Michael Deeley

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from the BBC programme Desert Island Discs, 14 December 2008.[1]

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Michael Deeley (born 6 August 1932) is a British film producer who has helped create notable films such as The Italian Job, The Deer Hunter and Blade Runner. He is also a founding member and Deputy Chairman of The British Screen Advisory Council.

Biography[edit]

Deeley's father was a director at McCann-Erickson advertising agency, and his mother was a PA to various film producers. After national service in Malaysia during the time of the Malayan Emergency, Deeley got a job through his mother's connections as an assistant editor at a company run by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. While editing the TV show The Adventures of Robin Hood he and his editing partner Harry Booth decided to branch into producing together. They raised funds to produce a 26-minute short starring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn (1956). This launched Deeley's producing career, although he did not give up his day job as editor for the next few years.

In the early 1960s Deeley worked for the UK sales arm of MCA Universal for three years, then he returned to producing with Sandy the Reluctant Nudist and One Way Pendulum. The latter was made for Woodfall Film Productions who hired Deeley in 1964 to assist Oscar Lewenstein, a director of the company.

Deeley went on to produce Robbery (1967), which started a partnership with Stanley Baker making films through Oakhurst Productions. Along with Baker and Barry Spikings Deeley also established a series of companies all called "Great Western" which did a variety of activities, including music festivals (Great Western Festivals), and investments (Great Western Investments). Great Western Investments later took over British Lion Films in 1973, and Deeley was appointed managing director of that company[2]

While at British Lion, Deeley oversaw the release of Don't Look Now (1973) and The Wicker Man (1973), and helped finance The Internecine Project, Who?, Conduct Unbecoming (1975) and Ransom (1975). He also personally produced The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976).

In 1976 British Lion merged with EMI Films and Deeley and Spikings took over management of that company. They oversaw a series of successful films including Convoy and The Deer Hunter (both 1978). Deeley left the company in 1979 and produced Blade Runner (1982).[3]

In 1984 Deeley was appointed CEO of Consolidated, a TV company seeking to further expand into US network television.

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael Deeley". Desert Island Discs. 14 December 2008. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fy2fg. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ Deeley p 95-97
  3. ^ Deeley p 186
  4. ^ Deeley p 82
  • Michael Deeley, Blade Runners, Deer Hunters and Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: My Life in Cult Movies, Pegasus Books, 2009

External links[edit]