Winchester College, College St, Winchester SO23 9NA, United Kingdom
University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK
All Saints Churchyard Sutton Courtenay, Vale of White Horse District, Oxfordshire, England
'''Anthony William Lars Asquith''' (9
November 1902 – 20 February 1968) was a leading English film
director. He collaborated successfully with playwright
Rattigan on ''The Winslow Boy'' (1948)
and ''The Browning Version''
(1951), among other adaptations. His other notable films include
''Pygmalion'' (1938), ''French Without Tears'' (1940), ''The Way to the Stars''
(1945) and a 1952 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's ''The Importance of Being Earnest''.
Born in London, he was the son of H. H. Asquith, the Prime Minister during the first two years of the First World War, and Margot Asquith who was responsible for 'Puffin' as his family nickname. He was educated at Eaton House, Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford.
The film industry was viewed as disreputable when Asquith was young, and according to the actor Jonathan Cecil, a family friend, Asquith entered his profession in order to escape his background. At the end of the 1920s he began his career with the direction of four silent films the last of which, ''A Cottage on Dartmoor'' established his reputation with its meticulous and often emotionally moving frame composition. ''Pygmalion'' (1938) was based on the George Bernard Shaw play featuring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller.
Asquith was a longtime friend and colleague of Terence Rattigan (they collaborated on ten films) and producer Anatole de Grunwald. His later films included Rattigan's ''The Winslow Boy'' (1948) and ''The Browning Version'' (1951), and Oscar Wilde's ''The Importance of Being Earnest'' (1952).
Asquith was an alcoholic and, according to Jonathan Cecil, a repressed homosexual. He died in 1968.
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