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Arnold, Sir Malcolm (1921-2006)


Main image of Arnold, Sir Malcolm (1921-2006)

After studying composition with Arthur Jacob at the Royal College of Music, Malcolm Arnold (born in Northampton on 21 October 1921) became First Trumpet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which he left in 1948 to devote himself to full-time composing and conducting.

He has composed the scores for nearly 100 films, almost all of them British, though some had substantial American involvement, including The Bridge on the River Kwai (d. David Lean, 1957) for which he won an Oscar. He worked several times for David Lean and Carol Reed, and many other British film-makers.

After beginning with documentaries, he composed for a wide genre range including comedies such as The Belles of St Trinian's (d. Frank Launder, 1954), war films (Hell in Korea, d. Julian Amyes, 1956), thrillers (Tiger in the Smoke, d. Roy Ward Baker, 1956), and realist drama (No Love for Johnnie, d. Ralph Thomas, 1961). He was awarded a CBE in 1970 and knighted in 1993.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Thumbnail image of Angry Silence, The (1960)Angry Silence, The (1960)

Melodrama about union intimidation, starring Richard Attenborough

Thumbnail image of Belles of St Trinian's, The (1954)Belles of St Trinian's, The (1954)

Anarchic comedy based on Ronald Searle's popular cartoons

Thumbnail image of Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

The first large-scale David Lean epic, a multi-Oscar-winning World War II saga

Thumbnail image of Constant Husband, The (1954)Constant Husband, The (1954)

Comedy with Rex Harrison as an amnesiac with a terrible secret

Thumbnail image of Divertimento (1968)Divertimento (1968)

Almost abstract, often beautiful film exploring the properties of oil

Thumbnail image of Hobson's Choice (1953)Hobson's Choice (1953)

Charles Laughton stars in this definitive version of a much-filmed play

Thumbnail image of Sleeping Tiger, The (1954)Sleeping Tiger, The (1954)

Joseph Losey's British debut stars Dirk Bogarde as a young criminal

Thumbnail image of Sound Barrier, The (1952)Sound Barrier, The (1952)

Little-known David Lean film about ambition, courage and jet aircraft

Thumbnail image of Whistle Down The Wind (1961)Whistle Down The Wind (1961)

Bryan Forbes' directorial debut gave Hayley Mills her best-loved role

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