Robert James Hamer (31 March 1911, Kidderminster, Worcestershire – 4 December 1963, London) was a British film director and screenwriter.
Biography [ edit ]
Born at 24 Chester Road, Kidderminsteralong with his twin Barbara, the son of Owen Dyke Hamer, a bank clerk, and his wife, Annie Grace Brickell.
Hamer was educated at [1 ] Rossall School, an independent school for boys near the town of Fleetwood in Lancashire, and won a scholarship to Cambridge University but was sent down (expelled), [2 ] [3 ] and began his career in 1934 as a cutting room assistant and from 1935 worked as a film editor involved with such films as [4 ] Hitchcock's (1939) co-produced by Jamaica Inn Charles Laughton. At the end of the 1930s, he worked on documentaries for the GPO Film Unit. [5 ]
When his boss at the GPO,
Alberto Cavalcanti, moved to Ealing Studios, Hamer was invited to join him there. He gained some experience as a director by substituting for colleagues and contributed the 'haunted mirror' sequence to (1945). He followed this with the three Ealing films under his own name for which he is best remembered: Dead of Night (1946), Pink String and Sealing Wax (1947), It Always Rains on Sunday both featuring [6 ] Googie Withers, and the black comedy (1949), with Kind Hearts and Coronets Dennis Price and Alec Guinness. An alcoholic, who by the time of (1960) his last film as director, was "often battling terrifying School for Scoundrels DT hallucinations". [6 ]
Hamer, who was homosexual in an era when it was illegal in the UK, died of
pneumonia at the age of 52 at St Thomas's Hospital in London. Buried at LLandegley, there was a large turn out for his funeral.
Hamer's career "now looks like the most serious miscarriage of talent in the postwar British cinema", according to film critic
David Thomson. [7 ]
Filmography [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Hamer, Robert James (1911-1963) Film Director
^ Ephraim Katz The Macmillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1998, London: Macmillan, p585
^ "Hamer, Robert (1911-63)", BFI screenonline website
^ Kidderminster Civic Society Newsletter Another Famous Son of Kidderminster February 2011 p1 suggests that he was suspended for homosexual activities but did eventually graduate
^ Brian McFarlane The Encyclopedia of British Film, 2003, London: BFI/Methuen, p281-82
^ a b John Patterson "There's more to Robert Hamer than Kind Hearts And Coronets", The Guardian, 19 October 2012
^ David Thomson The New Biographical Dictionary of Cinema, 2002, London: Little, Brown, p.367
External links [ edit ]