Cyril Frankel

Interview Number: 
264
Interview Date(s): 
26 Apr 1995
6 Jun 1995
Interviewer/s: 
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
205
Access restrictions: 

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Interview
Biographical

Cyril Frankel  is a retired British film and television director. His career in television began in 1953 and he directed for over 30 TV programmes He directed and was the creative force behind many episodes of popular British TV shows, such as The Avengers, and the pilot episodes of the ITC Entertainment shows Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Department S in 1969. In 1970, he directed "Timelash", an episode of UFO.

Frankel also directed many documentaries and feature films, including Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960)  ,School for Scoundrels and “The Witches”  He launched the film careers of both Richard Harris and Sean Connery and became the trusted director of Hollywood legends Joan Fontaine and Ava Gardner. One of his films, Man of Africa (1953) - the first film to feature an all -  black cast  - was not released and was lost for some time. A complete copy has since been discovered and has been screened at a number of international film festivals.

In terms of documentaries, Frankel supervised some of the films that were broadcast for the BBC arts series Monitor (1958–65), among which was the first ballet programme to be filmed and edited to the choreography. He  had a career that has spanned ballet, theatre, music - and an entirely separate, and equally successful, career as an expert in fine art and ceramics for major London auction houses, Christie's and Bonham's. His memoir, Eye to Eye, was published by Bank House Books in 2009.