Gerald Thomas

Active - 1950 - 1992  |   Born - Dec 10, 1920   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance

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Biography by AllMovie

Gerald Thomas was the younger brother of another British director of note, Ralph Thomas. Gerald began his movie career in the editing room, working as an assistant editor on such films as Hamlet (1948) and The Third Man (1949) before graduating to full editor. Thomas' directorial career began modestly with such British programmers as Circus Friends (1956) and Time Lock (1957). In 1958, Thomas and his producer friend Peter Rogers tried to get the major studios and distributors interested in a slapstick farce centered around a hospital. There were no takers, so Thomas and Rogers raised the production money themselves. The result was Carry on Sergeant (1958), the first in a long, long series of lucrative Carry On comedies, most of which were directed by Thomas. The series put Thomas in the millionaire status: he pocketed 15,000 pounds up front for each film, and earned a third of the profits. The director insisted upon military-drill rehearsals so that the script (and the scripted adlibs) would be followed to the letter; then, he'd generally print the first take, to retain the aura of spontaneity. He wasn't interested in such "nonessentials" as clever camera angles or strict attention to detail (the Carry On pictures abound with anachronistic and technical gaffes), but this added to the overall slovenly charm of the films. Gerald Thomas remained with the series until 1978's Carry on Emmanuelle, then dropped from public view, to resurface for the 1986 Australian feature The Second Victory.

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