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* By a London correspondent <
i ÇILVER HAIRED, silver ;' d tongued Sir Alexander ¡JKorda, 61 - Britain's "epic"
¡¡ film-maker - has found another u backer with a hefty bankroll.
¡| His latest: £5 million from the
¡; City Investing Corporation of New |; York, to finance his next nine films.
Studios . . . and, overnight, the name ¡>
Korda meant kudos. <¡
He hit the jackpot with "The Private ¡> Life of Henry Vin," whîch Bent critics <! searching for superlatives. ¡;
But although Korda's films were BIG, ¡> many lost small fortunes at the box (¡ office. ¡'
Money dwindled . . . until in 1939 ?! Korda's sponsored companies owed the ¡;
Prudential £2 million. «.
£ And he has clinched the Ù deal despite the fact that ¡¡ in thirty years of movie <> making he has been closely I associated with ventures
J that have lost £7 million, <! mostly of other people's ¡¡ money.
¡> But this Hungarian-born <! thrice-married knight has ¡¡ had the unfailing flair in
<> his career of always bob
¡¡ bing up again . . . with ¡' new bankrolls.
II His success gimmick is ¡¡ CHARM - enough to meit
11 the heart of the shrewdest
¡; financial mogul. ©nee ¡> an associate said in awe: i| "He could charm money
SIR ALEXANDER KORDA
In 1941 Korda went ? to Hollywood to make ¡¡ "Lady Hamilton" with j« Vivien Leigh. Sir Winston i¡ Churchill saw it eight ¡;
times - with tears in his <« eyes each time. <
Next year the Hungarian- ¡ ¡ born movie mogul was ¡ < knighted. <!
Sir Alexander Korda ¡¡ returned to Britain In 1943 ¡> as production chief of the <¡ Metro - Goldwyn - Mayer- ¡» London Films, with a £35 Ù million,. 10-year pro- ¡; gramme. The scheme ¡> folded up after one year, <¡ one film, and a £1 million ¡> loss to M.G.M. i
7 out oi an empty sate."
? ! At twenty-five he was .Hungary's top ¡¡ producer and later he left for Holly ¡i wood with a contract in hi« pocket. But i[ here his career took a temporary nose ¡» dive. California and Korda didn't mix, s his. savings went in the Wall street \> crash, and he returned to Europe with <> twenty dollars between him and starva ¡I tion.
¡» Korda reached Britain in 1931 and 11 despite the depression charmed hard ¡' headed London business men into backing <! his new company, London Films.
¡; He launched one of the biggest spend h ing sprees that had ever hit the British !; film industry. The Prudential flnancied ¡' the building of the opulent I>enham Film
Sir Alexander. put his Í charm to work again, and lost another ¡» £l£ million of other people's money«; on "Bonnie Prince Charlie," "Anna j» Karenina," "Gone to Earth," and "The s Elusive Pimpernel." ¡;
Six years ago, Korda became pro- ¡ ; auction adviser to JBritish Lion Films, ¡ ; which, since then, has had a blood trans- \< fusion .of £ 3 million of public money 11 from the National Film Finance Cor- ¡; poration. <>
But Sir Alexander has sometimes de- ' ! livered the goods. Filmgoers will always ¡; thank him for such treats as "The Third ' > Man," "The Sound Barrier," and "The.; Fallen Idol." ¡¡