Star Archive

Lance Comfort (1908 - 1967)

You only have to glance at the filmography to realise that Lance Comfort didn't have a distinguished directing career. He made a handful of films that are worth reviving and many more that only get shown on TV at three in the morning. Yet as a representative of that second rank of directors who make no fuss but work steadily while the geniuses fail he's worth noting.

Comfort was born in Harrow and entered the film business while still in his teens. The industry was booming and he tried his hand at just about everything from sound recording to trick photography for a variety of production companies. He became an assistant director/technical advisor under John Baxter on a number of films including Song of the Road and Love On the Dole.

After directing a handful of children's shorts, he got his feature break with Penn of Pennsylvania. This didn't make much of an impression despite having Deborah Kerr in the cast; his next film, Hatter's Castle did. He worked steadily in the 40s and it looked like he was going to really make an impression. Somehow, he never did.

The failure of Portrait of Clare put the brakes on his career. The 50s saw him make a lot of B pictures and lots and lots of television. He directed episodes of The Gay Cavalier, Ivanhoe and produced and/or directed over 70 episodes of Douglas Fairbanks Jr Presents.

Still from Portrait of ClaireStill from Eight O'Clock Walk  

Filmography (as director)

1938 Sandy Steps Out (short)
1939 Laddie's Day Out (short)
1939 Judy Buys a Horse (short)
1939 Thoroughbreds (short)
1941 Penn of Pennsylvania
1941 Hatter's Castle
1942 Those Kids From Town
1942 Squadron Leader X
1943 Escape to Danger
1943 Old Mother Riley Detective
1943 When We Are Married
1944 Hotel Reserve
1945 Great Day
1946 Bedelia
1947 Temptation Harbour
1948 Daughter of Darkness
1949 The Silent Dust
1950 Portrait of Clare
1953 The Girl on the Pier
1953 The Genie *
1953 The Triangle *
1954 Bang! You're Dead
1954 Eight O'Clock Walk
1954 The Last Moment *
1956 The Man in the Road
1957 Face in the Night
1957 At the Stroke of Nine
1957 The Man from Tangier
1959 The Ugly Duckling
1959 Make Mine a Million
1961 The Breaking Point
1961 Rag Doll
1961 Pit of Darkness
1962 The Break
1962 The Painted Smile
1962 Band of Thieves
1962 Tomorrow at Ten
1962 Touch of Death
1963 The Switch
1963 Live It Up
1963 Blind Corner
1964 Devils of Darkness
1965 Be My Guest

* compilations of TV episodes

For a fuller filmography see Brian McFarlane's book.

 Lance Comfort at Amazon UK

 Lance Comfort at Amazon US