Alex Bryce – Film Director

An interesting character is Alex Bryce who was involved with Directing or photographing or Producing Films before, during and after the War.

Richard Todd and Alex Bryce

 

Alex Bryce (1905-1960) was a Scottish screenwriter, cinematographer and film director.

In the picture above we can see Alex Bryce and Richard Todd (Robin Hood) on location at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire for The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men for Walt Disney. Filmed in England at Denham Film Studios

Alex Bryce on location for The Story of Robin Hood 1952

In the picture above we can see Alex Bryce  on location at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire  chatting to Perce Pearce ( Producer) and Carmen Dillon ( Art Director)

I spoke with Alex Bryce’s Daughter,  Elspeth Gill, in the summer of 2011, mainly about her actually being on the set of The Story of Robin Hood throughout the masking of the film. One thing that struck me was that she seemed to be so very fond of her father and spoke about him and told me that he suffered a stroke only a few years later while he was on the continent filming The Cockleshell Heroes in 1955. She herself had been an extra on Rob Roy and danced with Richard Todd in one scene. She also said that it was her father who had persuaded Walt Disney to employ Ken Annakin as the film director for Robin Hood so he was the one that set Ken on his way as an International Film Director.

One other thing also – I sent her the picture above – which had the caption ‘Mr and Mrs Perce Pearce’ and she immediately said ‘ That’s not Perce Pearce’s wife – it is Carmen Dillon. She was right of course.

One of the few people I thought were still around who had actually been there throughout the filming of The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men – seems I was wrong as she sadly died in 2012 but what wonderful memories she had

During the filming of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, Alex Bryce was in charge of theSecond Unit’, which specialised in all the outdoor, woodland and action shotsand fight scenes.

The Director of the film was Ken Annakin who worked very closely with Alex and you can tell from Ken’s Autobiography that the two of them got on very well , and worked closely together, dovetailing the studio footage with the Outside action scenes – they did it very effectively too,

Alex Bryce had worked in The Film Industry throughout the Thirties often as a photographer and occasionally as a writer, and Assistant Director.

Following Robin Hood in which he was  Assistant Director, he again fulfilled this role on another British made Walt Disney film The Sword and the Rose, Rob Roy The Highland Rogue  and then on The Dark Avenger with Errol Flynn.

 

Back to Elspeth Gill – Alex Bryce’s Daughter – She did send me some fascinating pictures of her chatting with Richard Todd on the set of Robin Hood at Denham and maybe Burnham

Beeches as below :-

elspeth bryce and richard todd 1952 2

Above Richard Todd chats with Elspeth – Actually she looks to be in costume too, so maybe she played one of the Merrie Men in the horse riding sequences.

elspeth bryce and richard todd 1952 robin hood

Above Richard Todd gives Elspeth a demonstration of Archery – he would know after this film.

I must say that I am very proud of these pictures that Elspeth sent me – very kind of her. She was the most knowledgeable person on this film that I had ever heard from.

 

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