Guy Green

Biography

Guy Green is well known to film audiences. Formerly a cinematographer, he was the first British D.P. to receive an Academy Award for his black and whit ephotography on David Lean's "Great Expectations." He founded the British Society of Cinematographers together with Freddie Young and Jack Cardiff. Green worked with Lean on several films, and it was this close association that inspired him to give up cinematography at the height of his career to become a director. While directing two early pictures, "House Of Secrets" and "Sea Of Sand," Green became associated with actors Richard Attenborough and Michael Craig, and "The Angry Silence" was the first conceived when the three were involved filming "Sea Of Sand" in the 140 degree heat of the Lybian desert. The film became a landmark in the careers of all concerned, and brought Green international attention. It was Britain's first entry at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the International Critic's Award. "The Angry Silence" was followed by "The Mark," which was critically applauded both in the United States and Europe. Rod Steiger and Stuart Whitman give outstanding performances and Whitman was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor. The picture received the Samuel Goldwyn International Award and many other accolades. Next came "Light In The Piazza," Green's first American production for MGM, followed by "Diamond Head" and the much acclaimed "Patch Of Blue." The screenplay for "Patch Of Blue," which was written by Green, was nominated for a Writer's Guild award and later received five Academy nominations, including Best Actress for newcomer Elizabeth Hartman. Shelley Winters received an Academy Award for her supporting performance as the mother. Green then diredcted the screen version of John Osborne's play "Luther" for the prestigious American Film Theater with Stacy Keach in the leading role. Jacqueline Susanne's "Once Is Not Enough" followed and subsequently he has directed a number of important made-for-television movies. Born in the west of England, Green's love of movies started at a young age. His first job was as a projectionist aboard the oceanliner the Majestic, which brought him to America for the first time. He also worked in London as a portrait photographer and as an assistant cameraman for an advertising agency. Eventually he managed to land a job as a camera assistant at Shepperton Studios in London and worked his way up from there. He met his wife, Josephine while they were both working on David Lean's "Oliver Twist." They have two children, Marilyn and Michael, who both work in the film industry. IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous Mini Biography Guy Green, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer and director who was a co-founder of the British Society of Cinematographers, was born in Frome, Somerset, England, on Guy Fawke's Day (November 5th), 1913. A devoted cinema enthusiast as a child, Green said he spent so much time watching the silent movies on the big screen, his mother was forced to come to the theater and fetch him. He was particularly fond of Westerns. Green's journey into the film industry from his days as a child in an English cinema included a stint as a projectionist on an ocean-liner and a job as a clapper boy for a maker of advertising films. After graduating from school, Green was hired by the Commercial Maritime Film Service, for whom he worked as an assistant projectionist at sea. His assignment aboard the good ship Majestic brought him to America for the first time. Returning to England, he opened a studio in London's Soho neighborhood where he worked as a portrait photographer. He then worked as a camera assistant/clapper boy for Sound City, an advertising agency that made movies. One could consider this his entrée into the film industry. He was 20 years old. Eventually hired by Elstree studios as a camera assistant, he worked his way up the hierarchy to focus puller and then camera operator, the #2 position in a photography unit. Eventually, he made it to lighting cameraman (director of photography), arguably the most important position on a film other than that of director. He served as the camera operator for the classic World War II naval drama, "In Which We Serve," which was co-directed by Noel Coward, who won a special Academy Award for his effort, and a former cutter named David Lean. Green had first met Lean while working as camera operator on "One of Our Aircraft is Missing" (1942) at Denham, on which Lean was the editor. The two became friendly, and when Lean made the transition to the director's chair, he brought Green along as his camera operator. For "In Which We Serve," Lean once sent Green out to get shots on board a battleship for the film. Lean told him before he left, "Don't forget, if you're getting bombed from the air, be sure you get a good shot of the plane." The association between Green and Lean was fruitful for both. Lean recommended him to Carol Reed when the latter director needed a director of photography for his next film. This lead to Green's first credit as a lighting cameraman, for Reed's war drama "The Way Ahead" (1942). Green later served as camera operator on Lean's "This Happy Breed" (1944). Reunited with Lean after the war, Green as director of photography won the Oscar for best cinematography (black and white) for his brilliant work on "Great Expectations" (1948). He also shot "Oliver Twist" for Lean, and once again, the result was stunning and remains one of the highlights of B+W cinematography. Both films are masterpieces and considered treasures of the British cinema. The win for "Great Expectations" made Green the first British director of photography to win an Academy Award. He founded the British Society of Cinematographers together with the great cameramen Freddie Young and Jack Cardiff. It was the close collaboration with Lean that inspired Green to give up cinematography at the height of his career to become a director in the mid-1950s. While directing two early pictures, "House of Secrets" and "Sea of Sand," Green became associated with the actors Richard Attenborough and Michael Craig. "The Angry Silence," a film about corruption in a trade union, was first conceived when the three were involved filming "Sea of Sand" in the scorching 140 degree heat of the Lybian desert. The film became a landmark in the careers of all concerned, and brought Green international attention. It was Britain's first entry at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the International Critic's Award. "The Angry Silence" was controversial in that it was accused of being anti-union. Green followed it with the equally controversial "The Mark," a tale about a convicted child molester who attempts to reintegrate into society after being freed from prison. The film was critically applauded both in the United States and Europe. Rod Steiger and Stuart Whitman give outstanding performances and Whitman -- who never achieved such critical acclaim again in his career -- was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor for his portrayal of the molester. "The Mark" received the Samuel Goldwyn International Award and many other accolades. "Light in the Piazza" was Green's first American production for MGM, which he followed up with "Diamond Head." It was in America that he had his greatest triumph as a director, the interracial love story "A Patch of Blue" (1965) for which Shelly Winters won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and Elizabeth Hartman was nominated as Best Actress. In addition to the two acting nominations, "A Patch of Blue" garnered three other Academy Award nods. Green was nominated by the Directors Guild of America and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes) for best director, while his screenplay was nominated for a Golden Globe and for a Writers Guild Award. It says something about the industrial nature of film production, predicated upon the collaboration of many different disciplines as well as craft guilds and dependent upon a fickle market whose interests are articulated by the monied middle-men known as the studios or producers, that before the decade was out, Green - after this great triumph - would also direct one of the most vilified films of all time, the screen adaptation of John Fowles's "The Magus." Now possessing an international reputation, Green proceeded to squander it with some ill-considered and -conceived films over the next 10 years. "Pretty Polly" (1967), based on a story by Noël Coward, was well-made and beautifully shot, but times had changed and changed rapidly, and the film was dismissed as passé. But the reception of "Polly" was mild compared to the critical drubbing heaped upon "The Magus" (1968). To say that critics found "The Magus" to be pretentious and hopelessly obscure was an understatement. Fowles novel was highly unconventional, and though the author adapted his own book for the screen, Green was not a good choice to direct a picture based on such abstractions. Green would admit that he was too old-fashioned to helm "The Magus." He spent his energy trying to make an extremely convoluted story into a conventional narrative and failed. Green returned to form, directing the screen version of John Osborne's play "Luther" (1973) for the prestigious American Film Theater with Stacy Keach in the leading role. However, after helming the flop "Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough" (1974), Green made but one more feature film, the German "Des Teufels Advokat" (1977). He then became a director of American TV movies. Green met his wife, Josephine while they were both working on "Oliver Twist." They had two children, Marilyn and Michael, who both work in the film industry. Green was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the order of the British Empire) in the 2004 Queen's New Year's Honours List for his services to film. He died at his Beverly Hills home after a long illness on September 15, 2005. He was 91 years old.

Expand
Person Photo
Known For
Movie Poster

Stella Street

Tourist

Movie Poster

Oscarverleihung 2006

Himself - memorial sequence (archive footage)

Starring In
Movie Poster

Oscarverleihung 2006

Himself - memorial sequence (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Stella Street

Tourist

MobileIcon
app store google play