from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, UK
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Robert James Hamer (31 March 1911, Kidderminster, Worcestershire – 4 December 1963, London) was a British film director and screenwriter. He was the son of the actor Gerald Hamer (1886-1972).
Hamer was won a scholarship to Cambridge University but was sent down (expelled) from Cambridge, and began his career in 1934 as a cutting room assistant and from 1935 worked as a film editor involved with such films as Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn (1939) co-produced by Charles Laughton. At the end of the 1930s, he worked on documentaries for the GPO Film Unit.
When his boss at the GPO Alberto Cavalcanti moved to Ealing Studios, Hamer was invited to join him there. He gained some experience as a director by substituting for colleagues and contributed the 'haunted mirror' sequence to Dead of Night (1945). He followed this with the three Ealing films under his own name for which he is best remembered: Pink String and Sealing Wax (1946), It Always Rains on Sunday (1947), both featuring Googie Withers, and the black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), with Dennis Price and Alec Guinness.
Hamer died of pneumonia at the age of 52 at St Thomas's Hospital in London. An alcoholic, who was homosexual in an era when it was taboo in the UK, Hamer's career "now looks like the most serious miscarriage of talent in the postwar British cinema", according to film critic David Thomson.
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