“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. department.
THE COMEDY MAN (1964)
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.’
“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) THE WORLD IN MY POCKET (US title)
“Terse, underplaying direction by Alvin Rakoff and outstanding camerawork do much to make this one of the more noteworthy pix of the season” VARIETY
“..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
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!!”
SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY (1970)
A bitter-sweet tale of an older woman and a younger man. A celebration of swinging London with story and screenplay by the Director.
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
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.
“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 revealing 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
CITY ON FIRE (1979)
” Directed by the reliable Alvin Rakoff ” Daily Mail