I’m delving into the work of little-known British writer-director Robert Hamer right now and finding it consistently surprising and intriguing—so much so that I wonder why I’d never really heard of him. His most famous film, and possibly his best, is the brilliant black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). But that film’s striking visual style and witty, intelligent writing are present in the little other Hamer I’ve seen: Father Brown (1954) and the “Haunted Mirror” segment of the anthology Dead of Night (1945). Has anyone else here looked into Hamer’s career?
Two other Brit directors who have interested me are Wendy Toye and Seth Holt. I’ve seen little of Toye’s work, but her “In the Picture” segment of Three Cases of Murder (1955) is so surrealistic and brilliant that I want to seek out everything she directed. (Jean Cocteau reportedly loved her short film The Stranger Left No Card .) Holt was by far Hammer Studios’ best director, who gave Taste of Fear (1961) and The Nanny (1965) a high Gothicism and high-contrast black-and-white while making Jimmy Sangster’s contrived screenplays somehow believable.
Several others, of course (how can I not mention William Dieterle?), but I just wanted to start off with these. Which little-known directors interest you?
“I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life…”