Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Director > R > Michael Reeves

Profile of Michael Reeves on Famous Like Me

Name: Michael Reeves  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 17th October 1943
Place of Birth: Sutton, Surrey, England, UK
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Michael Reeves (October 17, 1943 - February 11, 1969) was an English film director. He is best known for the 1968 American International Pictures/ Tigon motion picture Witchfinder General (known in the US as The Conqueror Worm).

Reeves began making short films at an early age, some of which starred his friend, the actor Ian Ogilvy.

In his brief career Reeves made only three films. Witchfinder General was his last film and brought him cult status. Reeves was only 24 years old when he directed the picture, which is often considered one of the greatest horror films that Britain has produced. Made on a very modest budget in East Anglia and adapted from the novel by Ronand Bassett, Witchfinder General tells the story of Matthew Hopkins, an infamous lawyer-turned-witchhunter who blackmails and murders his way across the countryside. Although Hopkins was a real historical figure, the film is not, and probably did not seek to be, an accurate historical account.

Reeves wanted actor Donald Pleasence to play the title role. However American International Pictures, the film's co-financiers, insisted on using their resident horror star Vincent Price instead. To begin with this caused friction between the veteran actor and the young director. A famous story is often told how Reeves won Price's respect. Reeves was constantly telling Price to tone down his habit of over-acting and play the role seriously. Price said: 'Young man, I have made eighty-four films, what have you done?', to which Reeves famously replied: 'I've made two good ones.' This brought the cast and crew in fits of laughter, no one more so than Price himself, who went on to deliver a performance that many believe is his finest.

Reeves died tragically in London only a year after the film's release. The circumstances of his death remain mysterious. What is known is that after shooting Witchfinder General he had trouble getting other projects off the ground and was suffering from depression. He became disillusioned and began to drink heavily. At the same time he begun to take antidepressant tablets. On the morning of February 11, 1969 Reeves was found dead by his cleaning lady, from a barbiturate overdose. He had not been drinking. The coroner's report stated that Reeves's death was accidental, though some believe he committed suicide.

Reeves's two other films were less notable: La Sorella di Satana (1965; also called Revenge of the Blood Beast) was made very cheaply in Italy, where Reeves was given four days of the horror icon Barbara Steele's time. The other was The Sorcerers (1967), made in England with Boris Karloff.

Both of these films, like Witchfinder General, starred his friend and muse Ian Ogilvy.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Michael Reeves