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Val Guest (1911 - )

Date of Birth: 1911
Place of Birth: London, England, UK
Date of Death: 10 May 2006
Place of Death: Palm Springs, California, USA
Also Known As: Valmond Guest (full name)

BIOGRAPHY

In a long and varied career, Val Guest touched on just about every genre that the British cinema held dear - comedy, horror, police thrillers, James Bond... He even turned in one of the the UK cinema's unsurprisingly very few science fiction musicals, the dreadful Toomorrow (1970). But it will be his science fiction thrillers for which he will best remembered, an impressive clutch of films that include the groundbreaking The Quatermass Experiment (1955) and its first sequel, Quatermass II (1957), The Abominable Snowman (1957) and the quite remarkable The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961).

Guest entered the industry in the early thirties, has had one of the most varied careers in film, initially as an actor (he had already worked on the London stage) before turning his hand to scriptwriting. It was while single-handedly running the London bureau of The Hollywood Reporter that he ran into the director Marcel Varnel who pointed the way to a screenwriting gig at Gainsborough Studios. He proved a prolific writer and even found time to dabble in writing songs and other music for soundtracks along the way.

Guest's first real success came when he teamed up with the hugely popular British comedian Will Hay to write some of his best loved film, among them the classic Oh! Mr Porter (1937), Good Morning Boys! (1937) and Ask a Policeman (1939). After helming a Ministry Information short on, of all things, sneezing (The Nose Has It! (1942)), Guest made his feature debut with the all but forgotten Arthur Askey vehicle Miss London Ltd (1943).

Guest would continue to direct until the late 1980s and his career was erratic to say the least. For every The Quatermass Experiment there was a couple of Toomorrows, for every Day the Earth Caught Fire, a Boys in Blue (1983) or Diamond Mercenaries (1975). But when he was good, there wasn't a British director to touch him in the 60s.
KEVIN LYONS

GENRE FILMOGRAPHY

* = television

1938
Alf's Button Afloat (script)
Sei matti a bordo - Italian title

1939
Ask a Policeman (script)

1940
Band Waggon (script)
Det spökar i radio - Swedish title

1941
The Ghost Train (script)
Spöktåget - Swedish title
El tren fantasma - Spanish title
Il treno fantasma - Italian title

1942
Back Room Boy (script)
Mannekängerna som försvann - Swedish title

King Arthur Was a Gentleman (script, music)

1944
Bees in Paradise (script, director, music)
Skandal i paradiset - Swedish title

1946
Once Upon a Dream (story)
Träume - Schäume? - West German television title
Wenn Frauen träumen - Austrian / West German title

1950
Mister Drake's Duck (script, director)
Alto comando: operazione uranio - Italian title
Ankka ja atomimuna - Finnish title
Die Atomente - West German title
Där ha' vi ägget - Swedish title
Gestörte Flitterwochen - West German title
El pato atómico - Spanish title
Røre i andedammen - Danish title

1955
The Quatermass Xperiment (script, director)
Astronave atomica del dottor Quatermass - Italian title
El experimento del Dr Quatermass - Spanish title
Le monstre - French title
O Monstro do Espaço - Portuguese title
Quatermass
- Finnish title
Schock - West German title
The Creeping Unknown - US title
The Quatermass Experiment - US title
Xperiment Q - Danish / Swedish title

1957
The Abominable Snowman (director)
El abominable hombre de las nieves - Spanish title
The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas - US title
O Abominável Homem das Neves - Portuguese title
Das Geheimnis des Himalaya - Austrian title
Lumihirviö
- Finnish title
Il mostruoso uomo delle nevi - Italian title
Odrazajacy czlowiek sniegu
- Polish title
Snömannen - Swedish title
Yeti, der Schneemensch - West German title

Quatermass 2 (script, director)
Enemy from Space - US title
Feinde aus dem Nichts - West German title
O Inimigo do Espaço - Portuguese title
La marque - French title
Quatermass II: Enemy from Space - US title
I vampiri dello spazio - Italian title
Vihollinen avaruudesta - Finnish title

1961
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (producer, script, director)
O Dia em Que a Terra se Incendiou - Brazilian title
...e la Terra prese fuoco - Italian title
Le jour où la terre prit feu - French title
Maailmanloppu - Finnish title
Den sidste paddehat - Danish title
Der Tag, an dem die Erde Feuer fing - West German television title

1967
Casino Royale (script (uncredited), director)
Casino 007 - Hungarian title
Cassino Royale - Brazilian title
James Bond 007 - Casino Royale - Danish / Italian title

1969
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (script, director)
Akita - solens forbandelse - Danish title
Akita - solens förbannelse - Swedish title
Akita, dinosaurukset tulevat - Finnish title
Als Dinosaurier die Erde beherrschten - West German title
Cuando los dinosaurios dominaban la Tierra - Spanish title
Gdy dinozaury wladaly swiatem - Polish title
Quando i dinosauri si mordevano la coda - Italian title
Quando os Dinossauros Dominavam a Terra - Brazilian / Portuguese title

1970
Toomorrow (script, director)
Together - Italian title

1976
Space: 1999: New Adam, New Eve (director) *

Space: 1999: The Rules of Luton (director) *

Space: 1999: The A-B Chrysalis (director) *

1977
Space: 1999: Dorzac (director) *

1979
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of Harry Rigby
(director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Baker Street Nursemaids (director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Purloined Letter (director) *

1980
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Final Curtain
(director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Three Brothers (director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Shrunken Heads (director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Magruders' Millions (director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Traveling Killer (director) *

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Case of the Other Ghost (director) *

1983
The Boys In Blue (script, director)
Tom und Bobby in Aktion - East German title

1984
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense: Mark of the Devil
(director) *

1986
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense: Child's Play
(director) *

Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense: In Possession (director) *

1993
Hollywood U.K.: British Cinema in the Sixties: The Last Wave:
(performer (himself)) *

1994
Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror
(performer (himself)) *

1996
100 Years of Horror: Giants and Dinosaurs
(performer (himself)) *

2001
Legends: Alfred Hitchcock
(performer (himself)) *

2002
Psychedelic Cinema
(special thanks, performer (himself))

2004
Greasepaint and Gore: The Hammer Monsters of Phil Leakey
(performer (himself))

Greasepaint and Gore, Part 2: The Hammer Monsters of Roy Ashton (performer (himself))

NON-GENRE FILMOGRAPHY

1932
The Innocents of Chicago
(performer (gangster))
Why Saps Leave Home - US title

Maid of the Mountains (performer)

Old Spanish Customers (performer (newspaper reporter (uncredited)))

1933
The Bermondsey Kid
(performer)

1935
No Monkey Business
(script)

1936
All In
(script)

Cheer Up! (music)

Public Nuisance No 1 (script)

A Star Fell From Heaven (script (uncredited))

1937
Good Morning, Boys!
(script)

Oh, Mr Porter! (script)
Gangstertrain - Austrian title
Otto, zieh' die Bremse an! - German title

O-Kay for Sound (script)
La parata dell'allegria - Italian title

1938
Hey! Hey! USA
(additional dialogue)

Old Bones of the River (dialogue)

1939
Convict 99
(script)

The Frozen Limits (script)

Where's That Fire? (script)

1940
Gasbags
(script)

Goofer Trouble (script)

1941
Hi Gang!
(script)

I Thank You (script)

Inspector Hornleigh Goes to It (script)
Mail Train - US title
Spioncentralen - Swedish title

1942
The Nose Has It!
(script, director)

1943
Give Us the Moon
(script, director)

Miss London Ltd (script, director, music, lyrics)

1945
I'll Be Your Sweetheart
(script, director)
Ich will dein Liebling sein - Austrian title
Jag ska' bli din älskling! - Swedish title
Jeg vil være din kæreste - Danish title
Musikpiraten - German title
Sarai il mio amore - Italian title
Se vende una canción - Spanish title

1946
London Town
(additional dialogue)
Ilojen kaupunki - Finnish title
London Town - Swedish title
My Heart Goes Crazy - USA title
Paradies der Liebe - West German title

1947
Just William's Luck
(script, director)
Bill som detektiv - Swedish title

William Comes To Town (script, director)
William at the Circus - alternative title

1949
Miss Pilgrim's Progress
(script, director)

Murder at the Windmill (script, director, songs)
Gåden på Piccadilly - Danish title
Salaperäinen laukaus - Finnish title

Paper Orchid (script)

1950
The Body Said No!
(script, director)
Fjernsyns-mysteriet - Danish title
Kalabalik i TV - Swedish title

1951
Another Man's Poison
(script)
Den, der graver en grav - Danish title
La fossa dei peccati - Italian title
Gift für den Anderen - Austrian / West German title
Gift für einen anderen - West German title
Toisen miehen myrkyt - Finnish title
Utan samvete - Swedish title

Happy Go Lovely (script)
L'amore è bello - Italian title
L'amour mène la danse - French title
Glücklich und verliebt - Austrian / West German title
Härligt förälskad - Swedish title
Horas de ensueño - Spanish title
Ihanasti rakastunut - Finnish title

1952
Penny Princess
(script, director)
Lyckans ost - Swedish title
Salakuljettajaprinsessa - Finnish title
Die Schmugglerprinzessin - Austrian / West German title
Smugler-prinsessen - Danish title

1953
Top of the Form (story)
Skolans busgrabbar - Swedish title

1954
Life with the Lyons
(script, director)
Family Affair - US title
Det skøre hus - Danish title
Touhukas perhe - Finnish title

Men of Sherwood Forest (director)
Los hombres del bosque de Sherwood - Spanish title
O Justiceiro da Floresta - Portuguese title
Mændene fra Sherwood - Danish title
Robin Hood - farornas man - Swedish title
Robin Hood taistelee jälleen - Finnish title
Robin Hood, der rote Rächer - West German title
La spada di robin hood - Italian title

The Runaway Bus (producer, script, director)
Bussen der forsvandt - Danish title
Kultaa sumussa - Finnish title

1955
Break in the Circle
(script, director)
Interpol agente Z 3 - Italian title
Interpol slår till - Swedish title
Katkaistu rengas - Finnish title
Piraten og den rødhårede - Danish title
Rapt à Hambourg - French title
Spionagenetz Hamburg - Austrian / West German title

Dance Little Lady (script, director)
Bristede drømme - Danish title
Il grido del sangue - Italian title
I mannens våld - Swedish title
Miehen vallassa - Finnish title
Zum Tanzen geboren - West German title

The Lyons in Paris (script, director)
The Lyons Abroad - US title
Mr and Mrs in Paree - alternative title
Touhukas perhe Pariisissa - Finnish title

They Can't Hang Me (script, director)
De kan ikke hænge mig - Danish title
Die Letzte Frist - West German title
Mordet i fönstret - Swedish title

1956
It's a Wonderful World
(script, director, lyrics)
Der er musik i luften - Danish title
Flickan mittemot - Swedish title
Ken Millar löytää sävelen - Finnish title

Blonde Bait (script (uncredited))

The Weapon (director)
L'arma del delitto - Italian title
Ase - Finnish title
Efterlyst - Danish title
Im Schatten der Angst - West German title
Mordvapnet - Swedish title

Women Without Men (script (uncredited))

1957
Carry On Admiral
(script, director)
Paina päälle, amiraali - Finnish title
Panik i marinen - Danish title
The Ship Was Loaded - US title

The Camp on Blood Island (script, director)
Fangelejren på Blodøen - Danish title
Fånglägret den blodiga ön - Swedish title
Die Gelbe Hölle - West German title
L'île du camp sans retour - French title
L'isola dei disperati - Italian title
Verinen leiri - Finnish title

Sunday-Night Theatre: The Red-Headed Blonde (24 November 1957) (script) *

1958
Further Up the Creek
(script, director)
Noch mehr Ärger in der Army - West German title

Life Is a Circus (script, director)

Up the Creek (script, director)
Flådens frækkeste fyre - Danish title
Flußaufwärts - East German television title
Immer Ärger in der Army - West German title

1959
Expresso Bongo
(producer, director, songs)
Café Expresso Bongo - Finnish title
Espresso bongo - Italian title

Hell Is a City (script, director)
L'assassino è alla porta - Italian title
Helvede er en by - Danish title
Hetzjagd - Austrian / West German title
Kaupungin kirous - Finnish title

Yesterday's Enemy (director)
Ayer enemigos - Spanish title
Feinde von gestern - Austrian / West German title
Helvetet i djungeln - Swedish title
Kaptajnen i junglehelvedet - Danish title
Nemici di ieri - Italian title
Section d'assaut sur le Sittang - French title
Viidakon helvetti - Finnish title

1960
Dentist in the Chair
(script)
Kiperät paikat - Finnish title

The Full Treatment (script, director)
La morsa - Italian title
Muerte llega de noche - Spanish title
Murhayritys Nizzassa - Finnish title
Stands mig før jeg dræber - Danish title
Stop Me Before I Kill! - US title
Der Unsichtbare Schatten - West German title

1962
Jigsaw
(producer, script, director)
Scotland yard: mosaico di un delitto - Italian title

1963
80,000 Suspects
(producer, script, director)
Incubo sulla città - Italian title

1964
The Beauty Jungle
(producer, script, director)
Contest Girl - US title
Dschungel der Schönheit - West German title
Giungla di bellezze - Italian title
Miss Beauty - Danish title
Riisutut naamiot - Finnish title
Wir zeigen, was wir haben - West German title

1965
Where the Spies Are
(producer, script, director)
Agent K med pass till evigheten - Swedish title
Ansa agentille - Finnish title
A caccia di spie - Italian title
Dolche in der Kasbah - West German title
¿Dónde están los espías? - Spanish title
Dr Love - hemmelig agent - Danish title
Passeport pour l'oubli - French title

1967
Assignment K
(script, director)
Enviado especial K - Spanish title
Erikoistehtävä K - Finnish title
Geheimauftrag K - West German title
Secret service - mission K - Danish title
Service spéciaux, division K - French title
Specialuppdrag K Secret Service - Swedish title
Superspia K - Italian title

1971
The Persuaders!: Angie... Angie
(director) *

The Persuaders!: The Gold Napoleon (script) *

The Persuaders!: Take Seven (director) *

1972
Au Pair Girls
(script, director)
Au pair - tytöt - Finnish title
Au-Pair-Girls - West German title
Le femmine sono nate per fare l'amore - Italian title

The Persuaders!: Five Miles To Midnight (director) *

1973
The Adventurer: Has Anyone Here Seen Kelly?
(director) *

The Adventurer: The Bradley Way (director) *

The Adventurer: Deadlock (director) *

1974
Confessions of a Window Cleaner
(script, director)
Confessioni di un pulitore di finestre - Italian title
Ikkunanpesijän mehukkaat paljastukset - Finnish title
Ohne Hemd und ohne Höschen - Der Fensterputzer - West German title
Wyznania pomywacza okien - Polish title

The Adventurer: I'll Get There Sometime (director) *

The Adventurer: To the Lowest Bidder (director) *

The Adventurer: Going, Going... (director) *

The Adventurer: The Solid Gold Hears (director) *

1975
The Diamond Mercenaries
(script, director)
Armoton joukko - Finnish title
Killer Force - Danish / US title
Los mercenarios de los diamantes - Spanish title
Söldner - West German title

1976
Mission Monte Carlo
(script)

Sporting Chance (director) *
Koston hetki, Roger Moore - Finnish title
Voleurs de bijoux - French Canadian title

1977
The Switch
(director)

1980
Dangerous Davies - The Last Detective
(script, director)

Looks Familiar: 1 May 1980 (performer (himself))

The Shillingbury Blowers (director) *
...And the Band Played On - US title

1981
Leslie Thomas and the Magic Army: Part 3
(30 October 1981) (performer (himself)) *

Shillingbury Tales: The Shillingbury Tinker (director) *

Shillingbury Tales: The Shillingbury Melon (director) *

Shillingbury Tales: The Shillingbury Cloudburst (director) *

Shillingbury Tales: The Shillingbury Legend (director) *

Shillingbury Tales: The Shillingbury Miracle (director) *

Shillingbury Tales: The Shillingbury Daydream (director) *

1983
The Crazy Gang: A Celebration (23 March 1983) (performer (himself)) *

1998
Val Guest: The Guardian Interview (performer (himself))

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2001
My Life in Pictures by Val Guest

TIMELINE

2001
April

28: UK - book signing at The Cinema Store, London

REFERENCES

MAGAZINES

Starlog no.162 (January 1991) (USA)
interview (The Quatermass Conductor by Steve Swires)

Starlog no.163 (February 1991) (USA)
interview (Inferno Maker by Steve Swires)

BOOKS

Attack of the Monster Makers
interview (by Tom Weaver)

 


Last Updated: 1 January, 2009

 


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