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A piano prodigy, Lester continued his musical activities while pursuing a psychology degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He hosted his own one-shot Dick Lester Show inwhich though a disaster led to a series of choice directorial assignments on the various television projects of The Goon Show cocreators Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers. Also during this period, he began directing commercials, an activity to which he would periodically return throughout his career.
Though he was born in America, Richard Lester would go on to become the definitive chronicler of swinging-sixties Britain, encapsulating the anarchic energy of the era with his exuberantly inventive, freewheeling style. This film, directed by Richard Lester, was shot over two Sundays in for a cost of about seventy pounds. Meet the Beatles!
He is known for his work with The Beatles in the s and his work on the Superman film series in the s. A child prodigy, he began studies at the University of Pennsylvania at the age of He started in television inworking as a stage hand, floor manager, assistant director and then director in less than a year, because no one else was around who knew how to do the work.
Born in Philadelphia but based, from early adulthood, in England, filmmaker Richard Lester began his career in British television, where his fondness for absurd humor led to a professional relationship with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, of the hit radio program The Goon Show. Working with them paved the way for work with another, comically simpatico bunch, The Beatles. But Lester's story hardly ends with The Beatles.
Looking back on the career of Richard Lester is a little like receiving the rarest of glimpses of an all but unimaginable period in Hollywood history. Lester is a director who functioned fully within the mainstream of studio filmmaking. Though he rarely worked in America, preferring Europe as a home base, he made his films with studio money and received studio distribution—his career was screeching to an end just as the independent film movement as we know it today was taking hold.
Celluloid Liberation Front. American-born Richard Lester became a director in England and went on to make some of the most iconic British films of the sixties. The quirky nature of his films also applies to his career, which was full of unexpected turns, impossible to pigeonhole and all the more interesting to discover for that.
By all logic, Richard Lester deserves consideration as one of the key filmmakers to emerge in the latter half of the 20th century. Over a career spanning 22 feature films, he has had a number of critical and commercial successes including one that won the top prize at Canneshis unique directorial style—shifting effortlessly from classical elegance to formally radical depending on the needs of the material—has influenced any number of filmmakers over the years one notable fan, Steven Soderbergh, even collaborated with Lester on a book about his career, the must-read "Getting Away With It" and one of his films has gone on to be enshrined as one of the all-time greats in the history of the medium. And yet, for several reasons—the relatively low profile that he kept as a filmmaker even at the apex of his career, the high profile of the personalities that he worked with on many of his biggest hits, his inability to be pigeonholed as a single entity not even in terms of his nationality—Lester's name has threatened to fade away in the minds of the movie-going public except as the guy who directed the first two films featuring The Beatles.