Alexander Walker: Film critic from Northern Ireland (1930 - 2003) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Alexander Walker
Film critic from Northern Ireland

Alexander Walker

Alexander Walker
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Film critic from Northern Ireland
Was Critic Film critic Journalist Writer Biographer
From United Kingdom
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism Literature Science
Gender male
Birth 23 March 1930, Portadown, United Kingdom
Death 15 July 2003 (aged 73 years)
Star sign Aries
College of Europe
The details (from wikipedia)


Alexander Walker (23 March 1930 – 15 July 2003) was a film critic, born in Portadown, Northern Ireland. He was educated at Queen's University, Belfast, the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium and the University of Michigan, and worked for the Birmingham Post in the 1950s, before becoming film critic of the London Evening Standard in 1960, a role he retained until his death in 2003. He was a highly influential figure within the film industry, and also wrote a number of books including one on Stanley Kubrick, a history of the impact made on Hollywood by the rise of the talkies (The Shattered Silents) and a biography of Elizabeth Taylor. His most extensive work is a history of British cinema, spread over three books: Hollywood England, National Heroes and Icons in the Fire.

Relationship with Ken Russell

Walker had a close relationship with Kubrick but was a fierce critic of the British director Ken Russell, referring to the director's visceral masterpiece The Devils (1971) as "A garish glossary of sado-masochism … a taste for visual sensation that makes scene after scene look like the masturbatory fantasies of a Roman Catholic boyhood." Having previously been a defender of Russell's early work for the BBC he was increasingly critical of Russell major films of the 1970s, reviewing the The Music Lovers (1970) he wrote: "This man must be stopped: bring me an elephant gun." In a television showdown between the two in response to Walker's assessment of The Devils as "monstrously indecent", Russell reached over and hit him around the head with a rolled up newspaper copy of his own review. In later life, when asked about incident and if he regretted it, Russell responded that he did regret it, "I wish it had been an iron bar."

He assembled a collection of more than 200 drawings and prints by modern artists, which were bequeathed to the British Museum upon his death in 2003. In 1968, he was a member of the jury at the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.


  • Double Takes - notes and afterthoughts on the movies 1956-1976, Elm Tree Books 1977
  • His history of British Film:
    • Hollywood UK – The British Film Industry in the 1960s, New York, Stein and Day 1974
    • National Heroes – British Cinema in the 70s and 80s, London: Harrap 1985
    • Icons in the Fire – the rise and fall of almost everybody in the British film industry 1984-2000, London, Orion Books 2004
  • Stanley Kubrick - Director, Norton 1999
  • Audrey - her real story, St. Martin's Press 1995
  • Bette Davis – a celebration, New York: Applause Theatre Books, 1998
  • Dietrich, New York: Harper and Row 1984
  • The Celluloid Sacrifice – aspects of sex in the movies, London: Joseph 1966
  • Elizabeth - The Life of Elizabeth Taylor, Weidenfeld 1991
  • Garbo - A portrait, Macmillan 1980
  • Fatal Charm – The Life of Rex Harrison, St. Martin's Press 1993
  • Joan Crawford - the ultimate star, Harper and Row 1983
  • It's only a movie, Ingrid – encounters on and off the screen, London, Headline 1988
  • Peter Sellers - the authorized biography, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1981
  • Vivien - The life of Vivien Leigh, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1987
  • Rudolph Valentino, Stein and Day 1976
  • Shattered Silents - how the talkies came to stay, London: Elm Tree Books 1978, New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks, 1980
  • Stanley Kubrick directs, New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich 1972
  • Stardom - the Hollywood phenomenon, Stein and Day 1970
  • No Bells on Sunday: the Journals of Rachel Roberts (editor), London: Pavilion Books, 1984; New York, Harper & Row 1984
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 04 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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