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John Gilling

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Full Name
John Gilling

Film director

John Gilling

Years active

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29 May 1912 (
London, United Kingdom

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director, screenwriter

22 November 1984 (aged 72) Madrid, Spain

Night caller directed by john gilling

John Gilling (29 May 1912 – 22 November 1984) was an English film director and screenwriter, born in London. He was chiefly known for his horror films, especially for Hammer Films, for whom he directed Shadow of the Cat (1961), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966) (the latter two filmed back to back and set in Cornwall, although not filmed there) and The Mummy's Shroud, among others. He is also renowned for many low- to mid-budget detective films and teleplays with unexpected touches of comedy blended in.


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The challenge aka it takes a thief directed by john gilling


Gilling left a job in England with an oil company at the age of 17 and went to Hollywood, where he worked at a number of jobs, some of them in the film industry, before returning to England in 1933. He entered the British film industry immediately as an editor and assistant director, starting with Father O'Flynn. He served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War.

After the war Gilling began screenwriting with Black Memory in 1947, and made his directing debut with Escape from Broadmoor (1948). Gilling also produced and directed Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire/Vampire Over London/My Son the Vampire in 1952. Gilling continued through the 1950s making several entertaining 'quota quickies' such as The Voice of Merrill for Monty Berman's Tempean Films and entered television directing in several British made series that received international distribution such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr Presents and Gideon's Way, as well as Monty Berman's The Saint, The Champions, and Department S. Of his films for Tempean the film historians Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane say: "Gilling shows in all of them a capacity for establishing the premises of his plots economically and evocatively, for developing them with clarity and speed, for giving competent players a chance to invest their characters with a feeling and detail that go beyond stereotype, and for making deft use of limited locations and settings."

Starting in 1956 Gilling directed and wrote several films for Albert R. Broccoli and Irving Allen's Warwick Films beginning with Odongo. An unsuccessful John Gilling Enterprises production company made Fury at Smugglers' Bay in 1961.

Gilling joined Hammer Films in 1961, directing Shadow of the Cat. He achieved his greatest fame with several Hammer horror films as well as making the non-horror Hammer films The Pirates of Blood River (1962) and The Scarlet Blade. Gilling also directed the second Charles Vine superspy film Where the Bullets Fly in 1966.

Gilling retired to Spain where he whiled away the time painting.


  • "Death is an incident producing clay. Use it, mould it, learn from it."
  • References

    John Gilling Wikipedia

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