Don Sharp  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Donald Herman "Don" Sharp (19 April 1922 – 18 December 2011) was an Australian-born British film director.

His most famous films were made for Hammer Studios in the 1960s, and included The Kiss of the Vampire (1962) and Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1965). Also in 1965 he directed The Face of Fu Manchu, based on the character created by Sax Rohmer, here played by Christopher Lee. Sharp also directed the first sequel The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966). In the 1980s he was also responsible for several hugely popular miniseries adapted from the novels of Barbara Taylor Bradford.


Sharp was born in Hobart, Tasmania and attended St Virgil's College. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 7 April 1941 and was discharged on 17 March 1944 at the rank of corporal.

After the war he worked as an actor on stage and radio throughout Australia and in Japan. He then moved to England where he produced and co-wrote a film, Ha'penny Breeze (1950). He continued to act with small roles in such films as The Planter's Wife (1952) and The Cruel Sea (1953). He also played the character Stephen "Mitch" Mitchell in the 1953 British science fiction radio series, Journey Into Space, but began to turn increasingly to writing and directing.

Sharp directed the first British rock 'n' roll movie, The Golden Disc (1958), released a year before the Cliff Richard vehicle Expresso Bongo (1959) and a full two years ahead of Beat Girl (1960). In Psychomania (1971), Sharp creates a visual fugue by riffing on the great themes of the counter-culture era: bikers, standing stones and ritual magic.

Among his other credits are Curse of the Fly, the spy-comedy Our Man in Marrakesh (1966), the fantasy Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon (1967) and the 1978 remake of The Thirty Nine Steps, starring Robert Powell. He made another foray into spy culture with his feature-length reprise of the gritty Cold War TV drama, Callan (1974) starring Edward Woodward.


Sharp's film work includes:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Don Sharp" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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