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Rilla, Wolf 1925–2005

Rilla, Wolf 1925–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 16, 1925, in Berlin, Germany; died October 19, 2005. Film director and author. Rilla was best known as a film director and script writer, most notably of the 1960 movie Village of the Damned. Born in Germany of a Jewish father, he and his family moved to England when he was a teenager to avoid the rise of the Nazis to power. Here he attended St. Catharine's, Cambridge, earning an M.A. in 1945. Rilla's father had been an actor, and this interest in movies was passed down to his son. Rilla began working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1942, and was hired to work in the BBC World Service's German section during the war. Later, he moved into television, leaving the BBC in 1952 to work in movies. Initially, he was employed by the production company Group 3, but he later became an independent director who occasionally also did television shows; he also worked as a director for Cyclops Film Productions in the 1960s. In addition to adapting John Wyndham's novel The Midwich Cuckoos into Village of the Damned, which he cowrote and directed, he was the scriptwriter for such films as Jessy (1959), which won a Boston Film Festival award, The World Ten Times Over (1962), Quarry (1969), and The Wheelchair (1974). For television, Rilla worked on sitcom series in the 1970s; a novelist as well, he penned such fiction works as Greek Chorus (1947) and The Dispensable Man (1974). By the 1970s, he had retired from filmmaking and moved to France, where he ran a hotel. In addition to his film work, Rilla was also praised as the author of the useful guide A-Z of Movie Making (1969).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), October 25, 2005, p. 36.

Independent (London, England), October 29, 2005, p. 44.

Times (London, England), December 3, 2005, p. 76.

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