|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
|Born||Valmond Maurice Grossmann
11 December 1911
London, England, UK
|Died||10 May 2006
Palm Springs, California, USA
|Spouse(s)||Yolande Donlan (1954–2006)|
Val Guest (11 December 1911 – 10 May 2006) was a British film director, best known for his science-fiction films for Hammer Film Productions in the 1950s, but who also enjoyed a long, varied and active career in the film industry from the early 1930s up until the early 1980s.
Early life and career
He was born Valmond Maurice Grossmann in Maida Vale, London, England, and educated at Seaford College. Guest's initial career was as an actor, appearing in various productions in London theatres. He also appeared in a few early sound film roles, before he gave up an acting career and moved into writing. For a time in the early 1930s he was the London correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter trade paper, before he began working on film screenplays for Gainsborough Pictures, his first being No Monkey Business directed by Marcel Varnel in 1935. This was to be the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between screenwriter Guest and director Varnel. 
He wrote screenplays for the rest of the decade, including working on scripts for Will Hay, as well as some film scores, before in the early 1940s becoming a director, with his debut feature in this role being Miss London Ltd. in 1943. He went on to direct, produce and script a huge number of films over the following forty years, with perhaps his best known work being on the first two Hammer Films Quatermass science-fiction adaptations in the 1950s: The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and Quatermass 2 (1957). He also directed the cult science-fiction films The Abominable Snowman (1957) and The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) (which won him a BAFTA Award with Wolf Mankowitz for Best Screenplay). He also directed and wrote the screenplay for When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).
Guest was one of several directors to work on the spoof James Bond film Casino Royale (1967). After the early departure of Peter Sellers from the project, producer Charles K. Feldman asked Guest if he would direct linking material to make what was left uncompleted a coherent narrative. Feldman initially wanted Guest to be given the credit of 'Supervising Director', but when Guest saw the finished product, he opted for an 'Additional Sequences' credit instead.
In 1972 he directed the soft core sex comedy Au Pair Girls and in 1974 he followed this by directing the first of the Confessions of... series of sex comedy films, Confessions of a Window Cleaner. Guest's last feature film work was writing and directing The Boys in Blue in 1982, a vehicle for the then popular British comedy double act Cannon and Ball. The film was a remake of an earlier picture called Ask a Policeman, released in 1939, which Guest himself had co-written.
He also worked, albeit less extensively, in television, directing episodes of various 1970s series such as Space: 1999, The Adventurer and The Persuaders!, for the latter of which he also wrote an episode. His last professional work was as the director of several episodes of the Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense series in 1984 and 1985.
An autobiography, So You Want to be in Pictures, was published in 2001.
- Miss London Ltd. (1943)
- Bees in Paradise (1944)
- Give us the Moon (1944)
- I'll Be Your Sweetheart (1945)
- Just William's Luck (1947)
- William Comes to Town (1948)
- Murder at the Windmill (1949)
- The Body said No! (1950)
- Miss Pilgrim's Progress (1950)
- Mister Drake's Duck (1951)
- Penny Princess (1952)
- The Men of Sherwood Forest (1954)
- The Runaway Bus (1954)
- Life With the Lyons (1954)
- The Lyons in Paris (1955)
- Break in the Circle (1955)
- Dance, Little Lady (1955)
- The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)
- They Can't Hang Me (1955)
- It's a Wonderful World (1956)
- The Weapon (1956)
- Carry On Admiral (1957)
- Quatermass 2 (1957) (US title: Enemy From Space)
- The Abominable Snowman (1957)
- The Camp on Blood Island (1958)
- Up the Creek (1958)
- Further Up the Creek (1959)
- Yesterday's Enemy (1959)
- Expresso Bongo (1959)
- Life is a Circus (1960)
- Hell Is a City (1960)
- The Full Treatment (1960)
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
- Jigsaw (1962)
- 80,000 Suspects (1963)
- The Beauty Jungle (1964)
- Where the Spies Are (1965)
- Casino Royale (1967)
- Assignment K (1968)
- Toomorrow (1970)
- When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
- Au Pair Girls (1972)
- Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974)
- Killer Force (1976)
- The Shillingbury Blowers (1980)
- The Boys in Blue (1982)
- Mark of the Devil (1985)
- "Val Guest". BFI.
- "BFI Screenonline: Guest, Val (1911-2006) Biography".
- Steve Chibnall, "Guest, Val", in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008, ed. Lawrence Goldman, p. 465.
- Christopher Hawtree, Val Guest obituary, The Guardian, 16 May 2006.
- Wheeler Winston Dixon, Rutgers University Press, Jul 11, 2007, Film Talk: Directors at Work, Retrieved November 10, 2014 (see page 26 paragraph two), ISBN 978-0-8135-4077-1
- "Val Guest". The Independent.
- "Movie Review - When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth - ' When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth' in Neighborhood Houses - NYTimes.com".
- Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
- Val Guest at the Internet Movie Database
- Val Guest at BFI Screenonline
- Val Guest at the Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and television
- San Jose Mercury News, "Val Guest, director known for sci-fi films, dies at 94" May 22, 2006
- Tribute to Val Guest at The Thunder Child Science Fiction Webzine