Star Archive

Sir Carol Reed (1906 - 1976)

Carol Reed was born in Putney. He was one of six illegitimate children to famous actor-manager Sit Herbert Beerbohm Tree. He was educated at King's School in Canterbury.

When he left school he tried his hand at chicken farming in the US, but soon returned to Britain and an actor's life. He joined Edgar Wallace's company which got him his introduction to films. He started as a dialogue director for Basil Dean's company and from there became an assistant director on films such as Sing As We Go and Lorna Doone.

His first film as a director, Midshipman Easy, featured Margaret Lockwood. They began a relationship and would go on to make a total of eight films together. The films of this early period were a cheery mixture of drama, comedy and social commentary. His work took on a darker tone as the War went on and as he got more control over his material. He co-directed a compilation film on the war effort, The True Glory, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary. The war years also brought him marriage to Diana Wynyard, though in 1947 they divorced and he married Penelope Dudley-Ward.

His golden period was in the immediate post-war years. He directed his first masterpiece Odd Man Out in 1946. He then joined Korda's London Films. His next two films were also masterpieces:  The Fallen Idol and The Third Man.

When his contract with Korda ended, Reed's international years began with Trapeze, a hugely popular circus tale starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. Reed then moved from one big production to another with diminishing returns but he still had one last hurrah in him. Oliver! was a massive success and brought him a Best Director Oscar as well as winning Best Picture.

Still from Night Train to MunichStill from Odd Man OutPhoto of Trevor Howard from The Third Man


1935 It Happened in Paris (co dir)
1935 Midshipman Easy
1936 Laburnum Grove
1937 Talk of the Devil
1937 Who's Your Lady Friend?
1938 Bank Holiday
1938 Penny Paradise
1938 Climbing High
1939 A Girl Must Live
1939 The Stars Look Down
1940 Night Train to Munich
1941 The Girl in the News
1941 Kipps
1941 A Letter From Home (short)
1942 The Young Mr Pitt
1942 The New Lot
1944 The Way Ahead
1945 The True Glory (co dir)
1946 Odd Man Out
1948 The Fallen Idol
1949 The Third Man
1952 Outcast of the Islands
1953 The Man Between
1955 A Kid for Two Farthings
1956 Trapeze
1958 The Key
1959 Our Man in Havana
1962 Mutiny on the Bounty
1963 The Running Man
1965 The Agony and the Ecstasy
1968 Oliver!
1970 The Last Warrior
1972 Follow Me

 Carol Reed at Amazon UK

 Carol Reed at Amazon US