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Addison, John (1920-1998)


Main image of Addison, John (1920-1998)

In his enormously productive career, John Addison (born in West Chobham, Surrey, on 16 March 1920) has composed for the theatre and the concert hall as well as for the screen. Trained at the Royal College of Music, he entered films after World War II through the good offices of Roy Boulting.

He subsequently worked on eight further films for the Boulting brothers, worked across genres and studios throughout the 1950s, and adapted readily to the demands of the realist 'new wave' of the early '60s, especially in the films of Tony Richardson, with whom he was associated at the Royal Court Theatre during its ground-breaking seasons in the later 1950s.

Most of his work after A Bridge Too Far (d. Richard Attenborough, 1977) was for American productions, and he lived in America for some years until his death on 7 December 1998.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

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A wily old Scottish puffer boat captain outwits an American millionaire

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Underrated late Carol Reed film, similar in theme to The Third Man

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Two sailors on leave are caught up in a diamond smuggling racket

Thumbnail image of Reach for the Sky (1956)Reach for the Sky (1956)

Classic flagwaver about pilot Douglas Bader's triumph over adversity

Thumbnail image of School for Scoundrels (1959)School for Scoundrels (1959)

Alastair Sim teaches Ian Carmichael how to be a cad like Terry-Thomas.

Thumbnail image of Seven Days to Noon (1950)Seven Days to Noon (1950)

Tense Boulting Brothers nuclear thriller - still surprisingly powerful today

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Thumbnail image of Richardson, Tony (1928-1991)Richardson, Tony (1928-1991)

Director, Producer, Writer