Oxford OX1 2JD, United Kingdom
Drazin received a Bachelor of Arts from Oxford University in 1984.
Photo of Charles Drazin
(Charles Drazin's acclaimed book is the fresh and brillian...)
Charles Drazin's acclaimed book is the fresh and brilliant chronicle for general readers and scholars alike of the British cinema's seminal 1940s, when many bold and enduring classics of world cinema were made, including Brief Encounter, The Red Shoes, and The Third Man. Drazin traces British cinema's fortunes through the characters and aspirations of some of its leading personalities, including Carol Reed, David Lean, Michael Balcon, and Humphrey Jennings.
(Half a century after its opening, The Third Man remains a...)
Half a century after its opening, The Third Man remains an unquestioned masterpiece of film artistry and, for many, the greatest British movie ever made. Whether it is Harry Lime's magical first appearance or the celebrated cuckoo clock speech or the climactic chase through the sewers beneath Vienna or the haunting theme music of Anton Karas, the film contains some of the most memorable moments in screen history. Drawing on both contemporary documents and accounts of the people involved, In Search of The Third Man explores the many myths that over the years have grown around this extraordinary film, and seeks to unravel the facts from the fiction.
(In 1664, Nicolas Foucquet, the King's first minister, was...)
In 1664, Nicolas Foucquet, the King's first minister, was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to life imprisonment. This book tells the story of Foucquet's rise and fall.
(The story of the rise and fall of Nicolas Fouquet, Louis ...)
The story of the rise and fall of Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s first finance minister. Sometime late in 1664, the musketeer D’Artagnan rode beside a heavily-armored carriage as it rumbled southwards from Paris, carrying his great friend Nicolas Fouquet to internal exile and life imprisonment in the fortress of Pignerol. There he would be incarcerated in a cell next door to the Man with the Iron Mask. From a glittering zenith as the King’s first minister, builder of the chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, collector of books, patron of the arts, and lover of beautiful women, Fouquet had fallen like Icarus. Charged with embezzlement, he was convicted and sentenced to banishment until the King intervened to change his sentence to life imprisonment. Charles Drazin’s riveting account brings to life the rich and hazardous world in which Foucquet lived. But it is in his downfall and incarceration, which he bore with great fortitude, courage, and humor, that Fouquet’s strength of character and grace emerge.
(The producer behind such celebrated films as The Four Fea...)
The producer behind such celebrated films as The Four Feathers and The Third Man is one of the most colorful and important figures in the history of British cinema. This gripping biography tells how with extraordinary ambition, enterprise, and showmanship, Alexander Korda established in Britain a film industry that rivaled Hollywood, built Europe's biggest studio, and created world-class stars, including Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh. The biography traces Korda's path from his rural childhood in a remote part of Hungary to a British knighthood. Korda's legacy, it argues, was a film industry that dared to dream on the largest possible scale. But he also exemplified the pattern of boom and bust that dogged the British cinema ever since he first came into the limelight in 1933 with the international success of The Private Life of Henry VIII. To understand his often turbulent career is to gain a profound insight into the nature of the British cinema both then and now.
(In The Faber Book of French Cinema, Charles Drazin explor...)
In The Faber Book of French Cinema, Charles Drazin explores the rich film culture and history of the country that first established the cinema as the most important mass medium of the twentieth century. Offering portraits of such key figures as the Lumière brothers, Georges Méliès, Charles Pathé, and Léon Gaumont, he looks at the early pioneers who transformed a fairground novelty into a global industry. The crisis caused by the First World War led France to surrender her position as the world's dominant film-making power, but French cinema forged a new role for itself as a beacon of cinematic possibility and achievement.
(Following his mother's death, Charles Drazin discovered a...)
Following his mother's death, Charles Drazin discovered a battered suitcase in his loft bearing the initials of his grandfather, a man he never knew. Inside was a treasure trove of photographs - of five men, in various far-flung locations. Following the most delicate threads, he returned to the tiny village in Ireland where his mother was born and began a search for the lives behind the images. Mapping Empire is the result. It is the story of five brothers from rural Ireland, who traveled around the world as officers in the Royal Engineer Corps - surveying, exploring, mapmaking, fighting - in the twilight years of the British Empire. Moving from Eire today back to Britain at the height of her Imperial power, and covering the domestic conflicts of the late nineteenth century and the devastation of the First World War, via some of the most remote, hostile, and uncharted parts of the planet, this is an imaginative, intimate and powerful work of history, by a writer of rare power.
Drazin received a Bachelor of Arts from Oxford University in 1984.
Charles Drazin worked as an editor for Penguin Book for four years, then joined the hardback imprint, Hamish Hamilton, as assistant managing editor and also worked as a sponsoring editor for the hardback imprint Viking.
He taught courses on British film history, adaptation, stardom, and authorship in the cinema at the Queen Mary University of London from 2006 to 2019. Since 2011 he is an archival consultant at Film Finances Limited.
Charles Drazin has written several books about the heyday of movie productions in England during the first half of the twentieth century. Discovering that many people had forgotten that England's studios once rivaled Hollywood, Drazin decided to write The Finest Years: British Cinema of the 1940s. Although the title implies the book is film history, it is actually a collection of short biographies on some of the important figures in the movie industry at the time, including Herbert Wilcox, Sydney Box, Olwen Vaughan, and Angus MacPhail. Drazin notes that many of the British film producers before the war were slick hucksters who could be unscrupulous in finding ways to finance their pictures, but he maintains that their contributions to cinema cannot be denied.
In Search of The Third Man is a study of how the 1949 movie The Third Man came about, while Korda: Britain's Only Movie Mogul is a biography of one of the most colorful figures in early English cinema, Sir Alexander Korda. The film The Third Man, whose now-famous soundtrack helped make zither music popular, is set in postwar Vienna. Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) is invited to visit his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) in Vienna, but when he arrives, he learns that Lime has been killed. After talking to the police, he is told that Lime was involved in the black market. Martins does not believe this, though, and sets off to find out what really happened. This noire mystery, filmed in black and white, came to be considered a classic by film historians, and Drazin relates in detail its genesis and production.
Drazin discusses the personalities and egos behind the film, including author Graham Greene, producers Alexander Korda and David Selznick, and director Carol Reed. Selznick, an American, is portrayed as controlling; although he made numerous helpful contributions to the film, his interference risked ruining the movie at several points.
Having already touched on the subject of Korda in In Search of The Third Man, Drazin explored the rise and fall of one of England's most famous movie producers in his biography of Korda. Born Sandor Kellner in Hungary in 1893, Korda was a man of great ambition who, by the 1930s, was running a film studio in England. He worked in Hollywood for a time, learning about showmanship and attempting to spread propaganda in an effort to convince the United States to enter World War II; he returned to England with the intention of developing a postwar film empire, but his efforts were unsuccessful. Korda founded a film production company, London Films, and Denham Studios, only to lose them both, and suffered through two divorces before marrying for the third time. The success of films such as The Private Life of Henry VIII, Thief of Baghdad, and The Third Man was countered by the miserable failures of movies such as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and An Ideal Husband.
(Charles Drazin's acclaimed book is the fresh and brillian...)1998
(In The Faber Book of French Cinema, Charles Drazin explor...)2011
(The producer behind such celebrated films as The Four Fea...)2011
(Half a century after its opening, The Third Man remains a...)1999
(Following his mother's death, Charles Drazin discovered a...)2016
(In 1664, Nicolas Foucquet, the King's first minister, was...)2008
(The story of the rise and fall of Nicolas Fouquet, Louis ...)2008