The Atlàntida Film Festival opens in Palma this morning with the inauguration of a photographic exhibition at the Casal Solleric entitled “Guy Hamilton, a Director’s Life Behind the Scenes”, with images of Hamilton directing and relaxing with his stars on his sets.
Guy Hamilton, who lived and sadly died in Majorca, was one of Britain’s most influential and ground breaking film directors and directed four of some of the best James Bond films, including The Man with the Golden Gun starring Sir Roger Moore, Sir Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland and Maud Adams.
The photographs have been generously loaned to the organisers by the Hamilton family, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM), and EON Productions (the Bond production company) and Britt Ekland will be in Palma this morning to officially innuagrate the exhibition.
The late Roger Moore was also invited to attend, and a tribute from the actor which he wrote just before his death, will be read out tonight at a concert in Hamilton’s honour at Bellver Castle.
The gala will include a clips tribute and a live concert by the Chamber Film Orchestra, featuring some of the sound tracks of films directed by Hamilton, followed by a gala dinner. Guy Hamilton (1922-2016) was one of the most successful British directors to depict World War II and the subsequent Cold War era in film. He was born in Paris to a British diplomat, and worked for Paramount News in England before joining the Royal Navy, where he performed admirably and received several medals for his valour.
Hamilton began his film career in 1948 as an assistant for Carol Reed in The Fallen Idol, and the classic The Third Man, starring Orson Welles. He also worked as an assistant director for John Huston in another legendary production, The African Queen, with the great Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. He began directing his own productions in 1952 with The Ringer and went on to share the credits with some of the most important stars of the second half of the 20th century.
Hamilton directed four James Bond films: Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man With the Golden Gun (1974).
His World War II films are considered masterpieces of their genre, and include The Colditz Story (1955) with John Mills, Funeral in Berlin (1967) starring Michael Caine, Battle of Britain (1969) with the great Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, Christopher Plummer and Susannah York, to name a few, and Force 10 from Navarone (1978), with Harrison Ford in his first protagonist role.
Hamilton directed Evil Under the Sun (1982) in Majorca, with Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith and Jane Birkin as its leading protagonists.
He fell under the spell of the island, and retired in Majorca with his wife Kerima and his son Frank. He built a home on top of a mountain facing the sea at Puerto Andratx, and lived there until he passed away on 20 April, 2016, at the age of 93.
A proposal has been made to the Council of Majorca to bestow the title of “Adopted Son of Mallorca” posthumously to the filmmaker.