Most Popular

Putney, London
Birth Sign
Putney, London

Sir Carol Reed was a British film director whose movies earned him two “Academy Awards” for Best Director. He started out acting on stage and then moved on to acting on screen. After acting on screen for a while, he switched to directing movies and went on to make some very good ones. He was best known for making thrillers, in which he was a master at building up tension to levels that were just electric. Even though he was a quiet man, he was nothing like the stereotype of a director who walks around with a bullhorn in his hand. However, he was able to make films that were so suspenseful that they sometimes left the audience gasping for air. His reputation was overshadowed by great directors like Alfred Hitchcock and others, but he still made some amazing movies that can easily be compared to those of the great suspense masters. He was the first British film director to get a knighthood for making films and documentaries in Britain.

Early years and childhood

Carol Reed was born on December 30, 1906, in Putney, England.
Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, his father, was a famous British actor who started the “Royal School of Dramatic Arts.”
Carol Reed was one of Beerbohm Tree and his mistress Beatrice Mae Pinney’s six illegitimate children.

He grew up in a well-mannered, middle-class environment in a separate home that his father ran on his own.
He went to school at Canterbury’s “King’s School,” but he wasn’t a great student.

Reed wanted to be an actor like his father, but his mother didn’t like the idea, so she sent him to live with his older brother on a chicken ranch in Massachusetts, USA, in 1922.

Carol Reed’s Career

Six months later, Carol Reed went back to England. In 1924, when he was 18 years old, he decided to become an actor. He joined a company run by Dame Sybil Thorndike and played small parts on the stage.
He met writer Edgar Wallace, who put him in charge of the stage for plays based on his thrillers.

Edgar Wallace became the head of the new “British Lion Film Corporation” in 1927, and Reed became his personal assistant. Reed was in charge of Wallace’s plays during the day and performed in them at night.
When Wallace died in 1932, Reed left the stage and joined the “Ealing Studios” to work in movies. He was hired by Basil Dean to work as a dialogue coach for “Associated Talking Pictures.”

He started out as a dialogue coach and then became an assistant director, a director, and a co-director on many movies.
Reed’s first movie as a director was “Midshipman Easy,” which came out in 1934. It was a low-budget movie like many others made at the time.

In 1936, his movie “Laburnum Grove” was praised by author Graham Greene, who later worked with him on a number of movies.

The British government told British film companies in 1938 that they should make more British films instead of distributing foreign films. Reed made some great British films, like “The Stars Look Down,” which starred Michael Redgrave in 1939. It was based on life in an English mining town and won praise all over the world.

In 1940, his next movie, “Night Train to Munich,” was a thriller with Rex Harrison as a double agent. It reminded people of Alfred Hitchcock movies because of how suspenseful it was.

In 1941, he made “The Remarkable Mr. Kipps,” which was a thriller based on real events. In 1942, he made “The Young Mr. Pitt,” which was also a thriller based on real events.

During the Second World War, he directed some war documentaries for the British army’s film unit. One of these, “The True Glory,” came out in 1945. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was in charge of this movie, which he co-directed with Garson Kanin and won his first Oscar for.

He was influenced by his experience making documentaries, which gave him an eye for detail. In 1947, he made the movie “Odd Man Out,” which starred James Mason and was about an IRA agent on the run.
In 1948, he worked on “The Fallen Idol” with writer Grahame Greene and producer Alexander Korda.

In 1949, he made his best movie, “The Third Man,” with Greene and Korda. It was a thriller about the Cold War, and Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles played the main roles.

The movies he made, “The Man Between” in 1953 and “A Kid for Two Farthings” in 1955, were dull and average.
In 1956, he made a circus drama called “Trapeze” with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. The audience liked it, but it wasn’t as good as his work after the war.

He made “The Key” in 1958 with a cast from all over the world, but even though the main roles were played by well-known actors, the script was too slow and the movie didn’t do well.
In 1959, he made “Our Man in Havana,” which was based on a Graham Greene thriller and starred Alec Guinness. This movie brought back some of his fading glory.

The 1965 epic film “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” which was based on the life of Michael Angelo, was also a good movie, but critics thought it was less important than the movies he had made before.

In 1968, he made Oliver!, which was his only musical. It was based on the same-named stage musical by Lionel Bart, and it showed once again that his critics and detractors were wrong about his abilities as a film director. Five Oscars were given to the movie, including one for best director.

Awards & Achievements

In 1945, the war documentary “The True Glory” won Carol Reed his first Oscar for “Distinction in Documentary Production.”

In 1949, his movie “The Third Man” was nominated for an “Academy Award” for Best Director. It also won the top prize at the “Cannes Film Festival.”

He was made a knight in 1952 because the movies he made in the 1940s were so popular.
He won an “Academy Award” for Best Director for the movie “Oliver!” in 1960.

Personal History and Legacies

He got married to Diana Wynward on February 3, 1943, and they split up in 1947 before they had any kids.

He married Penelope Dudley-Ward on January 24, 1948, and she stayed with him until he died. The marriage gave them a son named Max. He was the stepfather of Tracy, who was Ward’s daughter.
In his later years, he became harder and harder of hearing, which stopped him from directing movies.

Carol Reed died on April 25, 1976, in Chelsea, London, UK, of a heart attack. He was 69 years old.

Estimated Net worth

Carol is one of the wealthiest Directors and is on the list of the most well-known Directors. Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider all say that Carol Reed has a net worth of about $1.5 million.