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Hal E Chester obituary

16 April 2012 5:33 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Shrewd film producer behind School for Scoundrels and Night of the Demon

Hal E Chester, who has died aged 91, was a juvenile actor, then a producer of low-budget movies in Hollywood, before he moved in 1955 to Britain, where he set up his own production company to take advantage of the lower costs of filming. Over the next 15 years he turned out a wide range of pictures, which often featured American stars such as Mickey Rooney, Dana Andrews, Yul Brynner and Paul Newman. For a period he specialised in British comedies. The first and best of these was School for Scoundrels (1960), loosely based on the popular Gamesmanship books of Stephen Potter. The impressive cast included Alastair Sim, Terry-Thomas and Dennis Price, with Ian Carmichael as the intrepid hero trying to impress Janette Scott.

Small, dynamic and fast-talking, Chester was perhaps a typical example of the shrewd and ambitious Hollywood producer. He »

- Joel Finler

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