Kenneth Harper

Kenneth Harper (19131998) was an English film producer. He produced 13 films between 1954 and 1973. He was a member of the jury at the 21st Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Kenneth Harper
Died1998 (aged 8485)
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1954-1973

He produced the first films of Peter Yates and Ken Russell and four films starring Cliff Richard. In a 1964 interview he said he found producing "fascinating - finding the story, the director and the cast: mixing people, you know? It's like being a chef in the kitchen."[2]


Harper's first credit as producer was a Dirk Bogarde comedy, For Better, for Worse (1954) directed by J. Lee Thompson at Associated British. Harper and Thompson reunited on Yield to the Night (1956) a drama with Diana Dors.[3][4]

Harper teamed up with George Willoughby and made Action of the Tiger (1957) at MGM, directed by Terence Young, and Passionate Summer (1958) at Rank.[5]

Harper had a big hit with The Young Ones (1961) starring Cliff Richard and directed by Sidney J. Furie. It was the second most popular film of the year at the British box office.[6] After doing the comedy Go to Blazes (1962) he did a second film with Richard, Summer Holiday (1963), the first feature directed by Peter Yates and another hit.[7]

Harper producer Ken Russell's first film as director, French Dressing (1964) flopped. A third film with Richard, Wonderful Life (1964) was a disappointment. So too was Two Weeks in September (1967).[8]

More popular was Prudence and the Pill (1968).[9]

His last two credits were The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970) and Take Me High (1973), the latter with Richard.



  1. "Berlinale 1971: Juries". Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  2. YOU PAYS YOUR MONEY AND YOU TAKES YOUR CHANCE Grant, Elspeth. The Tatler and Bystander; London Vol. 252, Iss. 3277, (17 June 1964): 667.
  3. FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 21, Iss. 240, (1 January 1954): 161.
  4. McCambridge in 'Giant;' Los Angeles Times 18 May 1955: A7.
  5. 'Action, of the Tiger' Keeps Stars on Move G M W. Los Angeles Times 11 October 1957: B8.
  6. "Money-Making Films Of 1962." Times [London, England] 4 January 1963: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  7. The perpetual busman's holiday: Sir Cliff Richard and British pop musicals Donnelly, K J. Journal of Popular Film & Television; Washington Vol. 25, Iss. 4, (Winter 1998): 146-154.
  8. Petrie, Duncan James (2016). "Resisting Hollywood Dominance in Sixties British Cinema : The NFFC/Rank Joint Financing Initiative" (PDF). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.
  9. Deals, Deals, Deals With the Busiest Body of Them All: PLAYFUL "PRUDENCE" REVIVED MAN AT WORK By A.H. WEILER. New York Times 6 February 1966: X9.
  10. Overview for Swingers' Paradise (1965)", Turner Classic Movies page
  11. CALL SHEET: Star Role of 'Virgin' Assigned Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 30 June 1969: d24.
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