John Hunter (screenwriter)

John Evans "Jack" Hunter (23 August 1911 – 8 September 1984) was an American-born, BAFTA-nominated screenwriter in the British film industry.[1] The son of actress Millicent Evans (1888 - 1952) and producer/director Ernest J. Carpenter (1869 - 1964), Hunter was born in New York on 23 August 1911. His parents divorced in 1917 and his mother married director T. Hayes Hunter in Los Angeles in 1919. He graduated from Hollywood High School in 1927 and the family moved to England, where Hunter attended Trinity College, Cambridge. At Trinity, he was a member of the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club and an editor of the college paper.[2]

Hunter began his career while still a Trinity student, as a screenwriter for Smashing Through (1929) and an actor in Varsity (1930, as J. Evans Hunter).[3] After graduating with Third Class Honors he began a successful career as a screenwriter, most notably with Hammer Film Productions.[4] He is best known for 1955's BAFTA nominated Carrington V.C. (film), starring David Niven and Noelle Middleton, and the controversial 1960 Never Take Sweets from a Stranger. Although he married after leaving university, Hunter was Guy Burgess's lover while they were both students at Cambridge.[5] Subsequently divorced, his longtime partner, Michael Ronan, had served time in a British jail for his sexuality.[6] Hunter died in London in 1984.

Selected filmography


  1. "John Hunter". BFI.
  2. feature article on producer Ernest J. Carpenter, Mason City, Iowa, Globe-Gazette, July 22, 1932
  4. Maxford, Howard (2018). Hammer Complete: The Films, The Personnel, The Company. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-1-4766-7007-2
  5. Lownie, Andrew (2015) Stalin's Englishman. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-473-62736-9
  6. Purvis, Stewart; Hulbert, Jeff (2016). Guy Burgess: The Spy Who Knew Everyone. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84954-913-4.
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