David Grant (producer)
David Hamilton Grant was born Willis Andrew Holt in Uxbridge in 1939. He changed his name by Deed Poll on the 22 January 1982 to David Hamilton Grant.
Originally a photographer, Grant first film was Love Variations (1969) a sex education film that was based on a ‘marriage manual’ Grant had photographed/published a year earlier. Grant’s sex film empire grew in the 1970s, he opened up a number of adult cinemas, the first being 'The Pigalle' in 1974, distributed foreign sex films through his "Oppidan" company, and produced his own featurette length British sex comedies (Girls Come First, The Office Party, Under the Bed) that were also filmed in hardcore versions for overseas release.
Grant’s featurettes were often released on the lower half of cinema double-bills with popular European sex films in order to capitalise on the Eady Levy tax situation, for example the Grant produced ‘Just One More Time’ was released as the support feature to a 1977 re-issue of Just Jaeckin’s Emmanuelle (1974), and the Grant directed ‘Sensations’ starring Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge was the support feature to Pussy Talk (1975). Described in a 1978 profile in Punch magazine as “a chubby, boyish forty-year-old, with a youthful, uncorrupted face enfolded in two glossy skull-caps of hair and beard”, Grant liked to refer to himself as the ‘King of Porn’, or the ‘King of Sexploitation’, people who worked with him however would come to nickname the bearded, diminutive Grant ‘The Poison Dwarf’ or 'The Gnome'. Grant enjoyed giving himself Hitchcock cameos in his own films, as well as personally supervising the hardcore scenes for his films.
During the making of The Office Party, Grant got into a furious row with actor Johnny Briggs, after Briggs refused to bare all for the film. Briggs feared such exposure could damage his reputation, and a furious Grant threatened to fire him. After the intervention of Briggs’ agent, a compromise was reached and Briggs performed the offending scene with his underpants on. Briggs later recalled this story in his autobiography, noting that after the film he vowed never to work with Grant again. As well as his sex films Grant also produced X-rated cartoons like Sinderella (1972) which ends with the ugly sisters being gang raped by the three bears, and comedy shorts like Escape to Entebbe (1976) a parody of Idi Amin featuring a browned up John Bluthal as a Pakistani TV reporter. In 1978 it was announced Grant’s company would produce Love is Beautiful, a British sex film that was to have been directed by Gerard Damiano and was to star Harry Reems, Mary Millington and Annette Poussin. The film was never made.
In the early eighties Grant turned to video, forming the World of Video 2000 label with fellow 1970s sex film mogul Malcolm Fancey. Grant held the position of company secretary, while Fancey was head of marketing. The company launched onto the video market with several soft porn titles in December 1981. in 1983 Grant noted that Steven Spielberg’s film ET had yet to be released on home video in the UK, and responded by releasing an old sixties 'B' movie called Night Fright (1968) on video under the title E.T.N - The Extra Terrestrial Nastie, with video artwork that parodied the E.T poster. Universal International Pictures threatened legal action, and the tape was withdrawn then later re-released with different artwork.
On the 3 February 1984 Grant was imprisoned for distributing ‘video nasty’ Nightmares in a Damaged Brain (1981) on video. Grant was sentenced to 18 months in prison (later reduced to 12 months) for being in "possession of over 200 copies of an obscene article for publication for gain", he was found guilty under section two of the obscene publications act. Grant’s defense lawyer during the trial was Geoffrey Robertson. After Grant’s imprisonment, World of Video 2000 (and its parent company April Electronics) were placed into liquidation.
One of Grant’s final works in film was ‘Who Bears Sins’, a 1987 video compilation made up of clips from earlier Grant productions (Girls Come First, You’re Driving Me Crazy, Pink Orgasm), scenes from a hardcore videotape called Miss Deep Fantasy (a.k.a. Miss UK Fantasy) and the Bob Godfrey sextoon ‘A Woman’s Best Friend’, among others. A resident of Turkish Cyprus for most of the 1980s, he left the island under a dark cloud in 1988, following a street brawl with a love rival. The Sun newspaper reported Grant "battered Briton Clive Godden, his girlfriend's husband, on the head with a spade, causing serious injuries". Both The Sun and the Slough Observer also alleged that Grant had been a drug dealer, and had also “corrupted thousands of children” during his time in Northern Cyprus, but in The Sun piece Neil Syson reported that the Cyprus police had no solid proof to support these allegations.
On the 3 July 1989 Grant was to appear in Court for copyright fraud of £3,000,000. He did not appear and an Arrest Warrant was issued on the 13 July 1989. In 1990 he was arrested in Side, Turkey, and was imprisoned along with his wife Vanessa.
Press reports suggested he died in mysterious circumstances in the early 1990s.
- Love Variations (1969, director as ‘Terry Gould’)
- Sex, Love and Marriage (1970, director as ‘Terry Gould’)
- Sinderella (1972, co-producer, writer)
- Au Pair Girls (1972, story)
- Snow White and the Seven Perverts (1973, co-producer, writer)
- Secrets of a Door to Door Salesmen (1973, producer)
- The Over Amorous Artist aka Just One More Time (1974, producer)
- The Great McGonagall (1974, producer)
- Pink Orgasm (1975, uncompleted, footage later edited into ‘Who Bears Sins’ (1987))
- Girls Come First (1975, co-producer)
- Dear Marjorie Boobs (1976, producer)
- The Office Party (1976, director,producer, writer)
- Escape to Entebbe (1976 co-director,producer)
- Under the Bed (1977, director, co-producer)
- Submission (1977, director)
- Over Exposed (1977, footage later edited into ‘Who Bears Sins’ (1987))
- The Kiss (1977, co-producer)
- End of Term (1978, producer)
- Marcia (1977, script/co-director)
- You’re Driving Me Crazy (1978, director, co-writer)
- Love is Beautiful (1978, unfilmed)
- The London Programme (1979, TV, Interviewee)
- Electric Blue 001 (1980, video, includes Grant's "Snow White and the Seven Perverts", no other Grant involvement)
- Who Bears Sins (1987, director, video compilation)
Films distributed by David Grant
- Easy Virtue (1972, rejected)
- Succubus (1973)
- The Apprentice (1973, rejected)
- Wet Dreams (1974 rejected)
- Confessions of a Sex Maniac (1974)
- A Man of Our Time (1974)
- The Last House on the Left (1974, rejected)
- The Growling Tiger (1974)
- Best of the New York Film Festival (1975)
- Woman’s Best Friend (1975, rejected)
- Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975, rejected)
- Take an Easy Ride (1975)
- Far Gone- Too Far Gone (1975)
- Crimson Acceleration (1975)
- Submission aka Pets (1975)
- The Bruce Lee Story (1975)
- No Mercy Man (1975)
- My X Wife (1976, rejected)
- The Coming of Seymour (1976, rejected)
- The Best Way to Walk (1976)
- Late Night Trains (1976, rejected)
- The Younger the Better (1976)
- Divine Obsession (1976)
- Bad Man (1976)
- Only in Denmark (1976)
- Cathy’s Curse (1977)
- What a Performer (1977)
- Dreams of Thirteen (1977)
- Depraved (1976)
- Exhibition (1976, rejected)
- Linda Lovelace for President (1976)
- Sensations (1977)
- Draws (1977)
- Through the Looking Glass (1977)
- Private Collection (1977)
- Good Taste (1977)
- Desperate Living (1977, rejected)
- Pelvis aka Hard Up(1977)
- Pussy Talk (1977)
- His Model Wife (1978, rejected)
- The Young Tycoon (1978)
- Memories within Miss Aggie (1978)
- Dark Star (1978)
- Days in London (1978)
- Soft Places (1978)
- Shock Waves (1978)
- Lebanon Why? (1978)
- Take Off (1979)
- Feel My Love (1979)
- Big Ones (1979)
- Video Blue aka The Double Exposure of Holly (1980)
- Nightmares in a Damaged Brain (1982)
Titles marked ‘rejected’ were refused classification by the British censor and therefore banned. Dates refer to the year of distribution, rather than the films actual production dates.
- Punch 274. 1978.
- "cinema listings". Time Out: 37. April 1977.
- "Cinema Listings". Time Out: 35. April 1977.
- Briggs, Johnny (1998). Johnny Briggs: My Autobiography.
- Syson, Neil (3 August 1988). The Sun: 14.
- houdret, eveleen (August 5, 1988). Slough Observer.
- Johnny Briggs and Pat Codd “Johnny Briggs: My Autobiography” 1998 (Blake Publishing)