Ronald Neame

Ronald Neame

Highest Rated: 100% I Could Go on Singing (1963)

Lowest Rated: 5% Meteor (1979)

Birthday: Apr 23, 1911

Birthplace: Not Available

Ronald Neame is the son of photographer/director Elwin Neame and the actress Ivy Close. He joined Elstree Studios in 1927 as a messenger and call boy, moved up to stills photographer, and was an assistant cameraman on Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929), the first English sound film. He served as a camera operator in the early '30s, and was elevated to director of photography in 1934. His most important films as cinematographer were Pygmalion (1938), Major Barbara (1939), In Which We Serve (1942), and One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942). In 1943, Neame formed a partnership with editor-turned-director David Lean and producer Anthony Havelock-Allan in Cineguild, an independent production company set up with support from England's Rank Organisation, through which the David Lean movies This Happy Breed, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and The Passionate Friends were made. Neame turned to directing in the late '40s with Take My Life (1947), and after a series of entertaining but unexceptional films, including The Card (1952) and The Million Pound Note (1953), was responsible for the classics The Horse's Mouth (1959) and Tunes of Glory (1960), both starring Alec Guinness in two of the best roles of his career. Neame'sEscape from Zahrain (1962) was an underrated action thriller, which was surprisingly effective on a low budget, and his Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) was a major late '60s hit that turned Maggie Smith into a major screen star. But it was in the '70s that Neame established himself -- very unexpectedly -- as a "money director," with The Poseidon Adventure (1972). This all-star adventure thriller, about a group of passengers struggling for survival when their ocean liner turns over in mid-voyage, proved a huge and sudden hit, becoming the top-grossing picture of 1972 and earning its money so fast, by Neame's account, that the studio couldn't hide it, and making him a rich man in the process. Neame's The Odessa File (1974) proved him adept at the thriller format, and his disaster movie Meteor (1979) effectively ended the disaster movie genre that he had begun with The Poseidon Adventure. His subsequent movies, including Hopscotch (1980) and First Monday in October (1981), have proved rather more uneven dramatically as well as at the box office. Neame's career has embraced more phases than almost any other filmmaker still even semi-active in the '90s, from the early days of British talkies, to the Golden Age of British cinema of the '40s to the silver age of the '50s, and the international and American markets of the '60s thru the '80s. He has managed to have hits in each phase of that career, and has proved effective at creating comedy, intimate, serious drama (Tunes of Glory is probably his best picture, with The Horse's Mouth a close second), as well as pulling together the special effects and acting required of the blockbuster all-star production.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Golden Gong: The Story of Rank Films--British Cinema's Legendary Studio Actor 2004
No Score Yet The Chalk Garden Director 1998
No Score Yet Foreign Body Director 1986
No Score Yet First Monday in October Director 1981
71% Hopscotch Director 1980
5% Meteor British Representative 1979
64% The Odessa File Director 1974
79% The Poseidon Adventure Director 1972
74% Scrooge Director 1970
83% The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Director 1969
No Score Yet Prudence and the Pill Director 1968
No Score Yet A Man Could Get Killed (Welcome, Mr. Beddoes) Director 1966
No Score Yet Gambit Director 1965
No Score Yet Mister Moses Director 1965
100% I Could Go on Singing Director 1963
No Score Yet Escape from Zahrain Producer Director 1962
80% Tunes of Glory Director 1960
94% The Horse's Mouth Director 1958
No Score Yet The Seventh Sin Director 1957
No Score Yet Windom's Way Director 1957
100% The Man Who Never Was Director 1956
No Score Yet The Million Pound Note (Man With a Million) Director 1954
No Score Yet Card Director 1952
56% Promoter Director 1952
100% Oliver Twist Producer 1951
No Score Yet Golden Salamander Director 1950
73% The Passionate Friends Producer 1948
100% Great Expectations Screenwriter 1947
91% Brief Encounter Screenwriter Producer 1945
100% This Happy Breed Screenwriter 1944


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