"A different kind of glass ceiling existed in those days" says Alvin, "television directors, no matter how successful, were kept from making films. That is why my first film 'Passport To Shame' (1958) was a low-budget exploitation film. It was all I could get". Thus began a career in film making.


The Comedy Man shows the life of a struggling actor (Kenneth More) in 1960's swinging London. When More read the script he said he 'was profoundly struck by it's relevance to my own life, and to the lives of so many actors I had known.'

Comedy Man

Kenneth More

Kenneth More

Cecil Parker

Cecil Parker

Billie Whitelaw

Billie Whitelaw


 "It is far and away the best picture I have seen in months. There is a moderation and attentiveness in the way the film is put together that makes me want  to tip the hat to director Alvin Rakoff " Clancy Sigal, Town

"Kenneth More in the greatest performance of his career. Brilliantly directed " Sunday Mirror


ON FRIDAY AT ELEVEN (UK title) (1961)

"Terse, underplaying direction by Alvin Rakoff and outstanding camerawork do much to make this one of the more noteworthy pix of the season" VARIETY
World In My Pocket

"..our nerves are as taut as violin strings " Sunday Express

" The suspense is terrific " Evening News

" Infinite suspense " Daily Mail

" Taut with fine direction " New York Mirror

"..would stop the heartbeats of old Alf Hitchcock himself " Daily Sketch

"..a masterly study in suspense and thrills " Dublin Herald

"Imaginative direction " New York Daily News

" Bold, bloody and breathless " Films & Filming



A successful London ad-exec hires a beautiful Hungarian girl to pose for some modeling shots, little realising that she has overheard an assassination plot and is now being hunted by some dangerous killers.


Dirty Tricks (1980)

starring Elliott Gould and Kate Jackson

 Dirty Tricks

A Harvard University student finds a letter signed by George Washington and contacts an expert, Prof. Chandler, to authenticate it. The student is murdered. And the letter disappears. Then Chandler (Elliott Gould), gets chased by the mafia and a determined TV reporter.

Death Ship (1980)

Starring George Kennedy and Richard Crenna

"No one is more surprised than me that this is now considered a 'cult' film. Horror films are not my genre," said Alvin. "I had a rusting hulk, declared dangerous and un-seaworthy by the authorities, which  we put to sea- illegally - for 2 hours before it came to a bang-crash stop. What a  challenge!!"


A bitter-sweet tale of an older woman and a younger man. A celebration of swinging London with story and screenplay by the Director.

Say Hello To Yesterday

Jean Simmons, Leonard Whiting and Alvin on location filming in Chelsea

Witty, intelligent and genuinely touching essay on a transient autumn-spring relationship. Location shooting around London is beautiful" Films & Filming

" Polished performances and convincing dialogue with story, screenplay and sure direction by Alvin Rakoff. A good laugh and a good cry combined " Morning Star

" This stunningly photographed British picture apparently marks the debut - and it could hardly be more auspicious - of writer-director Alvin Rakoff, still another talented Canadian " Los Angeles Times

" Amusing vignettes, perceptive tenderness and bittersweet wrap-up .. a captivating immediacy " Howard Thompson, New York Times

Hoffman (1969)

Alvin's Emmy-award winning 1967 television drama, 'Call Me Daddy', is turned into a feature film, 'Hoffman'. Hoffman, played by Peter Sellers, blackmails his beautiful assistant, Sinead Cusack, into spending a week with him in an attempt to woo her.

'Hoffman' contains one of the longest takes in cinema. The camera travels through six sets, touches 118 different positions and the shot lasts more than eight minutes. Hoffman

"Peter Sellers is once again a talented and absorbing actor... the sensitive direction of Alvin Rakoff never - even momentarily - loses its grip... One of those rare treats, a thoughtful, engrossing and thoroughly entertaining piece of  cinema" Coventry Telegraph

"The atmosphere built up by director Alvin Rakoff is electric. Its  shocks are always unexpected."  Brighton Argus

"...directs with a keen appreciation of how far humour should be permitted to intrude upon a serious tale....two  beautiful silhouettes, grass against a clear blue sky and an overhead view  from a windmill" Films & Filming

'Hoffman is a film about human relationships between men and women- an intelligent and reavealing  analysis, sensitively treated, brilliantly delivered in every  respect. It is cinema at its artistic pinnacle...Alvin Rakoff superbly unfolds the plot..." Sunday Mercury

'SELLERS  SHINES IN A STRAIGHT ROLE...The real talent of Peter Sellers, actor, has never been so clearly demonstrated...' Brighton Gazette

"...subtle direction, using nicely spaced moments of comedy to produce a pattern of humour-edged pathos..." Birmingham Mail


Hoffman (1971) opening scene


City on Fire

Henry Fonda

Ava Gardner

Shelley Winters

" Directed by the reliable Alvin Rakoff " Daily Mail

Dirty Tricks (1981) - Featured on HBO in March/April 1982 Part 9