Douglas Hickox

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Douglas Hickox
Douglas Arthur Hickox

(1929-01-10)10 January 1929
Died25 July 1988(1988-07-25) (aged 59)
London, England
OccupationFilm director, television director
Years active1950-1988
Known forTheatre of Blood
Zulu Dawn
The Hound of the Baskervilles
(m. 1958, divorced)

Douglas Arthur Hickox (10 January 1929 – 25 July 1988) was an English film and television director.[1][2]


Hickox was born in London, where he was educated at Emanuel School. He started in the film industry at age 17, working at Pinewood Studios as "a thirty bob a week office boy".[3]

Hickox worked extensively as an assistant director and second unit director throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. ‘’The British B Film’’ (Steve Chibnall & Brian McFarlane; BFI, 2009) credits him with working on over thirty musical shorts and a handful of jazz/pop supporting featurettes. He worked on TV shows such as Sunday Break and Tempo and became a leading director of TV commercials. In 1966 he won several awards for his advertisements at the Venice International Advertising Film Congress.[4]

He made his first major picture, Entertaining Mr Sloane, in 1970 at the age of 41. He joined forces with the producer who had the rights and raised the finance. Hickox was meant to follow it with A Mouthful of Gold with Nicol Williamson and The Italian Girl by Iris Murdoch but neither was made.[3]

"I think of myself as an interpretive director," he said in 1970. "I'm a narrative director, basically. An audience should become totally involved in the film, the actors and the story. They shouldn't be aware of the director at all or of how things are done."[3]

Over the next ten years, he developed a reputation for the wit and style of his direction, and for his taut action sequences. His work includes Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (1968), Entertaining Mr Sloane (1970), Sitting Target (1972), Theatre of Blood (1973), Brannigan (1975), Sky Riders (1976) and Zulu Dawn (1979). He worked on various TV programmes in the 1980s until his death. He died in a London hospital following a heart surgery operation at age 59.


Hickox was married to Anne V. Coates, the Oscar-winning editor of Lawrence of Arabia. After his death, his second wife Annabel approached the Raindance Film Festival with an annual bequest from Douglas' estate. This bequest led directly to the creation of the British Independent Film Awards. In recognition of Douglas's commitment and support for new talent, BIFA inaugurated the Douglas Hickox Award, which is given to a British director on their debut feature.

Douglas had two sons, Anthony Hickox (b. 1959) also a director, and James D. R. Hickox (b. 1965) and two daughters, one with Coates, and one with second wife Annabel. Emma Hickox (b. 1964) is a successful film editor. Anthony Hickox is known for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), whilst he was Executive Producer on Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995) directed by his brother James D. R. Hickox. Emma E. Hickox's resume includes The Brylcreem Boys, Kinky Boots, The Jacket, The Boat that Rocked, Blue Crush, Rock of Ages and A Walk to Remember.

Douglas Hickox was buried in Putney Vale Cemetery, London.


As director[edit]

As assistant/second unit director[edit]


  1. ^ 1988 Obituary Sight and Sound; London Vol. 58, Iss. 1, (Winter 1988): 2.
  2. ^ Obituary 1 -- No Title The Guardian (1959-2003); London (UK) [London (UK)]10 Aug 1988: 39.
  3. ^ a b c Schhh, high camp, and Mr Sloane The Guardian 25 Feb 1970: 8.
  4. ^ Observer s TV adverts win awards A Staff Reporter. The Observer 19 June 1966: 3,

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