Angela Allen

Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
27 Nov 1990
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Interview notes

BEHP 0168 S Angela Allen synopsis, by Dave Robson.


SIDE 1.  Born 1929, educated at High School: took secretarial course at Regent Street Polytechnic. Wanted to be an actress: worked for Film Rights and later for Marcel Hillman at Denham where she was bitten by the bug. Joined Korda as trainee Continuity Girl. First film: Nightbeat . Early days on 35 shillings a week. First film on own account was Old Mother Riley a good experience, but dreadful rubbish! Worked with many famous directors, such as carol Reed, John Huston (14 features), Polanski and Zefferelli to name but a few. Early pictures were Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mine own Executioner, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman The Third Man and The African Queen. Fascinating description of The Third Man location work in the sewers. Also of location work on The African Queen, under sordid conditions.


SIDE 2. More features – Beat The Devil, The Misfits. Polaroid camera was indispensable when used on a film set – “a wonderful invention”. Today’s production standards very low – lack of care, poor technique and poor scripts. Also blames market forces and the Thatcher revolution. More films: Moulin Rouge, Beat the Devil and Moby Dick.


SIDE 3. Moby Dick location work description, followed by further list of features she worked on in the UK and abroad. Worked on Holocaust in Germany: disliked German attitudes - too authoritarian. Berlin a decadent city, people regressing. Worked in commercials where more experimental work is done. She gives some interesting examples of commercial work, followed by discussion about TV versus film editors. This was followed by a long list of some 40 features and TV serials she worked on.


SIDE 4. List continues but she could not remember them all! View of Polanski – very opinionated, but talented. Long and detailed discussion of Continuity Girl’s job.




Angela trained as a script supervisor (now known as Continuity) at the legendary Alexander Korda studios. One of the first major  films she worked on was Carol Reed’s masterpiece The Third Man .

She went on to work on Pandora and The Flying Dutchman before being chosen by Sam Spiegel to work for John Huston on The African Queen. Angela worked on 13 more of Huston’s films including Moulin Rouge, Moby Dick, The Misfits, The Man Who Would Be King, Night Of The Iguana. Her other film credits include The Dirty Dozen, The Charge Of The Light Brigade, The Offence, The Black Windmill, North Sea Hijack, Zulu Dawn, Eye Of The Needle, Hamlet (Mel Gibson), First Knight, Jane Eyre, Lost In Space and Tea With Mussolini. 

She has worked with Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogarde, Orson Welles, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Franco Zeffirelli, Robert DeNiro and many other greats. 

In 2005 Angela received the BAFTA award for outstanding contribution to cinema. A couple of years earlier she won the Channel 4 Lifetime Achievement award from Women In Film & TV.