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Joseph Losey
Director / Producer
1909 - 1984
Born January 14, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Key Production Countries: UK, USA 
Key Genres: Drama, Psychological Drama, Thriller, Film Noir, Romantic Drama
Key Collaborators: Reginald Beck (Editor), Dirk Bogarde (Leading Player), Norman Priggen (Producer), Alexander Knox (Leading Character Player), Gerry Fisher (Cinematographer), Reginald Mills (Editor), Richard MacDonald (Production Designer), Stanley Baker (Leading Player), Harold Pinter (Screenwriter/Character Player), John Dankworth (Composer)

Highly Recommended: The Lawless (1949), The Prowler (1951)#, The Sleeping Tiger (1954)
Recommended: The Boy with Green Hair (1948), Big Night (1951), The Criminal (1960), The Servant (1963)*, Accident (1967)
Worth a Look: M (1951)#, Finger of Guilt (1956), Time Without Pity (1956), The Damned (1962), Eva (1962), The Go-Between (1970), Mr. Klein (1977), Don Giovanni (1979)
Approach with Caution: Pete-Roleum and His Cousins (1939), Modesty Blaise (1966), Boom! (1968)
* Listed in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films section; # Listed in TSPDT's 250 Quintessential Noir Films section.

Links: [ Amazon ] [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide[ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ Senses of Cinema Article ] [ Senses of Cinema Article #2 ] [ Art and Culture Profile ] [ Film Comment Article (2004) ] [ Screen Online Biography ] [ Britmovie Biography ] [ Images Journal DVD Reviews ] [ Moving Image Source Article (2008) ] [ Film International Profile (2009) ]
Books: [ The Films of Joseph Losey ] [ Joseph Losey: A Revenge on Life ] [ Joseph Losey (British Film Makers) ] [ Conversations with Losey ] [ The Cinema of Joseph Losey ]
The Lawless (1949)The Sleeping Tiger (1954)The Boy with Green Hair (1948)Accident (1967)
  "Like many directors, Losey seems more effective when he transcends conventions than when he avoids them altogether. Genre movies give him the distancing he needs to writhe expressively on the screen. By contrast, movies about Life and Time and The World seem to make him relatively subdued, functional, and impersonal." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)  
  "A victim of the McCarthy witch-hunts, Joseph Losey, who made several taut movies in Hollywood, was forced into exile in England, where he became a sharp observer of the social mores of his new home...He became part of the "new realism" movement of British cinema, although he developed a more baroque visual style using elaborate camera movements, shock angles, and dramatic set designs." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)  
  "Joseph Losey's career spanned five decades and included work in both theater and film. The early years of his life as a director were spent in the very different milieus of New Deal political theater projects and the paranoia of the Hollywood studio system during the McCarthy era. He was blacklisted in 1951 and left America for England where he continued making films, at first under a variety of pseudonyms. His work is both controversial and critically acclaimed, and Losey has long been recognized as a director with a distinctive and highly personal cinematic style." - Janet E. Lorenz (The St. James Film Directors Encyclopedia, 1998)  
  "Shadowy figures moving through an indistinct landscape describe the best films of Losey. He creates atmospheres of paranoia, fear, alienation, and disillusionment like nobody else in cinema today." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  
  "Films can illustrate our existence... they can distress, disturb and provoke people into thinking about themselves and certain problems. But NOT give the answers." - Joseph Losey  
Please note that the rating given for this director (see top-right) is based only on the films we have seen (listed above). Films by this director that we haven't seen include A Gun in His Hand (1945), Stranger on the Prowl (1953), The Gypsy and the Gentleman (1958), Blind Date (1959), King and Country (1964), Secret Ceremony (1968), Figures in a Landscape (1970), The Assassination of Trotsky (1972), A Doll's House (1973), The Romantic Englishwoman (1975), The Trout (1982), and Steaming (1985).

"Joseph Losey's Hollywood career ended in 1951 after five films. He was named as a communist in 1951, and moved to England, where he worked for the rest of his life. Not until 1956, with his film Time Without Pity (1957), was he able to use his real name; the arm of the blacklist was long. With the exception of The Boy with the Green Hair (1948), Losey's U.S. films were all examples of film noir, the domain where the Hollywood left-wing excelled in its critique of an alienated and alienating society, where fate was economic and not mere bad luck... Sadly, from 1962 on, Losey's work became self-conscious and self-indulgent but delighted those who had understood nothing of his earlier movies. Only the exemplary King & Country (1964) and The Go-Between (1970) reach the level of his finest film noirs." - Reynold Humphries, 501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers

Top 250 Directors
Key Noir Filmmaker
The Far Side of Paradise
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Jules Dassin
Cy Endfield
John Huston
Stanley Kubrick
Peter Medak
Roman Polanski
Karel Reisz
Alain Resnais
Nicolas Roeg
John Schlesinger
Don Siegel
Luchino Visconti


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