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Mason, James

MASON, James



Nationality: British. Born: James Neville Mason in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, 15 May 1909. Education: Marlborough College; Cambridge University, degree in architecture. Family: Married 1) Pamela Kellino, 1941 (divorced 1964), daughter: Portland, son: Morgan; 2) Clarissa Kaye, 1971. Career: Acted with Hull and Croydon repertory companies after leaving university; 1933—West End stage debut in Gallows Glorious; 1935—film debut in Late Extra; contract with Fox-British; 1938—formed own production company Gamma Productions; 1946—Broadway debut in Bathsheba; 1949—U.S. film debut in Caught; 1954–55—host of the TV series Lux Video Theatre, and in mini-series Jesus of Nazareth, 1977, and A.D., 1985. 1978—on Broadway in The Faith Healer. Awards: London Evening Standard Special Award, 1977; Acting Award, UK Critics, for The Shooting Party, 1985. Died: Of heart attack in Lausanne, Switzerland, 27 July 1984.




Films as Actor:

1935

Late Extra (Parker) (as Jim Martin)

1936

Twice Branded (Rogers) (as Henry Hamilton); Troubled Waters (Parker) (as John Merriman); Prison Breaker (Brunel) (as Bunny Barnes); Blind Man's Bluff (Parker) (as Stephen Neville); The Secret of Stambov (The Spy in White) (Marton) (as Larry); Fire over England (Howard) (as Ambassador)

1937

The Mill on the Floss (Whelan) (as Tom Tulliver); Catch as Catch Can (Atlantic Episode) (Kellino) (as Robert Leyland); The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel (Schwartz) (as Jean Tallion)

1939

I Met a Murderer (Kellino) (as Mark Warrow)

1941

This Man Is Dangerous (The Patient Vanishes) (Huntington) (as Mick Cardby); Hatter's Castle (Comfort) (as Dr. Renwick); The Night Has Eyes (Terror House) (Arliss) (as Stephen)

1942

Alibi (Hurst) (as André Laurent); Secret Mission (French) (as Raoul de Carnot); Thunder Rock (Boulting) (as Streeter)

1943

The Bells Go Down (Dearden) (as Ted Robbins); The Man in Grey (Arliss) (as Marquis de Rohan); They Met in the Dark (Lamec) (as Commander Heritage); Candlelight in Algeria (George King) (as Alan Thurston)

1944

Fanny by Gaslight (Man of Evil) (Asquith) (as Lord Manderstoke); Hotel Reserve (Hanbury, Comfort, and Greene) (as Peter Vadassy)

1945

A Place of One's Own (Knowles) (as Mr. Smedhurst); They Were Sisters (Crabtree) (as Geoffrey); The Seventh Veil (Bennett) (as Nicholas); The Wicked Lady (Arliss) (as Capt. Jackson)

1947

Odd Man Out (Reed) (as Johnny McQueen); The Upturned Glass (Huntington) (as Michael Joyce)

1949

Caught (Ophüls) (as Larry Quinada); Madame Bovary (Minnelli) (as Gustave Flaubert); The Reckless Moment (Ophüls) (as Marlon Donnelly); East Side, West Side (Le-Roy) (as Brandon Bourne)

1950

One Way Street (Fregonese) (as Doc Matson)

1951

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Lewin) (as Hendrick van der Zee); The Desert Fox (Hathaway) (as Rommel)

1952

Five Fingers (Mankiewicz) (as Cicero); Lady Possessed (Spier and Kellino) (as Del Palma); The Prisoner of Zenda (Thorpe) (as Rupert); "Secret Sharer" ep. of Face to Face (Brahm) (as Captain)

1953

Charade (Kellino—for TV) (as The Murderer, Major Linden, and Jonah Watson, + co-sc); The Man Between (Reed) (as Ivo Kern); The Story of Three Loves (Reinhart) (as Charles Coutray); The Desert Rats (Wise) (as Rommel); Botany Bay (Farrow) (as Capt. Paul Gilbert); Julius Caesar (Mankiewicz) (as Brutus)

1954

Prince Valiant (Hathaway) (as Sir Brack); A Star Is Born (Cukor) (as Norman Maine); 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (Fleischer) (as Capt. Nemo)

1956

Forever Darling (Hall) (as Guardian Angel); Bigger than Life (Ray) (as Ed Avery); Island in the Sun (Rossen) (as Maxwell Fleury)


1958

Cry Terror (Stone) (as Jim Molner); The Decks Ran Red (Stone) (as Capt. Edwin Rummill)

1959

North by Northwest (Hitchcock) (as Phillip Vandamm); Journey to the Center of the Earth (Levin) (as Prof. Oliver Lindenbrook); A Touch of Larceny (Hamilton) (as Comm. Max Easton)

1960

The Trials of Oscar Wilde (The Man with the Green Carnation) (Hughes) (as Sir Edward Carson)

1961

The Marriage-Go-Round (Lang) (as Paul Delville); Escape from Zahrain (Neame) (as Johnson)

1962

Lolita (Kubrick) (as Humbert Humbert); Hero's Island (Stevens) (as Jacob Webber, + pr); Tiara Tahiti (Kotcheff) (as Capt. Brett Aimsley)

1964

Finché dura la tempesta (Torpedo Bay) (Frend) (as Blayne); The Fall of the Roman Empire (Anthony Mann) (as Timonedes); The Pumpkin Eater (Clayton) (as Bob Conway)

1965

Lord Jim (Brooks) (as Gentleman Brown); Genghis Khan (Levin) (as Kam Ling); Les Pianos mécaniques (The Uninhibited) (Bardem) (as Regnier)

1966

The Blue Max (Guillermin) (as Count von Klugermann); Georgy Girl (Narizzano) (as James Leamington); The Deadly Affair (Lumet) (as Charles Dobbs)

1967

Stranger in the House (Rouve) (as John Lawyer); The London Nobody Knows (Cohen) (as narrator)

1968

Duffy (Parrish) (as Charles Calvert); Mayerling (Young) (as Emperor Franz Josef)

1969

Age of Consent (Powell) (as Bradley Monahan); The Sea Gull (Lumet) (as Trigorin)

1970

Spring and Port Wine (Hammond) (as Rafe Crompton)

1971

L'uomo dalle due ombre (Cold Sweat) (Young) (as Ross)

1972

Bad Man's River (Martin) (as Montero)

1973

Child's Play (Lumet) (as Malley); The Last of Sheila (Ross) (as Philip); The Mackintosh Man (Huston) (as Wheeler)

1974

Frankenstein: The True Story (Smight—for TV) (as Dr. Polidari); 11 Harrow House (Avarian) (as Watts); The Marseille Contract (Parrish) (as Brizard)

1975

Great Expectations (Hardy) (as Magwich); Mandingo (Fleischer) (as Maxwell)

1978

Heaven Can Wait (Beatty and Henry) (as Mr. Jordan); The Boys from Brazil (Schaffner) (as Eduard Seibert)

1979

Murder by Decree (Clark) (as Dr. Watson); Salem's Lot (Hooper—for TV); The Passage (Thompson) (as Professor Bergson)

1980

Ffolkes (North Sea Hijack; Assault Force) (McLagen) (as Admiral Brinsden)

1982

The Verdict (Lumet) (as Ed Concannon); Evil under the Sun (Hamilton) (as Odell Gardener); Ivanhoe (Camfield—for TV)

1983

Yellowbeard (Damski)

1984

The Assisi Underground (Ramati)

1985

Dr. Fischer of Geneva (Lindsay-Hogg—for TV) (title role); The Shooting Party (Bridges) (as Sir Randolph Nettleby)



Film as Director:


1954

The Child

Publications


By MASON: books—

The Cats in Our Lives, with Pamela Kellino, 1949.

Before I Forget, London, 1981.


By MASON: articles—

Interview with I. McAsh, in Films (London), November 1981.

Interview, in Time Out (London), 4 March 1983.

Interview with P. Carcassonne, in Cinématographe (Paris), May 1983.

Interview with D. Rabourdin, in Cinéma (Paris), September 1984.


On MASON: books—

Hirschorn, Clive, The Films of James Mason, London, 1975.

De Rosso, Diana, James Mason: A Personal Biography, Oxford, 1989.

Haver, Ronald, A Star Is Born: The Making of the 1954 Movie and Its 1983 Restoration, London, 1989.

Morley, Sheridan, James Mason: Odd Man Out, London, 1989.

Sweeney, Kevin, James Mason: A Bio-Bibliography, Westport, 1999.


On MASON: articles—

Canby, Vincent, "The Performer vs the Role: Catherine Deneuve and James Mason," in The Movie Star, edited by Elisabeth Weis, New York, 1981.

Buckley, Michael, "James Mason," in Films in Review (New York), May 1982; see also issues for June/July and November 1982.

Obituary, in Variety (New York), 1 August 1984.

Buckley, Michael, "A Final Tribute: James Mason 1904–1984," in Films in Review (New York), October 1984.

Cieutat, Michel, "James Mason, Bigger than Stars," in Positif (Paris), November 1984.

Film Dope (Nottingham), January 1989.

Brock, P.,"These I Have Known: Memories of James Mason," in Classic Images (Muscatine), October 1992.

Sayre, M., "James Mason's Killer Charm," in New York Times, 22 September 1993.

Buckley, Michael, "James Mason," in Films in Review (New York), January-February 1994.

Buckley, Michael, "James Mason," in Films in Review (New York), March-April 1994.


* * *

James Mason spent a few years on the stage before turning in the late 1930s to the screen. He appeared in a series of quota films in which his dark, somewhat sinister good looks qualified him as a type of ruthless but romantic villain. He was seen in such bravura romances as The Man in Grey, The Seventh Veil, and The Wicked Lady, successful at the box office and distinguished chiefly for his star quality. Apart from a supporting role in Thunder Rock, his first important film was Carol Reed's Odd Man Out. As Johnny, the Irish partisan being hunted through the streets of Belfast by both the police and by those seeking to aid him, he achieved the feat of playing a leading character who is mute through much of the action, an odyssey of fear and terror spanning some 24 hours.

It was on the strength of this performance that Mason went to Hollywood, embarking on what proved a busy if somewhat directionless career in which his considerable talent and unusual screen personality were too often wasted in indifferent films. Mason's screen image was of the highly educated English gentleman, with a soft touch of Irish in his speech, and the capacity to reveal a cruel streak, especially in his relations with women. Always an impressive presence, he twice appeared effectively as Field-Marshal Rommel, in The Desert Fox and The Desert Rats, and was a thoughtful but unexciting Brutus in Joseph Mankiewicz's filming of Julius Caesar. In the early 1950s he also returned to the romantic costume genre in which he had originally made his name, playing Rupert of Hentzau in The Prisoner of Zenda and bringing sinister authority to the part of Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

Mason gave one of his best performances in George Cukor's 1954 version of A Star Is Born, as husband of the star, Judy Garland. He returned to England to make The Man Between and a three-part television film, Charade, which he co-scripted. Mason's other notable roles include the charmingly well-bred villain in Hitchcock's North by Northwest, his appearance in Ken Hughes's The Trials of Oscar Wilde, and Humbert Humbert in Kubrick's Lolita, in which Mason is for once the victim. Unfortunately, the censorship of the day required that the eroticism of the relationship between middle-aged man and nymphette be somewhat muted.

—Roger Manvell

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"Mason, James." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Mason, James." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mason-james

Mason, James

James Mason, 1909–84, British stage and film actor. Mason, trained at Cambridge as an architect, became a leading man in British films in the 1940s and thereafter an international star. With a velvet smooth voice and introspective good looks, he played villains and romantic figures with equal skill. Among his best-known films are Odd Man Out (1946), Rommel, Desert Fox (1951), Julius Caesar (1953), A Star is Born (1954), Lolita (1962), Georgy Girl (1966), and The Seagull (1968).

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"Mason, James." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mason, James." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mason-james

"Mason, James." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mason-james