Anderson, Lindsay, 1923-1994

Alternative names
Birth 1923-04-17
Death 1994-08-30

Biographical notes:

Epithet: film director

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000561.0x00015c

Lindsay Anderson (1923-94) film-maker, theatre director, critic and actor was born in Bangalore, India on 17 April 1923. The son of a British army officer, he attended Cheltenham College and Oxford University. While at Oxford he founded the film magazine Sequence in 1947 with Tony Richardson, Gavin Lambert and Karel Reisz. The magazine which ran until 1952 took a critical approach to the British cinema of the time and championed what it saw as the more vibrant, imaginative and artistic films coming from the US and Europe. Lindsay Anderson became a documentary film-maker in the 1950s, winning an Oscar for Thursday's Children, a documentary about a school for deaf children, in 1954. He was one of the founders of the 'Free Cinema' movement of the mid 1950s which challenged the established cosy images of British life with a series of dramas and documentaries portraying subjects hitherto rarely seen on screen.

In 1962 Anderson directed his first feature film, This Sporting Life, starring Richard Harris. In 1968 Anderson made If..., one of the most important British films of the 1960s which won the Palm D'or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. If... was the beginning of a trilogy of films made by Anderson that provided a controversial comment on the state of the nation. It was followed by O Lucky Man! (1972) and Britannia Hospital (1982). Lindsay Anderson also had a long and distinguished career in the theatre. He directed many productions for the Royal Court Theatre, where he directed his first play in 1957. He also wrote a number of works on the cinema including Making a Film - the Story of Secret People (1952) and About John Ford (1981). His final work was the autobiographical television documentary Is that all there is? (1992).

From the guide to the Lindsay Anderson Collection, 1910-1994, (Stirling University Library)


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  • Film
  • Film making
  • Theatre
  • Film scripts
  • Theatre directors


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