Obituary: Jack Davies

Jack Davies, scriptwriter, journalist: born London 25 November 1913; married (two sons); died California 22 June 1994.

I HAD 40 happy years in the film business, and was stimulated by working as editor with Victor Savile, Alfred Hitchcock, Alexander Korda, Erich Pommer and others, but I never had the sheer enjoyment and pleasure with anyone to compare with my producer times with Jack Davies, writes Hugh Stewart. We would meet in his basement study in Bryanston Square, in London, and I knew at once that, as well as the affectionate exuberance, there was a clear creative brain fizzing with fun, yet totally professional.

The first script we did together was Up in the World. The idea behind it was original, and I knew that Jack was my answer in the search for an idea to add a new dimension to Norman Wisdom's performance on the screen. Jack responded with delight and came up with the brilliant notion of Norman playing a double role as a German general. Jack himself demonstrated certain of the scenes, and I knew we had take-off. The resulting film, The Square Peg (1958), made Norman an international star. Jack's next script Follow a Star, had some wonderful scenes with Norman under hypnosis, and the process went further with On the Beat, when Norman, apart from playing Norman, was also Giulio Napolitani, the boss of the Soho Mafia. The gangster had a 'cover' as a marvellously camp West End hairdresser, and Norman had fun imitating him. Thus he had four distinct presentations in the one film.

As the scripts went on, Jack and Norman became very close collaborators, and it was a source of enormous enjoyment to me to see them building up the comedy together. However, I knew that, however wild their ideas might be, Jack's professionalism as a scriptwriter would ensure a solid construction.

For some years now Jack and Dorothy had lived in California, but we remained in close touch. Every time I heard his voice on the telephone I savoured again the joy and pleasure he gave me.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup