John Hough (director)

John Hough (born 21 November 1941) is a British film and television director. He is primarily known for his suspense films of the 1970s and 1980s,[1] including Twins of Evil (1971), The Legend of Hell House (1973), Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, The Incubus (1982) and American Gothic (1988).

John Hough
Born (1941-11-21) 21 November 1941 (age 80)
London, England
OccupationFilm director


British TVEdit

After many credits as a second unit director on The Baron, The Avengers and The Champions, he took his first job as a director on the 1968 season of The Avengers, directing episodes such as "Super Secret Cypher Snatch" and "Homicide and Old Lace".

"ITC was a very special place to work in", he said later. "And the people cared. Instead of asking you to do it quicker and with less quality, they'd push you to excel yourself. It was creative and interesting, but very disciplined. It was like Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel on a nine-to-five contract."[2]

British filmsEdit

His TV work led to a TV pilot for a proposed Robin Hood TV show, Wolfshead: The Legend of Robin Hood in 1969. Even though the series never materialised, the pilot was picked up by Hammer Films, which distributed it theatrically.

"That one sank without trace", Hough recalled in the notes for his biography on the DVD of his 1980 film The Watcher in the Woods, "but in 1970 a Hollywood producer named Paul Maslanksy came over here looking for a new director to work on a remake of The Window (1949), in which a young boy is the sole witness to a murder and is then tracked down by the assassin."[3]

The film Eyewitness (1970) was well received; Hammer then approached him to make the final film in its erotic vampire horror 'Karnstein' trilogy, Twins of Evil (1971).

Hollywood careerEdit

Hough moved to Hollywood, where he directed various movies whilst wanting to direct for Disney.[4] He directed Escape to Witch Mountain which was successful and Watcher In The Woods for Disney, which was less unsuccessful.

His big success came with Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry but other films were not so well received. He then hit an unexpected slump as projects failed to materialise. He made no films for three years. "I had to sort of rebuild my career again", he said.[4]

Return to BritainEdit

He later directed three of the TV movies in the 1984 anthology series Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense.

He did a series of films based on Barbara Cartland novels starting with A Hazard of Hearts.[5]

He directed Something to Believe In (1998) for Lew Grade.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Scales of Justice Boom assistant
1964 The Bargee Third assistant director
1965 The Man in a Looking Glass Second unit director
1966–1967 The Baron Second unit director Television series
1968–1969 The Avengers Second unit director, director Television series
1968–1969 The Champions Second unit director Television series
1969 Wolfshead: The Legend of Robin Hood Director
1970 Eyewitness Director
1971 Twins of Evil Director
1972 Treasure Island Director
1972–1974 The Protectors Director Television series
1973 The Legend of Hell House Director
1974 The Zoo Gang Director Television series
1974 Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry Director
1975 Escape to Witch Mountain Director
1976 The New Avengers Director Television series; episode: "Cat Amongst the Pigeons"
1978 Brass Target Director
1978 Return from Witch Mountain Director
1980 The Watcher in the Woods Director
1982 The Incubus Director
1982 The Triumphs of a Man Called Horse Director
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Associate producer, director Television series
1985 Black Arrow Director
1986 Biggles Director
1986 Dempsey and Makepeace Director Television series; episode: "Extreme Prejudice"
1987 A Hazard of Hearts Producer, director Television film
1988 Howling IV: The Original Nightmare Director
1988 American Gothic Director
1989 The Lady and the Highwayman Producer, director Television film
1990 A Ghost in Monte Carlo (1990) Producer, director Television film
1991 Duel of Hearts Producer, director Television film
1994 Omnibus Producer Television series; episode: "Joan Littlewood's Lovely War"
1998 Something to Believe In Director, writer, producer Television film
1998 What's a Carry On? Executive producer Documentary film
1999 Lovely War Producer Documentary film
2000 Mr. Thunderbird: The Gerry Anderson Story Executive producer Documentary film
2002 The Backyard Executive producer Documentary film
2002 Bad Karma Director
2003 The Human Race Executive producer

Unmade filmsEdit

  • The Fan Club (1974) – for Lawrence Gordon at Columbia Pictures based on novel by Irwin Wallace.[7]
  • Poe – about Edgar Allan Poe (1976)[8]


  1. ^ "Featured Filmmaker: John Hough". IGN. 4 October 2002. Archived from the original on 17 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  2. ^ Sellers, R. (30 November 2006). "No more heroes ; lew grade's cult shows from the sixties are winning a new generation of fans. so, asks robert sellers, can the ITV boss michael grade match his uncle's golden touch?". The Independent. ProQuest 311084621.
  3. ^ "Interview with John Hough". History Project.
  4. ^ a b "John Hough: "I am happy to say that 'Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry' is one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite films"". Film Talk. 30 August 2017.
  5. ^ Billington, J. (4 September 1987). "Cartland: Every good girl does fine". USA TODAY. ProQuest 305937140.
  6. ^ Billen, A. (13 May 1998). "Ninety-one, still dancing come on, someone is looking after me " INTERVIEW,FEATURES,money is unimportant as long as you have enough to keep your family contented". Evening Standard. ProQuest 329124668.
  7. ^ "Liz set for role in 'blue bird'". Los Angeles Times. 6 September 1974. ProQuest 157619456.
  8. ^ Lochte, D. (28 November 1976). "MacDonald with all the trimmings". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 158087445.

External linksEdit