Michael Leighton George Relph
16 February 1915
Broadstone, Dorset, England
|Died||30 September 2004 (aged 89)|
Selsey, West Sussex, England
|Occupation||Art director, film producer, film director, writer|
Relph began his film career in 1933 as an assistant art director under Alfred Junge at Gaumont British then headed by Michael Balcon. In 1942 Relph began work at Ealing as chief art director, where his designs included the influential 1945 supernatural anthology Dead of Night.
Relph is largely known as a film producer. He served as associate producer on the Ealing comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949); and had a significant 20-year partnership with Basil Dearden beginning in 1949 and ending with Dearden's death in 1971. Their work included a series of social problem films examining issues such as racism (Pool of London and Sapphire), juvenile delinquency (Violent Playground), homosexuality (Victim), and religious intolerance (Life for Ruth). Relph believed that because film was "genuinely a mass medium," it therefore had "social and educative responsibilities as well as artistic ones." In their review of Life For Ruth, The New York Times wrote, "in avoiding blatant bias, mawkish sentimentality and theatrical flamboyance, it makes a statement that is dramatic, powerful and provocative."
His son, Simon Relph, was also a film producer and former chairman of BAFTA. His daughter, Emma Relph, had several parts on television and in the films as an actress during the 1980s. His stepson Mark Law is a former Fleet Street journalist and author of The Pyjama Game, A Journey Into Judo.
- The Bells Go Down (1943)
- Champagne Charlie (1944)
- Dead of Night (1945)
- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1947)
- Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)
- Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
- The Blue Lamp (1950)
- The Smallest Show on Earth (1957)
- Sapphire (1959)
- The League Of Gentlemen (1960)
- Victim (1961)
- Life for Ruth (1962)
- Scum (1979)
- Dennis Barker. "Obituary: Michael Relph". the Guardian.
- "Michael Relph". Oxforddnb.com. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "Michael Relph | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "Michael Relph". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "Michael Relph - Obituaries - News". The Independent. 2004-10-02. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "BFI Screenonline: Relph, Michael (1915-2004) Biography". Screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "BFI Screenonline: Dearden, Basil (1911-1971) Biography". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- "British 60s cinema - The 'Social problem' films of Dearden & Relph". www.british60scinema.net.
- Hill, John (1 January 1985). "The British 'Social Problem' Film: 'Violent Playground' and 'Sapphire'". Screen. 26 (1): 34–49. doi:10.1093/screen/26.1.34.
- A.H. Weiler (1966-09-12). "Movie Review - Life For Ruth - Screen: Faith and Law:'Walk in the Shadow' Is Disturbingly Real". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- Adam Dawtrey (2004-10-05). "Michael Relph". Variety. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "Emma Relph | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- Purnell, Sonia (2011). Just Boris, The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity. Aurum Press Ltd.