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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
Film Legend worked Here
Sir Alexander Korda worked here from 1932-1936
Location: 21/22 Grosvenor Street, W1
Description: Sir Alexander Korda (September 16, 1893 - January 23, 1956) was a Hungarian-born film director and producer. He was a leading figure in the British film industry, the founder of London Films and the owner of British Lion, a film distributing company.
And so to this very location marked by a Blue Plaque, Korda worked here in the 1930s producing classic films that of course stand the test of time.
It was in Britain that he made the biggest impression, and in 1932 he founded London Films, soon to build studios at Denham, financed by Prudential, which eventually became a part of the Rank Organisation. His films were lavish and (after the advent of colour) visually striking.
They included The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Rembrandt (1936), both of which starred Charles Laughton, who was also to have appeared in the ill-fated I, Claudius (1937).
In 1942, Korda became the first film director ever to be knighted. Among his greatest successes as producer were The Four Feathers (1939), Q Planes (1939), The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and The Third Man (1949). The Red Shoes was also originally meant to be a Korda film and vehicle for his future wife Merle Oberon. It became a J. Arthur Rank film and was eventually made by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger instead, starring Moira Shearer.