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Richard Lester

composer , filmmaker

Richard Lester is a British and American film director and composer.


Lester, Richard was born on January 19, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Elliott and Ella (Young) Lester.


Educated at the University of Pennsylvania.


Lester worked a good deal on TV commercials, and the modish, close-packed frenzy of that visual style marked him forever.

Even so. Three Musketeers is a merry, sunlit romance, still uncertain at storytelling, but based on very rich clothes, the palaces of Madrid, and a quirky, droll period authenticity. Robin and Marian was another revisiting of legend, done with humor and a wistful feeling of having grown older—the calmest film Lester ever made.

Lester went out of fashion with a bang. His Superman pictures were awTul, and by 1991 he had been reduced to filming a Paul McCartney concert.



The uncomfortable mixture of nostalgia for silent comedy and high-pressure cutting never abated in Lester’s supposedlv humorous films. Not only history makes one suspicious of American filmmakers who come to Britain; Lesters example is a horrid warning, especially since Petulia, his one American and most viewable movie, suggests that there may be a real person within the demented dull gimmickry of his English films. It would serve Lester right if he is tied down by the swinging London image he cultivated.

He failed to see how sentimental and donnish Goon humor was, and remained attached to that undisciplined prophet of pathetic revelation. Spike Milligan, in 1969, ten years after the Running, lumping mid Standing Still Film had exposed a joke that only cheered English complacency. Between those two films, Lester managed to make the Beatles at the time of their randy, aggressive best seem antiseptic: the miles of newsreel and interviews of the Beatles are infinitely more funny and surreal than their two movies, while the TV show Ready, Steady, Go always did their songs better.


Married Deirdre Vivian Smith, 1956. 2 children.

Ella Young