Tuesday, 1 October 2013

OBITUARY: Anthony Hinds - Legendary Hammer Horror Producer

Anthony Hinds
19th September 1922 - 30th September 2013

A very sad day at The Purple Patch, with the news that one of the leading figures of the legendary Hammer studio has passed away, just days after his 91st birthday.

Anthony Hinds was the son of co-founder Will Hinds, whose stage name of Will Hammer gave the company its name. On Will's passing, Hinds the younger took on the family share of the company, and would come up with the idea of renting large country houses to make films, a pivotal decision which would eventually lead the company to their Bray Studios base.

Hinds would initially produce a wealth of the studio's early output, mostly quickie thrillers, before taking the reins on The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass II, X - The Unknown, The Curse Of Frankenstein and Dracula. Many more would follow.

Under the pseudonym of John Elder, Hinds would additionally pen many scripts for the company, ranging from Dracula and Frankenstein sequels to the classic Curse Of The Werewolf.

Sadly, his production duties ended with the TV series, Journey To The Unknown, when the American backers installed Joan Harrison as producer over his head and he was reduced to an assistant role. He left Hammer as a result. However, he would continue to write scripts for them under the Elder nom-de-plume, the last film screenplay being Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell.

Later scripts for Tyburn followed (The Ghoul, Legend Of The Werewolf, Sherlock Holmes And The Masks Of Death), but in his later years Hinds seemed happy to talk about his time with Hammer for documentaries and to attend fan events. His last such interview was for Mark Gatiss' A History Of Horror in 2010.

Anthony Hinds' passing severs yet another link with Britain's glorious Gothic cinematic past, but he left behind him a wealth of work which will live on for as long as movies are shown. His contribution, not just to UK horror, but to a great British cinema success story is immeasurable.

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