×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Michael Relph

Producer

Michael Relph, the film producer and production designer who was a key figure in the British film industry for over 40 years, died September 30 in Selsey, West Sussex. He was 89.

Relph was the last surviving member of the group of filmmakers who served under Michael Balcon at Ealing Studios during the 1940s and 1950s. His many producing credits included Robert Hamer’s “Kind Heart and Coronets” and BAFTA-winner “The Blue Lamp,” directed by his regular partner Basil Dearden.

After Ealing, Relph continued to work with Dearden on movies including “The Smallest Show on Earth” (1957) and caper comedy “The League of Gentlemen” (1960). He also directed and co-wrote a handful of films himself.

Upon Dearden’s death in 1971, he became chairman of the Film Production Association of Great Britain (succeeding Balcon) and then also chairman of the British Film Institute’s production board (1972 to 1979). At the BFI, he oversaw the funding of the great trilogy of autobiographical movies by Scottish auteur Bill Douglas — “My Childhood,” “My Ain Folk” and “My Way Home.”

He later returned to producing, with the hard-hitting “Scum” in 1979 and his final film “Heavenly Pursuits” (1986).

Relph was the son of actor George Relph, who appeared in the Ealing movie “The Titchfield Thunderbolt.” He began his career as a trainee art director under the legendary Alfred Junge at Gaumont-British, and then joined the U.K. arm of Warner Brothers. He worked simultaneously as a stage designer for the West End theater.

He joined Ealing in 1942, designing three of Dearden’s movies before becoming his producer. Over the next 40 years, he produced more than 30 movies, including “Dead of Night,” “The Ship That Died Of Shame,” “Sapphire,” “Victim,” “Life For Ruth” and “An Unsuitable Job For a Woman

His son Simon went on to become a film producer, chief executive of British Screen Finance and chairman of BAFTA. His daughter Emma is an actress.

More Film

  • Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber)

    China's Bona Film Boards Brad Pitt's 'Ad Astra,' 'A Dog's Way Home' (EXCLUSIVE)

    China’s Bona Film Group is co-financing Brad Pitt space adventure “Ad Astra,” one of several films in a strong slate of international movies the company plans to release in the Middle Kingdom over the next year. Bona has also acquired Roland Emmerich’s war spectacular “Midway” and is investing in “A Dog’s Way Home,” the sequel [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Sets Pre-Sales Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” sets a pre-sales record, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits a milestone, and SAG-AFTRA promotes four executives.  PRE-SALES RECORD “Aquaman” has set a pre-sales record for Atom Tickets, topping “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther.” “Clearly, ‘Aquaman’ has captured the attention of movie fans with its larger-than-life adventure that must [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • The Quake Review

    Film Review: 'The Quake'

    Roar Uthaug’s 2015 “The Wave” revived the pleasures of the 1970s disaster-movie cycle in a form that seemed purer than the never-quite-dead genre’s recent Stateside incarnations — most of which seem to involve Dwayne Johnson in a generic pileup of CGI perils. “The Wave” wasn’t high art, but it was entertainment that delivered some standard [...]

  • The Mule trailer

    Film Review: Clint Eastwood in 'The Mule'

    From Dirty Harry to … dirty grandpa, Clint Eastwood certainly has a type of character that he plays best, and “The Mule” finds him squarely in his comfort zone, appearing as a surly old horticulturalist who, at age 90, has become perhaps the most reliable drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel, evading detection for nearly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content