Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Godspeed Anthony Harvey

Film editor and director Anthony Harvey died on November 23 2017 at the age of 87.

Anthony Harvey was born on June 3 1930 in London. His father died when he was young and his mother later married actor Morris Harvey. Young Anthony took his stepfather's surname. He entered the film industry as an actor when he was 14, playing Ptolemy in the 1945 film adaption of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. As an actor Anthony Harvey was talented enough to win a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but he soon realised that acting was not for him. He then began work as an assistant film editor. His first film was The Long Memory (1953).  As an assistant film editor he worked on the Boulting brother's films, including Sailor of the King (1953) and Seagulls Over Sorrento (1954).

With Anthony Asquith's short "On Such a Night" (1956) he became a full-fledged editor. He edited the Boulting brothers' films Private's Progress (1956), Brothers in Law (1957), Happy Is the Bride (1958), Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959), and I'm All Right Jack (1959).  In the late Fifties he went onto edit the film The Angry Silence (1960) and Anthony Asquith's comedy The Millionairess (1960).

In the Sixties Mr. Harvey edited two of director Stanley Kubrick's best known films, Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). He also edited The L-Shaped Room (1962), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), and The Whisperers (1967). Anthony Harvey became a director with the featurette Dutchman (1966), which he also edited. His first feature was the critically acclaimed screen adaption of the play The Lion in Winter (1968), starring Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.

In the Seventies Anthony Harvey directed the cult film They Might Be Giants (1971), as well as the movies The Abdication (1974), Players (1979), Eagle's Wing (1979), and Richard's Things (1980). He directed a TV movie adaption of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie and the Hallmark Hall of Fame Presentation of The Disappearance of Aimee.

In the Eighties he directed Grace Quigley (1984)  and the TV movie Svengali. In the Nineties he directed the TV movie This Can't Be Love.

Anthony Harvey was enormously talented as both an editor and a director. He seemed to have an innate sense of timing, the ability to know how long a shot should last and how that shot should be framed. He certainly worked on some classics in his career. As an editor he worked on Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. As a director he directed The Lion in Winter, They Might Be Giants, and Richard's Things. Even his work on television was impressive. He directed one of the best Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations, The Disappearance of Aimee. As an editor Anthony Harvey worked with some of the best directors in the business and he later became one himself.

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