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Ask a filmmaker: Richard Lester | BFI
Ask a filmmaker: Richard Lester | BFI
Published: 2012/03/30
Channel: BFI
Richard Lester on the Beatles and A Hard Day
Richard Lester on the Beatles and A Hard Day's Night - BFI
Published: 2014/07/11
Channel: BFIEvents
Running & Jumping & Standing / Richard Lester
Running & Jumping & Standing / Richard Lester
Published: 2010/05/28
Channel: Jeff Burdette
The Knack ...and How to Get It (1965) Richard Lester
The Knack ...and How to Get It (1965) Richard Lester
Published: 2015/03/14
Channel: takacy100
"Superman II The Richard Donner Cut" Documentary Restoring The Vision Pt 1
"Superman II The Richard Donner Cut" Documentary Restoring The Vision Pt 1
Published: 2009/07/21
Channel: Supermanrecut- Superman Movie Fan Edits
Richard Lester introduces Touch of Evil
Richard Lester introduces Touch of Evil
Published: 2016/06/23
Channel: VHS Video vault
The Ritz (1976) Trailer | Richard Lester
The Ritz (1976) Trailer | Richard Lester
Published: 2012/10/12
Channel: Ryan Saunders
The Three Musketeers (1973) Trailer
The Three Musketeers (1973) Trailer
Published: 2013/12/13
Channel: TheTrailerGal
129 Mini   Bob Hope Stories & Richard Lester
129 Mini Bob Hope Stories & Richard Lester
Published: 2017/07/16
Channel: Premium Gilbert
Gavin Millar interviews Rita Moreno and Richard Lester
Gavin Millar interviews Rita Moreno and Richard Lester
Published: 2014/03/30
Channel: MouseM1963
Episode 114: Dr. Richard Lester (MIT)
Episode 114: Dr. Richard Lester (MIT)
Published: 2013/12/14
Channel: TheEnergyMakers
Superman II - NEW DELETED SCENE! Richard Lester Material!
Superman II - NEW DELETED SCENE! Richard Lester Material!
Published: 2009/05/30
Channel: Rahman4Media
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Blu-ray & DVD -- Edgar Wright on Richard Lester
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Blu-ray & DVD -- Edgar Wright on Richard Lester
Published: 2010/11/02
Channel: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Did Superman Kill Zod
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Did Superman Kill Zod
Published: 2014/05/04
Channel: TheLyon301
A Missing Scene from Help! Mini Documentary (Subtítulos en Español)
A Missing Scene from Help! Mini Documentary (Subtítulos en Español)
Published: 2014/05/21
Channel: SgtPepperChannel
Richard Lester discusses the keyboard music of J.S. Bach
Richard Lester discusses the keyboard music of J.S. Bach
Published: 2017/04/27
Channel: NimbusRecordsTV
Lezioni di Cinema. Richard Lester e i Beatles
Lezioni di Cinema. Richard Lester e i Beatles
Published: 2014/07/08
Channel: CinetecaBologna
Oransoda 1975: regia di Richard Lester
Oransoda 1975: regia di Richard Lester
Published: 2017/08/26
Channel: VHSPOETRY
Richard Lester - Petulia -1968.avi
Richard Lester - Petulia -1968.avi
Published: 2010/12/09
Channel: robdasnobb
Hal Hartley on Richard Lester
Hal Hartley on Richard Lester
Published: 2007/08/03
Channel: cornellwoolrich
Brahms Op.26 Finghin Collins,Michael Gurevich,Michel Camille,Richard Lester
Brahms Op.26 Finghin Collins,Michael Gurevich,Michel Camille,Richard Lester
Published: 2016/10/15
Channel: Michel Camille
1. Soler  -  Beyond Belief - Richard Lester
1. Soler - Beyond Belief - Richard Lester
Published: 2017/02/14
Channel: Richard Lester
Domenico Scarlatti - Richard Lester - K 141
Domenico Scarlatti - Richard Lester - K 141
Published: 2011/07/06
Channel: anthony223
The Knack ... de Richard Lester
The Knack ... de Richard Lester
Published: 2015/03/10
Channel: Alain LE CONG NEN
Encore. Patricia Kopatchinskaya and Richard LEster
Encore. Patricia Kopatchinskaya and Richard LEster
Published: 2016/05/27
Channel: Chamber Orchestra of Europe
A Hard Day
A Hard Day's Night (Quatre garçons dans le vent) de Richard Lester : Extrait 1
Published: 2014/12/17
Channel: CarlottaFilms
Pidax - Die Rückkehr der Musketiere (1989, Richard Lester)
Pidax - Die Rückkehr der Musketiere (1989, Richard Lester)
Published: 2016/11/03
Channel: Pidax Film
Running Fast by Richard Lester
Running Fast by Richard Lester
Published: 2012/10/24
Channel: Richard Lester
Nuclear Innovation for the 21st Century - Prof. Richard K. Lester - MIT
Nuclear Innovation for the 21st Century - Prof. Richard K. Lester - MIT
Published: 2014/11/08
Channel: MIT Club of Northern California
Cuba (1979) Richard Lester - Rodada en Cádiz
Cuba (1979) Richard Lester - Rodada en Cádiz
Published: 2015/08/10
Channel: Paquito Moncayo
Richard Lester - Director Spotlight by Greg Proops & FilmStruck
Richard Lester - Director Spotlight by Greg Proops & FilmStruck
Published: 2017/09/05
Channel: FilmStruck
Manuel De Falla: Siete Canciones populares Espanolas for cello & piano, Lester & Shirinyan
Manuel De Falla: Siete Canciones populares Espanolas for cello & piano, Lester & Shirinyan
Published: 2011/10/24
Channel: Michel Camille
Richard Lester pt1
Richard Lester pt1
Published: 2017/04/06
Channel: Jon Caprine
Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin's music score from Richard Lester's "THE FOUR MUSKETEERS" (1974) Main & End Titles.
Published: 2012/05/04
Channel: RM
A HARD DAY
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT - Picturewise
Published: 2014/07/08
Channel: criterioncollection
Jules Massenet: Elegie for soprano, cello & piano Helena Juntunen,Richard Lester,Juhani Lagerspetz
Jules Massenet: Elegie for soprano, cello & piano Helena Juntunen,Richard Lester,Juhani Lagerspetz
Published: 2012/10/03
Channel: Michel Camille
Richard K. Lester PhD
Richard K. Lester PhD '80
Published: 2016/03/08
Channel: InfiniteHistoryProject MIT
Soler Fandango
Soler Fandango
Published: 2014/03/11
Channel: Raymond Fenton
Domenico Scarlatti - Richard Lester - K 455
Domenico Scarlatti - Richard Lester - K 455
Published: 2011/07/06
Channel: anthony223
Richard Lester - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Richard Lester - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Published: 2017/09/05
Channel: FilmStruck
Richard Lester
Richard Lester
Published: 2014/01/17
Channel: spartomatic
Richard Lester Short
Richard Lester Short
Published: 2008/01/26
Channel: victornil
Seminario de Cien y Rock en el CIC - "Help!" de Richard Lester
Seminario de Cien y Rock en el CIC - "Help!" de Richard Lester
Published: 2016/06/06
Channel: CIC - Centro de Investigación Cinematográfica
Richard Lester: Education and Nuclear Energy at MIT
Richard Lester: Education and Nuclear Energy at MIT
Published: 2014/10/27
Channel: MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP)
Mx. Cosby talent section: Graduate- Richard Lester
Mx. Cosby talent section: Graduate- Richard Lester
Published: 2016/03/25
Channel: Richard Lester
Richard Lester - The Four Musketeers
Richard Lester - The Four Musketeers
Published: 2017/09/05
Channel: FilmStruck
Richard Lester - A Hard Day
Richard Lester - A Hard Day's Night
Published: 2017/09/05
Channel: FilmStruck
Marriage Ceremony of Richard Lester Kwame Lewis & Rosalind Y. Tompkins
Marriage Ceremony of Richard Lester Kwame Lewis & Rosalind Y. Tompkins
Published: 2014/03/16
Channel: Rosalind Tompkins
Conférence de Richard Lester - Part.2
Conférence de Richard Lester - Part.2
Published: 2015/03/12
Channel: Alain LE CONG NEN
Petulia (1968) - Trailer
Petulia (1968) - Trailer
Published: 2010/10/01
Channel: PurpleGardenWalls
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Richard Lester
Richard Lester Bologna 2014.jpg
Lester in Bologna in 2014
Born Richard Lester Liebman
(1932-01-19) January 19, 1932 (age 85)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Film director
Years active 1960–1991

Richard Lester (born Richard Lester Liebman; January 19, 1932[1]) is an American film director based in Britain. Lester is known for his work with the Beatles in the 1960s and his work on the Superman film series in the 1980s.[2]

Early years and television[edit]

Richard Lester Liebman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a Jewish family. A child prodigy, he began studies at the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 15. He started in television in 1950, working as a stage hand, floor manager, assistant director and then director in less than a year, because no one else was around who knew how to do the work.[3]

Lester directed Action in the Afternoon an American western television series that aired live on CBS from February 2, 1953 to January 29, 1954. The series originated from the studios and back lot of WCAU, Channel 10 in Philadelphia, and was broadcast Monday through Friday regardless of the weather.[citation needed] The half-hour series aired variously at 3:30 pm or 4:00 pm, throughout its run. In 1953, Lester moved to London and began work as a director in television, working for the low-budget producers The Danziger Brothers on episodes of Mark Saber, a half-hour detective series.[citation needed]

A variety show he produced caught the eye of Peter Sellers, who enlisted Lester's help in translating The Goon Show to television as The Idiot Weekly, Price 2d. It was a hit, as were two follow-up shows, A Show Called Fred and Son of Fred.[3][4][5]

Lester recalled that A Show Called Fred was "broadcast live and that's why I went into film directing where you can do a second take!"[6]

Film career[edit]

The Beatles and the 'swinging' 1960s[edit]

A short film Lester made with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers, The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959), was a favourite of the Beatles, and in particular John Lennon. When the band members were contracted to make a feature film, they chose Lester from a list of possible directors. A Hard Day's Night (1964) showed an exaggerated and simplified version of The Beatles' characters, and proved to be an effective marketing tool. Many of its stylistic innovations survive today as the conventions of music videos, in particular the multi-angle filming of a live performance. Lester was sent an award from MTV as "Father of the Music Video."[7]

Lester directed the second Beatles film Help! (1965).[8] Between the two Beatles films, Lester directed the first of several quintessential 'swinging' films, the sex comedy The Knack …and How to Get It (also 1965), the earliest of three films with actor Michael Crawford, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.[citation needed]

Subsequent Lester films from the 1960s included Petulia (1968) with Julie Christie and a score by John Barry, as well as the darkly surreal anti-war movie How I Won the War co-starring Lennon, which he referred to as an "anti-anti-war movie"; Lester noted that anti-war movies still took the concept of war seriously, contrasting "bad" war crimes with wars fought for "good" causes like the liberation from Nazism or, at that time, Communism, whereas he set out to deconstruct it to show war as fundamentally opposed to humanity.[citation needed]

Although set in World War II, the movie is indeed an oblique reference to the Vietnam War and at one point, breaking the fourth wall, references this directly. Lester returned to his anti-war theme with the post-apocalyptic black comedy The Bed Sitting Room (1969) based on a play by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus.[citation needed]

Career after 1970[edit]

In the 1970s, Lester directed a wide variety of films, including the disaster film Juggernaut (1974), Robin and Marian (1976), starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, and the period romance Cuba (1979), also starring Connery. However his biggest commercial successes in this period were The Three Musketeers (1973) and its sequel The Four Musketeers (1974). The films were somewhat controversial at the time because the producers, Alexander and Ilya Salkind, decided to split the first film into two after principal photography was completed. Many of the cast principals sued the Salkinds as a result, stating that they were only contracted to make one film.[citation needed]

Production on Superman II began before Superman was completed, and had to be halted to concentrate on getting the first movie completed. After the first Superman film was released in late 1978, the Salkinds went back into production on Superman II without informing Superman director Richard Donner; they placed Lester behind the camera for the completion of the film. Although Donner had shot a majority of what was planned for the film, Lester jettisoned or reshot much of the original footage so that he could claim sole credit for directing Superman II.[citation needed]

Gene Hackman, who played Lex Luthor, refused to return for the reshoots, so Lester instead used a stunt double and an impersonator to loop Luthor's lines onto footage of Hackman shot by Donner.[citation needed] Some of Donner's original footage was later integrated into television versions of the film. In November 2006, Donner's footage was reedited into Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, consisting primarily of his footage with Lester's footage used only for scenes not shot during Donner's principal photography. Lester directed Superman III (1983), but this third installment was not as well received as its predecessors, yet was considered a box office success.[citation needed]

In 1984, Lester was awarded the MTV Video Vanguard Award.[9]

In 1988, Lester reunited most of the Three Musketeers cast to film another sequel, The Return of the Musketeers, released the following year. During filming in Spain, actor Roy Kinnear, a close friend of Lester, died after falling from a horse. Lester finished the film, then unofficially retired from directing, returning only to direct the concert film of Paul McCartney entitled Get Back (1991). In 1993, he presented Hollywood UK, a five-part series on British cinema in the 1960s for the BBC.[citation needed]

Director Steven Soderbergh is among many who have called for a reappraisal of Lester's work and influence. He authored Getting Away With It, published in 1999, about Lester's career.[10] which consists of interviews with Lester.

Personal life[edit]

In Soderbergh's book Getting Away With It, Lester reveals that he is a committed atheist and debates with Soderbergh (then an agnostic), largely based on the arguments of Richard Dawkins. During Lester's time at Penn, he was also a member of the Beta Rho Chapter of Sigma Nu.

Filmography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Combs, Richard (2015-07-01). "It's bound to end in tears.(discussing about movie director Richard Lester and his movies)". Film Comment. Film Society of Lincoln Center. 51 (4): 42(4). ISSN 0015-119X. 
  • Rosenfeldt, Diane (1978). Richard Lester: A guide to references and resources (A Reference publication in film). G. K. Hall. ISBN 978-0816181858. 
  • Sinyard, Neil (February 1985). The Films of Richard Lester. Barnes & Noble Imports. ISBN 978-0389205548. 
  • Yule, Andrew (April 1995). Richard Lester and the Beatles: A Complete Biography of the Man Who Directed a Hard Day's Night and Help!. Donald I Fine. ISBN 978-1556114359. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Profile, The Times, January 19, 2009; retrieved January 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Richard Lester". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Soderbergh, Steven (November 8, 1999). "Richard Lester interview". The Guardian. Retrieved April 6, 2008. 
  4. ^ Scudamore, Pauline (1985). Spike Milligan: A Biography. London, UK: Granada. pp. 169–70. ISBN 0-246-12275-7. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Roger (1995). The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. London, UK: Arrow Books. ISBN 0-09-974700-6. 
  6. ^ Ventham, Maxine (2002). "Richard Lester". Spike Milligan: His Part in Our Lives. London, UK: Robson. p. 72. ISBN 1-86105-530-7. 
  7. ^ "Richard Lester". IMDb. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Lewis (1995) provides citations for the television shows & films: A Show Called Fred, Son of Fred, Hard Day's Night, Help!, Mouse on the Moon, Running, Jumping Standing Still, and Three Musketeers
  9. ^ "MTV Music Awards Winners by Category". MTV. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  10. ^ Soderbergh, Steven (1999), Getting away with it, or, The further adventures of the luckiest bastard you ever saw (2nd ed.), Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-19025-6 

External links[edit]

Superman film
Preceded by
Richard Donner
Director
19801983
Succeeded by
Sidney J. Furie

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