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James Ivory

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Occupation  Film director
Name  James Ivory
Role  Film director

James Ivory (director) itelegraphcoukmultimediaarchive01616JamesI

Full Name  James Francis Ivory
Born  June 7, 1928 (age 95) (1928-06-07) Berkeley, California, U.S.
Books  Savages, Savages/Shakespeare Wallah, Shakespeare Wallah
Parents  Edward Patrick Ivory, Hallie Millicent Ivory
Education  USC School of Cinematic Arts (1957), University of Oregon
Awards  BAFTA Award for Best Film, BAFTA Fellowship
Movies  A Room with a View, Howards End, Maurice, The Remains of the Day, The City of Your Final Destination
Similar People  Ismail Merchant, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, E M Forster, James Wilby, Anthony Hopkins

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James Francis Ivory (born June 7, 1928) is an American film director. For many years he worked extensively with Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, his domestic as well as professional partner, and with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. All three were principals in Merchant Ivory Productions whose films won six Academy Awards.


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Ivory was born in Berkeley, California, the son of Hallie Millicent (née de Loney) and Edward Patrick Ivory, a sawmill operator. He grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

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He attended the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, from which he received a degree in fine arts in 1951. He then attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he directed the short film Four in the Morning, (1953). He wrote, photographed, and produced Venice: Theme and Variations, a half-hour documentary submitted as his thesis film for his master's degree in cinema. The film was named by The New York Times in 1957 as one of the ten best non-theatrical films of the year. He graduated from USC in 1957.

Merchant Ivory Productions

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Ivory met producer Ismail Merchant at a screening of his documentary The Sword and the Flute in New York City in 1959. In May 1961, Merchant and Ivory formed the film production company Merchant Ivory Productions. Merchant and Ivory were long-term life partners. Their professional and romantic partnership lasted 44 years, from 1961 until Merchant's death in 2005.

Their partnership has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest partnership in independent cinema history. Until Merchant's death in 2005, they produced nearly 40 films, including a number of award winners. Novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was the screenwriter for most of their productions.

Of this collaboration, Ismail Merchant once commented: "It is a strange marriage we have at Merchant Ivory ... I am an Indian Muslim, Ruth is a German Jew, and Jim is a Protestant American. Someone once described us as a three-headed god. Maybe they should have called us a three-headed monster!"


In 1985 A Room with a View, based on the E. M. Forster novel, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three, for Jhabvala's adaptation of Forster's novel as well as for Best Costume and Best Production Design. A Room With a View was also voted Best Film of the year by the Critic's Circle Film Section of Great Britain, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the National Board of Review in the United States and in Italy, where the film won the Donatello Prize for Best Foreign Language Picture and Best Director. In 1987, Maurice received a Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival as well as Best Film Score for Richard Robbins and Best Actor Awards for co-stars James Wilby and Hugh Grant.

This was followed in 1990 by Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, which was adapted by Ruth Jhabvala from the novels by Evan S. Connell. This film received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (Joanne Woodward), as well as Best Actress and Best Screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle.

In 1992 Ivory directed another Forster-adapted film, Howards End. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three: Best Actress (Emma Thompson), Best Screenplay – Adaptation (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala), and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Luciana Arrighi/Ian Whittaker). The film also won Best Picture at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, as well as awards for Best Picture, Best Actress for Emma Thompson and Best Director for Ivory from the National Board of Review. The Directors Guild of America awarded the D.W. Griffith award, its highest honor, to Ivory for his work. At the 1992 Cannes Film Festival the film won the 45th Anniversary Prize.

Howards End was immediately followed by The Remains of the Day, which in turn was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

As director

  • Four in the Morning (1953) (Short)
  • Venice: Theme and Variations (1957) (Short)
  • The Sword and the Flute (1959) (Short)
  • The Householder (1963) starring Shashi Kapoor
  • The Delhi Way (Documentary) narrated by Leo Genn (1964)
  • Shakespeare Wallah (1965) starring Felicity Kendal, Shashi Kapoor * also co-writer
  • The Guru (1969) starring Michael York, Rita Tushingham *also co-writer
  • Bombay Talkie (1970) starring Jennifer Kendal, Shashi Kapoor * also co-writer
  • Adventures of a Brown Man in Search of Civilization (1972) (BBC-TV Documentary)
  • Savages (1972) starring Sam Waterston, Asha Puthli
  • Autobiography of a Princess (1975) starring Madhur Jaffrey, James Mason
  • The Wild Party (1975) starring James Coco, Raquel Welch
  • Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures (1976) starring Peggy Ashcroft, Larry Pine
  • Roseland (1977) starring Christopher Walken, Geraldine Chaplin, Lilia Skala
  • The Europeans (1979) starring Lee Remick, Lisa Eichhorn
  • The Five Forty-Eight (1979/TV) starring Laurence Luckinbill, Mary Beth Hurt
  • Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980) starring Anne Baxter, Robert Powell, Sean Young
  • Quartet (1981) starring Isabelle Adjani, Alan Bates, Maggie Smith
  • Heat and Dust (1983) starring Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Shashi Kapoor, Zakir Hussain
  • The Bostonians (1984) starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Madeleine Potter, Jessica Tandy
  • A Room with a View (1985) starring Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench
  • Maurice (1987) starring James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves, Billie Whitelaw * also co-writer
  • Slaves of New York (1989) starring Bernadette Peters, Mary Beth Hurt, Mercedes Ruehl, Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990) starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Robert Sean Leonard
  • Howards End (1992) starring Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave
  • The Remains of the Day (1993) starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Christopher Reeve, Hugh Grant
  • Jefferson in Paris (1995) starring Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi, Thandie Newton, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Lumière and Company (1995, segment)
  • Surviving Picasso (1996) starring Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Joan Plowright
  • A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998) starring Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey, Jane Birkin *also co-writer
  • The Golden Bowl (2000) starring Jeremy Northam, Uma Thurman, Kate Beckinsale, Nick Nolte, Anjelica Huston
  • Le Divorce (2003) starring Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts, Glenn Close, Leslie Caron, Stockard Channing, Melvil Poupaud *also co-writer
  • The White Countess (2005) starring Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, Hiroyuki Sanada
  • The City of Your Final Destination (2009, based on Peter Cameron novel) starring Anthony Hopkins, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Laura Linney, Omar Metwally and Hiroyuki Sanada
  • Other credits

  • Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls (1973, short, directed by Anthony Korner) – screenplay
  • The Courtesans of Bombay (1983, documentary, directed by Ismail Merchant) – devised
  • Call Me by Your Name (2017, film, directed by Luca Guadagnino) - producer, screenplay
  • References

    James Ivory Wikipedia