Stephen Woolley: A Life In Film

Stephen Woolley

For the best part of 35 years, Stephen Woolley has been a driving force in British film, responsible for bringing a dizzying array of films to the silver screen.

His formative years were spent tearing tickets at the Screen On The Green in London before going on to own the celebrated Scala cinema. He subsequently formed Palace Video with Nik Powell, a partnership that delivered films as diverse as The Evil Dead and When Harry Met Sally to UK audiences, and it was in this period that his producing career really began to take off. A true champion of Brit cinema, 2017 has proved a very successful year for Woolley, with Their Finest proving a critical smash.

His latest offering is a full-blooded adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s acclaimed novel, The Limehouse Golem, starring Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth and Olivia Cooke (available digitally on Christmas Day before arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on December 26th), a release that gives us the perfect opportunity to delve into Woolley’s past and call out some of the highlights from a career with too many to mention:

The Company Of Wolves (1984)

One of a number of pairings with long time creative partner Neil Jordan, The Company Of Wolves is a wonderful fairy tale cult movie that rivals 1981’s An American Werewolf In London for sheer special effects magnificence.

The story focuses on a young woman who drifts into a nightmare-filled sleep populated with lycanthropic threats realised spectacularly long before CGI could help, but this is a curio that gives in a variety of ways, not least of which being Angela Lansbury’s winning performance as Granny and genre stalwart David Warner thrown into the mix for good measure. Co-written by Angela Carter, the film picked up four BAFTA Award nominations.

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