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John, 7th Lord Brabourne

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In 1958, John produced the film “Harry Black and the Tiger”, which starred Stewart Granger (1913-1993), which was followed in 1960 by “Sink the Bismarck!” - the story of the Royal Navy’s search for the Nazi German’s battleship during 1941, which starred Kenneth More, CBE (1914-1982).  The fact that his father-in-law (Mountbatten) was Chief of the Defence Staff, is said to have helped John achieve both authenticity with the full co-operation of the Admiralty.  


John bought a copy of  “A Passage to India” by E.M. Forster, OM, CH (1879-1970) in 1957 to while away the long journey to Mysore, where he was  filming “Harry Black and the Tiger”.  After reading it, he realised - he later recalled, that this was "the film I really wanted to make", and upon his return to London he wrote several letters to Forster. In 1961, the two men met, although no formal agreement was ever made.  Forster died in 1970, but King's College, Cambridge (which owned the rights to all Forster's books) took a dim view of the film world but for 10 years John wrote an annual letter to the Provost, until he was finally told that the rights were available.The subsequent film, directed by Sir David Lean, KBE (1908-1991) and starred Dame Peggy Ashcroft, DBE (1907-1991), Sir Alec Guiness, CH, CBE (1914-2000) and Judy Davis (b.1955) was a meticulous and epic study of the tensions between the Indians and the colonial British in the 1920s and won two Oscars, and earned nine other Oscar nominations - John, 7th Lord Brabourne himself was nominated in the Best Picture category.  


During the 1970s and 1980s, John produced several star studded films based on the detective novels by Dame Agatha Christie, DBE (1890-1976) with a cavalcade of film stars including Sir Peter Ustinov, CBE (1921-2004), James Mason (1909-1984), Mia Farrow (b.1945), Dame Angela Lansbury, DBE (b.1925), Dame Maggie Smith, CH, DBE (b.1934), Dame Elizabeth Taylor, DBE (1932-2011), Tony Curtis (1925-2010), Rock Hudson (1925-1985) and Bette Davis (1908-1989).

Patricia and John, Lord Brabourne had the following children -









John, 7th Lord Brabourne 3