Lindsay Shonteff

Lindsay Craig Shonteff (5 November 1935 – 11 March 2006) was a Canadian born film director, film producer and screenwriter who achieved fame for low-budget films produced in England.

Lindsay Shonteff
Lindsay Craig Shonteff

(1935-11-05)November 5, 1935
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedMarch 11, 2006(2006-03-11) (aged 70)
OccupationScreenwriter, Film producer


Lindsay Shonteff was born in Toronto, Ontario and made his directing, producing, editing and screenwriting debut in 1959 with a Canadian made Western The Hired Gun/The Last Gunfighter that he edited in his own home.[1] After the film's release, Shonteff went to England following his friend and fellow Canadian Sidney J. Furie.

Shonteff's debut in Britain was Devil Doll (1964); Furie was originally scheduled to direct, but was offered a more prestigious film and recommended Shonteff. Richard Gordon said Furie advised Shonteff throughout the making of the film.[2] Shonteff had to cut the horror tale of a ventriloquist's dummy for an X rating from the British Board of Film Censors.

This film led to interest from Columbia Pictures for a contract but Shonteff argued over the matter and the contract did not come through.[3]

Shonteff then filmed the "African horror adventure" Curse of Simba (aka Curse of the Voodoo) in 1965 for Gordon.[4]

The same year, he co-wrote and directed a James Bond type film for producer S.J.H. "James" Ward, Licensed to Kill. The film was picked up for American and international release by Joseph E. Levine; it was re-edited and retitled The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World. Reportedly Shonteff was offered a contract by 20th Century Fox but disagreed on conditions.[5]

Shonteff collaborated again with Ward on Run With the Wind in 1966. He then directed Harry Alan Towers's The Million Eyes of Sumuru in 1967.

In 1969, Shonteff directed the rarely seen crime film Clegg, followed in 1970 by the horror film Night After Night After Night and the cult film Permissive which explored the world of groupies. In addition, Shonteff directed the 1971 sex drama The Yes Girls and the rarely seen crime thriller The Fast Kill in 1972. He then directed the cult exploitation film Big Zapper in 1973, and its sequel, The Swordsman, the following year. He also directed a film adaptation of Len Deighton's Spy Story in 1976.

With the publicity battle between the rival James Bonds of Albert R. Broccoli (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Kevin McClory (the projected James Bond of the Secret Service) in 1977, Shonteff returned to the secret agent fold with No. 1 of the Secret Service (originally titled 008 of the Secret Service).[6] He followed this with Licensed to Love and Kill (1979) and Number One Gun (1990).

Shonteff's later work included How Sleep the Brave, a Vietnam war project, filmed in England in 1981.[7]

Shonteff died on the last day of production of his final film Angels, Devils, and Men.

When he died, he was married to his wife of over 44 years, Christina.


  1. p. 300 Morris, Peter Canada in The International Movie Industry SIU Press, 2000
  2. Weaver, Tom Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Movies: The Mutant Melding of Two Classic Interviews 1999 McFarland & Co
  3. Bryce, Allan Nickels and Dimes and No Time. The Ups and Downs of Lindsay Shonteff featured in Jaworzyn, S Shock Xpress" The Essential Guide to Exploitation Cinema Titan 1994
  4. Weaver, Tom Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Movies: The Mutant Melding of Two Classic Interviews 1999 McFarland
  6. Wood, Linda British Films 1971-1981 BFI 1983
  7. Archived 2007-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
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