British Universities Film & Video Council

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Peter Glenville centenary


Peter Glenville with Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton

This November big names from the world of stage and film, including the likes of Kevin Spacey and James Earl Jones, will gather in London to celebrate the life, career and legacy of the late film and theatre director Peter Glenville, 100years since his birth in the Capital.

As part of the centenary celebrations, organised by the Peter Glenville Foundation (, screenings of Glenville films will be shown at the ICA Iinstitute of Contemporary Arts) and the BFI (National Film Theatre), an exhibition of photographs, from the life and works of Peter Glenville, is to be exhibited at the Old Vic’s Pit Bar and a symposium is set to take place at the University of Notre Dame.

Glenville started his career as an actor in London in the 1930s, but by the mid-40s he had made the transition into directing and it was in this capacity that he would make his biggest impact. From the mid-1950s to the early ‘70s Glenville enjoyed a prolific career on Broadway and in Hollywood directing some of the biggest names in the business, including Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness and Laurence Olivier, to name but a few.

Within the industry and beyond, Glenville is principally known for his 1964 film adaptation of the play Becket, which starred Richard Burton as Thomas Becket and Peter O’Toole as King Henry II. The film was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

Events will include:

1 November

  • The Comedians (1967) – screening at the ICA, London, introduced by the award-winning US actor James Earl Jones

2 November

  • Peter Glenville symposium, chaired by columnist Mark Lawson at The University of Notre Dame, London with a board comprised of theatre and film director Richard Eyre, theatre critic Michael Billington, Lady Pamela Harlech and film composer Laurence Rosenthal.
  • Becket (1964) screeneing at BFI Southbank

3 November

  • Summer and Smoke (1961) – screeneing at BFI Southbank preceded by Q&A session with actress Rita Moreno

For further information, visit the website of the Peter Glenville Foundation ( or download the information pack, here.

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