Tony Tenser

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Tony Tenser
Born Samuel Anthony Tenser
(1920-08-10)10 August 1920
Died 5 December 2007(2007-12-05) (aged 87)
Nationality British
Years active 1961-2007

Samuel Anthony Tenser (10 August 1920 – 5 December 2007)[1] was an English-born film producer of Lithuanian-Jewish descent. He began as the producer of Exploitation films, but did eventually enter the mainstream.

Life and career[edit]

Raised in a tenement in Shoreditch, with the family doing piecework for local tailors, Tenser was one of seven children.[2] After war service as a technician in the Royal Air Force, he became a trainee manager for the ABC Cinemas circuit.[3] Working for Miracle Films, Tenser coined the term "sex kitten" for the French movie star Brigitte Bardot when The Light Across the Street (La lumière d'en face, 1955) was released in the UK.[3]

In 1960, with business partner Michael Klinger, he opened the Compton Cinema Club, a private members club. Initially the distributors of foreign films, they diversified into production in partnership with the owners of the Cameo chain of cinema, and founded Compton Cameo Films. The first film of the new company was Naked as Nature Intended (1961), a nudist film

Persuaded by his business partner in Compton Films, Michael Klinger. Tenser was responsible for producing Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-sac (1966). the first two films in English made by the Polish director Roman Polanski. He founded his own production company Tigon British Film Productions in 1966, which made other mainstream films such as Michael Reeves' two features The Sorcerers (1966) and Witchfinder General (1967), as well as other horror films. After production of The Creeping Flesh (1973) concluded, Tenser resigned from Tigon.[1] Following his last film as executive producer, Frightmare (1974), he retired from the film industry.M[3]

With his much younger third wife, he settled in Southport in 1978;[1] the couple later separated, and Tenser spent his last years in a care home opposite the house he had shared with his wife.[2]

Select Credits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gavin Gaughan "Obituary: Tony Tenser", The Guardian, 13 March 2008
  2. ^ a b Matthew Sweet "The lost worlds of British cinema: The horror", The Independent, 29 January 2006
  3. ^ a b c Tom Vallance "Tony Tenser: Film producer and distributor who dubbed Bardot a 'sex kitten'", The Independent, 20 December 2007

Further reading[edit]

  • Beasts in the Cellar : The exploitation film career of Tony Tenser. by John Hamilton, Fab Press, 2005.

External links[edit]