Seth Holt

Active - 1949 - 1971  |   Born - Jan 1, 1923   |   Died - Jan 1, 1971   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

"The most ruthless director I've ever worked with outside of William Wyler". Thus did Bette Davis sum up her experiences while filming The Nanny (1964) under the direction of Seth Holt. A former actor, Holt became a film editor on British war documentaries in the early 1940s. In 1944, he joined the then-blossoming Ealing studios at the invitation of producer/director Robert Hamer (who happened to be married to Holt's sister at the time). Holt edited and/or co-produced several of Ealing's most profitable comedies of the late 1940s-early 1950s; then, in 1958, he unexpectedly made his directorial bow with a melodrama, Nowhere to Go. By the early 1960s, Holt had established himself as one of the British Film Industry's finest suspense specialists. In 1969, Holt was slated to direct the pioneering youth-alienation fantasy If..., but his health and morale had deteriorated to the point that Lindsay Anderson was obliged to take over direction. Seth Holt died of heart failure and exhaustion the age of 48, while in the midst of filming Blood From the Mummy's Tomb (1971); the picture was completed by Michael Carreras.

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