Entertainment & Arts

Director Ronald Neame dies aged 99

Poseidon Adventure director Ronald "Ronnie" Neame has died in hospital in Los Angeles at the age of 99.

The British film-maker, who died on Wednesday, never recovered after suffering from a fall, said family friend and BBC correspondent Peter Bowes.

London-born Neame also worked as a cinematographer on films including Blithe Spirit and In Which We Serve.

He directed The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Dame Maggie Smith.

She won the best actress Oscar in 1969 for her portrayal of the inspirational teacher of six young girls.

Neame also co-wrote screenplays including Great Expectations and Brief Encounter.

Classic disaster film The Poseidon Adventure, released in 1972 and co-directed with Irwin Allen, starred Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters and was mauled by critics.

Speaking to the BBC in 2006, he said he was surprised by its enduring appeal adding that he "never believed that it was more than just an average picture".

He was also critical of modern film-making saying movies had "become too frenetic, partly because the stories are not good enough".

"So they try to make up for their lack of good characterisation and storytelling by quick cutting and frenetic use of the camera," he added.

"And I think that's a pity."

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