James Hill (producer)

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James Hill (August 1, 1916 – January 11, 2001) was an American film producer and screenwriter active from the late 1940s to the middle of the 1960s. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and came to Hollywood as a writer, working on films and televisions shows for Warner Brothers Pictures and Columbia Broadcasting System. He was eventually teamed with film producer Harold Hecht and actor Burt Lancaster when the pair produced His Majesty O'Keefe for their own film production company, Norma Productions. The movie was filmed in 1952 in the Fiji Islands, but only released in 1954.[1]

James Hill
James Hill and Rita Hayworth, 1958.jpg
Hill with wife actress Rita Hayworth in 1958
BornAugust 1, 1916
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
DiedJanuary 11, 2001 (aged 84)
Santa Monica, California, United States
OccupationFilm producer, screenwriter
Spouse(s)
(m. 1958; div. 1961)

In 1953, Hecht and Lancaster formed the imprint Hecht-Lancaster Productions and began producing films for United Artists, hiring Hill as producer for Vera Cruz, The Kentuckian and Trapeze. In early 1956, before Trapeze was released, Lancaster and Hecht announced in a press conference that Hill had been made an equal partner in their film production company; Hecht-Lancaster Productions would be changing name to Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions at the start of the next fiscal year in January 1957. From 1954 to 1959, the Norma Productions subsidiaries Hecht-Lancaster Productions and later Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions, were the biggest and most important independent production units in Hollywood.[2][3][4]

Hill was the fifth and final husband of actress Rita Hayworth, married from 1958 to 1961.[5][6] The pair met when Haworth was filming Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions' Separate Tables. Like Hayworth, he developed Alzheimer's disease. He died in Santa Monica, California in 2001.[7]

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Production Company Distribution Company Role Awards
1954 His Majesty O'Keefe Norma Productions Warner Brothers Pictures Screenwriter
1954 Vera Cruz Hecht-Lancaster Productions / Flora Productions United Artists Producer
1955 The Kentuckian Hecht-Lancaster Productions / James Productions United Artists Producer Nominated—Venice Film Festival Golden Lion
1956 Trapeze Hecht-Lancaster Productions / Joanna Productions / Susan Productions United Artists Producer

Bambi Award for Best Actress - International
Berlin International Film Festival Silver Berlin Bear Award for Best Actor
Berlin International Film Festival Bronze Berlin Bear Award for Audience Poll
Nominated—Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

1957 The Bachelor Party Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Norma Productions United Artists Executive producer

National Board of Review Award for Top Ten Films
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Film from any Source
Nominated—Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or

1957 Sweet Smell of Success Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Norma Productions / Curtleigh Productions United Artists Executive producer

Bambi Award for Best Actor - International
National Film Preservation Board National Film Registry
Online Film & Television Association Award - Film Hall of Fame
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
Nominated—Golden Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
Nominated—Golden Laurel Award for Top Female Supporting Performance

1958 Run Silent, Run Deep Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Jeffrey Productions United Artists Executive producer Nominated—Golden Laurel Award for Top Cinematography - Black and White
1958 Separate Tables Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Clifton Productions United Artists Executive producer

Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
National Board of Review Award for Top Ten Films
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated—Golden Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance
Nominated—Golden Laurel Award for Top Female Supporting Performance
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated—Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Drama

1959 The Rabbit Trap Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Canon Productions / Anne Productions United Artists Executive producer Locarno International Film Festival Award for Best Actor
1959 Cry Tough Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Canon Productions / Anne Productions United Artists Executive producer
1959 The Devil's Disciple Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Films / Brynaprod United Artists Executive producer Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best British Actor
1959 Summer of the Seventeenth Doll Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Proprietary Limited United Artists Executive producer
1959 Take a Giant Step Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / Sheila Productions United Artists Executive producer

Locarno International Film Festival Silver Sail Award
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Film Promoting International Understanding
Nominated—BAFTA United Nations Award

1959 Thunder in the Sun Carrollton Productions Paramount Pictures Story writer
1960 The Unforgiven Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions / James Productions United Artists Executive producer
1961 The Happy Thieves Hillworth Productions United Artists Executive producer

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "4 Time Loser Rita To Try Again: Barbara Eyes 7th". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. November 12, 1957.
  2. ^ "The Struggle for Survival", Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin, September 2, 1957, p23
  3. ^ "What's With Hecht-Hill-Lancaster?", The Tuscaloosa News, September 24, 1959, p5
  4. ^ "Burt Lancaster Termed Enigma", The Spokesman Review, May 27, 1961, p77
  5. ^ "Rita Hayworth Becomes Mrs. Hill". Lodi News-Sentinel. Associated Press. February 3, 1958.
  6. ^ "Rita Sheds No. 5 But No Tears". The Miami News. Associated Press. September 7, 1961.
  7. ^ "Producer James Hill dies at 85". January 16, 2001.

External linksEdit