Alexander Korda
Film director
Alexander Korda
Sir Alexander Korda was a Hungarian-born British film producer and director. He was a leading figure in the British film industry, the founder of London Films and the owner of British Lion Films, a film distributing company.
Biography
Alexander Korda's personal information overview.
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News
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Conrad Veidt on TCM: THE HANDS OF ORLAC, CASABLANCA, NAZI AGENT - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan, the Alexander Korda-produced The Thief of Bagdad (1940) is considered by many to be the best film version of any Arabian Nights tale. John Justin and June Duprez are the romantic leads,
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Daily guide to television and radio - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
PG-13 (2009) The Thief of Bagdad 10 pm (TCM) Alexander Korda's magnificent production of the “Arabian Nights'' fantasy. Conrad Veidt. NR (1940) The Social Network 11:05 pm (STARZ) Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) creates the website Facebook,
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Pick of the Paperbacks: August 14 - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
NB Film producer Alexander Korda's life is an amazing journey, from childhood in rural Hungary to fame in Britain as the man responsible for such cinematic successes as The Third Man and The Private Life of Henry VIII. Drazin's biography is a result of
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Fascist Fashionista - Daily Beast
Google News - over 5 years
When the Second World War came to an end in Europe, my uncle Sir Alexander Korda was the first filmmaker to reopen offices in Germany and Austria. Not only did he move quickly to place a London film office in both countries, he also managed to make the
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Unlikely leading man Charles Laughton; TCM's Summer Under The Stars icon Aug. 7 - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
Directed and produced by Alexander Korda, the film was shot in London. Laughton again teamed withKorda in 1936 when he starred in another historical drama, Rembrandt, airing next on TCM at 9:15am/8:15c. Also once again on hand was co-star Elsa
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Korda by Charles Drazin - Oxford Times
Google News - over 5 years
But once the focus falls on the screen career of Alexander Korda, this becomes a fascinating profile of a showman who was more than capable of charlatanry once he realised that greater profits lay in being an opportunist rather than a poet
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Book/DVD/Record - Town Topics
Google News - over 5 years
“A story of two old people going up and down an African river,” British producer Alexander Korda told the film's eventual producer Sam Spiegel. “Who's going to be interested in that? You'll be bankrupt.” The two “old people” being referred to were
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Paulette Goddard Movie Schedule: AN IDEAL HUSBAND, THE WOMEN - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
I've never watched Alexander Korda's British-made An Ideal Husband, a 1948 adaptation (by Lajos Biro) of Oscar Wilde's play, but it should be at least worth a look. The respectable cast includes Michael Wilding, Diana Wynyard, C. Aubrey Smith,
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New Marathi Cinema: Gandha by Sachin Kundalkar - DearCinema
Google News - over 5 years
In this context, it would do Kundalkar good to remember Alexander Korda's words which, in effect, echo a similar sentiment expressed by numerous important directors the world over: “A film is good and useful when it is national in character and
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Movie studio near Budapest launches guided tours on filmmaking - Caboodle.hu
Google News - over 5 years
Alexander Korda built his own film studio in Budapest, the Corvin Film Studios, at the age of 23. He left Hungary in 1919 and later produced internationally successful films such as The Jungle Book, The Third Man and The Thief Of Bagdad, for which his
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Hugh Stewart - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
When Saville joined Alexander Korda at London Films, Stewart went with him as editor. There he impressed Alfred Hitchcock and was given The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) as his first job as supervising editor. Other credits include Dark Journey and
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Sunday Dinner And a Movie From Big!Lots - San Diego Reader (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The first to meet with our disapproval was Arabian Nights (1942), a splashy Technicolor adventure yarn made to cash in on the success of Alexander Korda's The Thief of Bagdad. The film was a hit, it earned 4 Academy Award nominations, and the first of
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"Are You Airminded?" The Slang Of War - The Awl
Google News - over 5 years
Saint-Amour observes that, by the late 1930s, premonitions of the next war had saturated public dialogue in Europe; the HG Wells and Alexander Korda film Things to Come (1936), with its opening scene of aerial bombardment, poison gas attacks and mass
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Socialite Amanda Eliasch only cheated on her husband with one man... though it ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
In 1991 Johan struck out on his own, establishing Equity Partners with minor interests held by Charles and Maurice Saatchi, and acquiring London Films, the production company founded by Sir Alexander Korda. An avid skier, he gained control of
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"The Great Escape" in Iran - Iran Book News Agency
Google News - over 5 years
Alexander Korda was the savior of the British film industry, and Michael Curtiz directed Casablanca. Arthur Koestler penned the monumental anti-Communist novel Darkness at Noon. Rendered into Persian by Hadi Homami the book will be released in Iran by
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Ruthless but beautiful - Himalayan Times
Google News - over 5 years
In London she called herself Queenie and waited tables until she came to the notice of the famous director Alexander Korda who groomed her and put her into several movies. He married her and when he became a knight, she became Lady Korda but her screen
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A kulisszák mögé leshetnek be a Korda Stúdió látogatói - Kultúra.hu
Google News - over 5 years
A látogatókat berendezett dolgozó- és szállodai szoba várja, elvégre Alexander Korda életének java részét hotelekben töltötte - mutatott rá Sebestyén Katalin. A tárlat felidézi a világhírűvé vált filmrendező és producer életében jelentős szerepet
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Alexander Korda
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1956
    Age 62
    Korda died at the age of 62 in London in 1956 of a heart attack and was cremated.
    More Details Hide Details His ashes are at Golders Green Crematorium in London.
  • 1954
    Age 60
    In 1954 he received £5 million from the City Investing Corporation of New York, enabling him to keep producing movies until his death.
    More Details Hide Details His last film was Laurence Olivier's adaptation of Richard III (1955). A draft screenplay of what became The Red Shoes was written by Emeric Pressburger in the 1930s for Korda and intended as a vehicle for Merle Oberon, whom Korda later married. The screenplay was bought by Michael Powell and Pressburger, who made it for J. Arthur Rank. During the 1950s, Korda reportedly expressed interest in producing a James Bond film based upon Ian Fleming's novel Live and Let Die, but no agreement was ever reached.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1953
    Age 59
    He married, lastly, on 8 June 1953, Alexandra Boycun (1928–1966), who survived him.
    More Details Hide Details His nephew Michael Korda, the son of his younger brother Vincent, wrote a roman à clef about Merle Oberon, published after her death. It was entitled Queenie. He also wrote a memoir about his large, extended family and filmmaker father and uncles. The following films were directed by Korda. The following additional films were produced by Alexander Korda but not directed by him: Korda announced a number of projects which were never made, including:
  • 1948
    Age 54
    In 1948 Korda signed a co-production deal with David O. Selznick.
    More Details Hide Details Korda did recover, in part due to a £3 million loan British Lion received from the National Film Finance Corporation.
    In 1948 Korda received an advance payment of £375,000, the largest single payment received by a British film company, for three movies, An Ideal Husband (1947), Anna Karenina (1948) and Mine Own Executioner (1948).
    More Details Hide Details He released three other films, Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948), The Winslow Boy (1948) and The Fallen Idol (1948). Some of these films did well but others were expensive failures. Korda was badly hurt by the trade war between the British and American film industries in the late 1940s.
  • FORTIES
  • 1943
    Age 49
    He returned to Britain in 1943 as production chief of MGM-London films, with a £35 million, 10-year programme.
    More Details Hide Details The scheme ended after one year, one film and a £1million loss to MGM. Via London Films, Korda bought a controlling interest in British Lion Films. It produced such films as The Third Man (1949).
  • 1942
    Age 48
    In 1942, Alexander Korda was knighted for his contribution to the war effort, the first film director to receive the honour.
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  • 1939
    Age 45
    In 1939, he married the film star Merle Oberon.
    More Details Hide Details They divorced six years later.
    Korda though soon had financial difficulties and management of the Denham complex was merged with Pinewood in 1939, becoming part of the Rank Organisation.
    More Details Hide Details The outbreak of World War II in Europe meant The Thief of Bagdad had to be completed in Hollywood, where Korda was based again for a few years. While in the United States, Korda produced and directed That Hamilton Woman (1941) and supervised Jungle Book (1942), a live action version of the Kipling story, directed by Zoltán Korda.
    By 1939, Michael Powell had been hired as a contract director by Korda on the strength of The Edge of the World.
    More Details Hide Details Korda set him to work on some projects such as Burmese Silver that were subsequently cancelled. Nonetheless, Powell was brought in to save a film that was being made as a vehicle for two of Korda's star players, Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson. The film was The Spy in Black, where Powell first met Emeric Pressburger.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1932
    Age 38
    In 1932 Korda founded London Films with Big Ben as the company logo.
    More Details Hide Details The company's releases included The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Rembrandt (1936), both of which starred Charles Laughton and were directed by Korda. Other successes included The Four Feathers (1939), Q Planes (1939), and The Thief of Bagdad (1940). Korda's younger brothers Zoltán, a film director, and Vincent, an art director, were involved with his projects. Korda bought property in Denham, Buckinghamshire, including Hills House, and planned to build film studios on the property. London Film's Denham Film Studios was financed by the Prudential and opened in 1936. That same year, Korda was an important contributor to the Moyne Commission, formed to protect British film production from competition, mainly from the United States. Korda said: "If American interests obtained control of British production companies they may make British pictures here but the pictures made would be just as American as those made in Hollywood. We are now on the verge of forming a British school of film making in this country."
  • 1930
    Age 36
    They had one son, Peter Vincent Korda, and divorced in 1930.
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    Their marriage collapsed, and they divorced in 1930.
    More Details Hide Details Korda made two more sound films at First National: Her Private Life (1929) and Lilies of the Field (1930), both of which were remakes of earlier silent films. Gradually Korda grew more frustrated in Hollywood as he came to strongly dislike the studio system. He hoped to save up enough money to return to Europe and begin producing on a large scale there, but his lavish personal spending and the large amounts he lost in the Wall Street Crash prevented this. When his producer Ned Marin moved from First National to the Fox Film Corporation, Korda followed him. Korda's new contract gave him $100,000 a year. His first film for Fox, Women Everywhere (1930), cost slightly more than some of the programmers he had previously directed in the United States. He collaborated with several figures who would contribute to his future success in Britain. Korda was offered a series of scripts, all of which he disliked, before he finally agreed to make The Princess and the Plumber (1930). Korda's reluctance to make the film led to his conflict with studio bosses, which brought to an end his first period in Hollywood.
  • 1926
    Age 32
    In December 1926 after receiving a joint contract offer from the American studio First National, Korda and his wife sailed for the United States on board the steamer Olympic.
    More Details Hide Details Once they reached Hollywood, both struggled to adapt to the studio system. Korda had to wait some time before gaining his first directorial assignment. His first American film was a drama titled The Stolen Bride (1927). Korda was chosen as it was a Hungarian-themed romance about a peasant's love for a countess. The film starred the American actress Billie Dove, rather than Korda's wife. After The Stolen Brides moderate success, Korda was brought in to work on the comedy The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927), replacing the previous director, George Fitzmaurice. The film retells the story of Helen of Troy, parodying the plot-line of historical epics of the era by transforming the classical characters into everyday people with modern problems. The film was a significant success for Korda, with his wife playing the role of Helen. After this film, however, Korda became pigeon-holed as a director of female stars and exotic foreign locations. He was generally given similar assignments for the remainder of his time in Hollywood. The film was his most satisfying work in the United States and provided the template for his later success in Britain.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1920
    Age 26
    After leaving Hungary, Korda accepted an invitation from Count Alexander Kolowrat to work for his company Sascha-Film in the Austrian capital Vienna. Korda worked alongside Kolowrat, who had attracted several leading Hungarian and German directors into his employment, on the 1920 historical epic The Prince and the Pauper.
    More Details Hide Details The film was a major international success and inspired Korda with the idea of making "international films" with global box office appeal. Korda's next two films, Masters of the Sea (1922) and A Vanished World (1922), were both nautical-set adventures based on Hungarian novels. By that stage, Korda had grown irritated with Kolowrat's interference with his work and left Sascha to make an independent film, Samson and Delilah (1922), set in the world of opera. The film was made on a lavish scale, with large crowd scenes. The lengthy shooting schedule lasted 160 working days. The film was not a success. Unable to find further backing for his film projects, Korda left Vienna and travelled to Germany. Korda raised funding for the melodrama The Unknown Tomorrow (1923). With backing from Germany's biggest film company, UFA, Korda returned to Vienna to make Everybody's Woman (1924). While there, he began work on his next film, the historical Tragedy in the House of Habsburg (1924), which portrayed the Mayerling Incident. It earned back around half of its production cost. He followed this with Dancing Mad (1925), another melodrama.
  • 1919
    Age 25
    Korda was married three times, first to the Hungarian actress María Corda in 1919.
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    Korda established a film company named Corvin Film, building it into one of the largest in Hungary. In October 1919, Korda was arrested during the White Terror that followed the overthrow of the short-lived Communist government, the Hungarian Democratic Republic by reason his participation in its government.
    More Details Hide Details After his release, he left Hungary for Austria, and never returned to his country of birth. During the next eleven years, Korda made films in several countries, working in Vienna, Berlin, London and Paris before moving to Hollywood in 1940. He worked closely with many artists on his films, including his Hungarian friend, painter and set designer Emile Lahner.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1893
    Born
    Born on September 16, 1893.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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