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Ralph Thomas

Highest Rated: 83% Doctor in the House (1955)

Lowest Rated: 40% Quest for Love (1971)

Birthday: Aug 10, 1915

Birthplace: Not Available

Ralph Thomas -- elder brother of director Gerald Thomas -- was educated at Middlesex University College and entered the movie industry as a clapper boy in 1932. By 1934, he had advanced to assistant editor but gave up the picture business to pursue a career in journalism that lasted until World War II, during which he served with the Ninth Lancers. After World War II, he returned to motion pictures as the head of the trailer department for the Rank Organisation. He became a director soon after, and established himself as an efficient and occasionally inspired filmmaker whose best work cut across genres -- among his finest films is the Hitchcockian thriller The Clouded Yellow (1951), which in many ways anticipated the plot line of the television series The Equalizer, with Trevor Howard portraying a former British intelligence agent forced out of the service for some unknown indiscretion, who hires himself out as an assistant to a scientist, only to find himself helping the man's niece (Jean Simmons) flee the police from a murder charge, using his former agent's skills to help them both elude capture. He found even greater success, however, as a maker of comedies, most notably the Doctor in the House series starring Dirk Bogarde, beginning with the film of that title in 1954 and continuing through three more films (with Michael Craig taking over Bogarde's part). Thomas also distinguished himself as an action film director with Above Us the Waves, a re-enactment of an actual World War II British sabotage mission against the German battleship Tirpitz, starring John Mills. At the end of the '50s, he also directed respectable if unexceptional remakes of two '30s film classics, A Tale of Two Cities starring Bogarde, and The Thirty-Nine Steps with Kenneth More. During the '60s, Thomas also tried his hand successfully at topical filmmaking (The High Bright Sun aka McGuire Go Home, about the strife on the island of Cyprus) and even entered the James Bond-based spy thriller fray late in the '60s with two modern-day Bulldog Drummond adaptations, Deadlier Than the Male and Some Girls Do, both starring Richard Johnson as the updated Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond. His 1971 science fiction film Quest for Love, based on a short story by John Wyndham (best remembered as the author of Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos, both of which were made into major science fiction movies), about a scientist who passes between two parallel Earths, was one of the most intelligent films in its genre at the time, and also features one of the finest performances ever given by Joan Collins. Alas, Thomas' career slowed down drastically following his unsuccessful sex satire Percy (1970), about the world's first penis transplant (a film best remembered today for having been scored by Ray Davies and the Kinks) and its even more dire sequel, Percy's Progress.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Terry Fox Story (Heart of a Champion) Director 1983
No Score Yet A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (The Big Scam) Director 1979
No Score Yet Percy Director 1971
40% Quest for Love Director 1971
No Score Yet Doctor in Trouble Director 1970
No Score Yet Some Girls Do Director 1969
No Score Yet The High Commissioner Director 1968
No Score Yet Deadlier Than the Male Director 1967
No Score Yet Doctor in Clover Director 1966
No Score Yet Agent 8 3/4 (Hot Enough for June) Director 1965
No Score Yet McGuire, Go Home! (The High Bright Sun) Director 1965
No Score Yet The Starfighters Capt. O'Brien 1964
40% Fate Is The Hunter Reporter 1964
No Score Yet Doctor in Distress Director Producer 1963
No Score Yet No Love for Johnnie Director 1961
No Score Yet Carry On Regardless Director 1961
No Score Yet No My Darling Daughter Director 1961
No Score Yet Doctor in Love Director 1960
71% Conspiracy of Hearts Producer Director 1960
No Score Yet The 39 Steps Director 1959
No Score Yet Upstairs And Downstairs Director 1959
No Score Yet A Tale of Two Cities Director Actor 1958
No Score Yet The Wind Cannot Read Director 1958
No Score Yet Doctor at Large Director 1957
No Score Yet The Iron Petticoat Director 1957
No Score Yet Checkpoint Director 1956
No Score Yet Mad About Men Director 1955
No Score Yet Above Us the Waves Director 1955
No Score Yet Doctor At Sea Director 1955
83% Doctor in the House Director 1955
No Score Yet Appointment with Venus Director 1951
No Score Yet The Clouded Yellow Director 1951


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