thunder Over Tangier)
  • Director
2014
No Score Yet Bedelia
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Devils of Darkness
  • Director
1968
No Score Yet David Hemmings: Be My Guest
  • Director
1965
No Score Yet Tomorrow At Ten
  • Director
1964
No Score Yet Live It Up! (Sing and Swing)
  • Producer
  • Director
1964
No Score Yet David Hemmings: Live It Up
  • Actor
1963
No Score Yet Murder Can Be Deadly
  • Director
1962
No Score Yet Pit Of Darkness
  • Director
1961
No Score Yet Rag Doll (Young, Willing And Eager)
  • Director
1958
No Score Yet Eight O'Clock Walk
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Game of Danger (Bang! You're Dead)
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Daughter of Darkness
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Temptation Harbour
  • Director
1947
No Score Yet Hotel Reserve
  • Director
  • Producer
1946
No Score Yet When We Are Married
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet Courageous Mr. Penn
  • Director
1941
No Score Yet Great Day
  • Director

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