Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smithhas been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting. (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.)  His cult favorites include The Man from Hong KongTurkey ShootBMX BanditsStunt RockThe Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s.

 

He recently directed The Cabin, a blended family romantic comedy starring Lea Thompson, which premiered on Hallmark, and Absolute Deception, a female driven suspense mystery thriller starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Emmanuelle Vaugier which is now available on DVD, PPV, and via download. He is currently shooting a quirky buddy action comedy Hard Drive with John Cusack and Thomas Jane.  Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith, Ph.D.  His dream project – the true story of England’s most maligned King of England, Richard the Third.

 

Commentaries by Brian Trenchard-Smith

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Dance with a Stranger

1985
The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Though the seemingly ubiquitous Albert Pierrepoint doesn’t appear in Mike Newell’s 1985 film about the notorious Ruth Ellis, he’s there in spirit, responsible as he was...
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Let Him Have It

1991
Fine Line Features
The hangman Albert Pierrepoint (of Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman) makes a small but important appearance in Peter Medek’s 1991 film about the controversial 1953 execution...
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Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman

2007
IFC First Take
Timothy Spall stars in a fascinating character study about a compassionate executioner. Based on the true story of Albert Pierrepoint who presided over 400 hangings in...
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The Double Hour

2011
Samuel Goldwyn Films
A puzzle box masquerading as a film noir, The Double Hour is the feature film debut of former music video director Giuseppe Capotondi. The film centers on a...
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Devil-Ship Pirates

1964
Columbia
Like its predecessor The Pirates of Blood River, Hammer’s second pirate saga overcomes its budget restraints by setting most of the action on dry land. As...
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The Mouse that Roared

1959
Columbia
The nearly bankrupt country of Grand Fenwick declares war on the United States in order to receive the financial aid that would be awarded the tiny...
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The Hidden Fortress

1960
Albex
Combining brilliant action sequences (filmed for the first time in sumptuous widescreen black and white Tohoscope) with fanciful characters out of a Japanese storybook, Akira Kurosawa’s...
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Sound of Noise

2010
Police investigate a ticking time bomb which turns out to be a metronome. That witty scene is the perfect set up for this low-budget, off-kilter comedy...
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We Need to Talk About Kevin

2011
Oscilloscope Pictures
Lynne Ramsey’s chilling 2012 US-British horror film, about a young sociopath whose sadistic disposition turns murderous, skirts the line between exploitation and art. Tilda Swinson plays...
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Holy Motors

2012
Indomina Group
Dream logic rules the day in Leos Carax’ multi-layered film in which a mysterious shape-shifter is shepherded about Paris in a stretch limo where he assumes...
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Duck, You Sucker

1972
United Artists
Considered one of his most overtly political films, this final Sergio Leone western is a melancholy action film steeped in memory. It looks to have influenced...
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Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah

1963
20th Century Fox
Sergio Leone was an (uncredited) second unit director on this epic potboiler directed by Robert Aldrich whose own appetite for lurid scenarios is on full display...
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The Colossus of Rhodes

1961
MGM
Seven years before conducting a master class on the art of widescreen composition in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, Sergio Leone made his credited...
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Django Unchained

2012
The Weinstein Company
Quentin Tarantino continues his revisionist history of the world with this kinetic revenge saga which is on track to become the highest-grossing western ever made. While...
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Ran

1985
Orion Classics
Like Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa found it difficult to find backing for projects in his later years. Producer Serge Silberman came to the rescue with a...
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Seven Samurai

1956
Columbia
BTS details the troubled production of one of Kurosawa’s greatest achievements, a mythic and primal epic of feudal Japan that became a virtual template for latter-day...
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Rashomon

1951
RKO Radio Pictures
Rasho-mon is the name of the gate to the city of Kyoto, the medieval setting of the film that brought director Akira Kuroswa to international recognition....
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Inherit The Wind

1960
United Artists
1960 audiences who saw Stanley Kramer’s film version of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s fictionalized 1955 theatrical treatment of the 1925 Scopes monkey trial assumed...
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The Pirates of Blood River

1962
Columbia
There aren’t a lot of movies about Huguenots, but this landlocked pirate epic is one of them. Christopher Lee steals the show as a ruthless pirate...
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The Horror of Frankenstein

1970
Hammer
Generally considered the nadir of the Hammer Frankenstein series, this campy replay of The Curse of Frankenstein misfires in a variety of directions. As fate would...
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The Phantom of the Opera ’62

1962
Hammer Films
Cary Grant starring in a Hammer Film? It almost happened! After a stillborn incarnation as an in-house Universal domestic production from producer William Alland, this third...
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Enter the Dragon

1973
Warner Bros.
A huge international hit, this first Chinese martial arts movie produced by a major Hollywood studio was released a month or so after the demise of...
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After Hours

1985
Warner Bros.
A hapless Griffin Dunne tries to make his way home from New York’s Soho district in this quirky, unexpected black comedy that was nearly directed by...
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Becket

1964
Paramount
Out of circulation for decades, Peter Glenville’s acclaimed film of Jean Anouilh’s 1959 play was recently restored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...
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Mutiny on the Bounty

1962
MGM
Filmed previously in 1915, 1933 and 1935, this souped-up version of the Nordhoff & Hall maritime classic was the first movie shot and released in Ultra...
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Daughters of Darkness

1971
Maron Films
Belgian director Harry Kumel’s most accessible film is a measured, erotic Euro horror about “The Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian serial killer who legendarily tortured hundreds of...
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The Survivor

1988
Columbia Broadcasting System
Brian Trenchard-Smith created this trailer for an Aussie supernatural thriller that never made it to American theaters. Director David Hemmings (star of Blow-Up) was determined to...
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Billy Liar

1963
Continental Distributing
One of the key works in the early British “kitchen sink” movement, John Schlesinger’s screen adaptation of Keith Waterhouse’s seriocomic novel spoke loudly to young people...
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Django

1973
Horse Man
Although it  made almost no impact in the American market, Sergio Corbucci’s violent entry in Europe’s  Sergio Leone copycat western sweepstakes made the charismatic Franco Nero...
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The Mighty Peking Man

1978
WW Entertainment
Quintessential seventies cheese from the Shaw Bros. Hong Kong factory. In the Himalayas the Yeti-like giant ape Utan protects a sexy blonde jungle girl from fortune...
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Stunt Rock

1982
Film Ventures International
Here’s what you need to know about STUNT ROCK: Grant Page (Australian wild man) does stunts, while the rock group SORCERY plays truly-era-appropriate music. And, also,...
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At the Earth’s Core

1976
AIP
After hitting pay dirt with The Land That Time Forgot, Britain’s Amicus Productions returned to Edgar Rice Burroughs for another lost world adventure, this time inspired...
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Land Raiders

1970
Columbia
Brian Trenchard-Smith is one of the LAND RAIDERS Like some other gurus, Brian Trenchard-Smith got his start in the movie biz by cutting trailers. Here he...
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Never Take Candy from a Stranger

1961
Astor Pictures Corporation
Controversial and little seen in its day, this well done social problem drama made for an uncharacteristic and correspondingly uncommercial project for Hammer Films, which tried...
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Where Eagles Dare

1969
MGM
World War II meets James Bond. Elliot Kastner’s action-packed, enduringly popular superproduction was filmed on various impressive Austrian locations and features a top cast including Clint...
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How the West Was Won

1962
Cinerama Releasing Corporation
The second dramatic film shot in three-panel Cinerama, this sprawling all-star western epic came too late to save the process, which was being replaced by a...
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From Russia With Love

1963
United Artists
The success of Dr. No proved to be no fluke when its more adventurous followup became one of the biggest international boxoffice hits of the decade...
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Battle of the Bulge

1965
Warner Bros.
The flat plains of Spain make a visually inaccurate backdrop for this sprawling but none too accurate recreation of‚ one of the major operations of World...
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Dr. No

1963
United Artists
The first entry in the greatest tentpole series of all time, seven of which starred Sean Connery in the role that made him an international star....
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The Last Wave

1978
World Northal
A hypnotic achievement from Peter Weir’s Australian mystical period. He claimed got the idea when he asked himself, “What if someone with a very pragmatic approach...
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The Man from Hong Kong

2007
Universal
Brian Trenchard-Smith’s fourth directorial effort is a kinetic, over the top smashathon. Released in the US as The Dragon Flies, this Aussie/Hong Kong effort to turn...
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The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

1958
Columbia
A generation of baby boomers were forever enchanted by a passel of fabulous monsters in this now-classic fantasy hit. After years of working on Sam Katzman...
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The Mummy

1959
Universal
When Hammer signed their deal with Universal they seemed prepared to enthusiastically slog their way through every horror property in the studio vault. This one combines...
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Hell to Eternity

1960
Allied Artists
Allied Artists, the scruffy B-picture studio which sprang from the lowly origins of Monogram, made a short-lived bid for major studio status during the 1960s with...
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Revolt of the Slaves

1961
United Artists
Regrettably, we haven’t paid much attention here at TFH to the flood of Euro sword-and-sandal coproductions that followed the international success of the Steve Reeves Hercules...
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