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Lester, Richard

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Film, TV, People.

Working name of US Television and Cinema writer, producer and director Richard Lester Liebman (1932-    ), also credited as Dick Lester from 1955 to 1963; in the UK since 1955. He was influential in 1960s "Swinging England" with such Zeitgeist-attuned pop-culture productions as The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (1964). His first sf film was the comedy The Mouse on the Moon (1963), based on Leonard Wibberley's novel The Mouse on the Moon, in part a Spacesuit Film featuring a literal space race in which the Ruritanian Duchy of Grand Fenwick just beats the USA and USSR to the Moon. Another notable 1960s production with Lester as director – and also in this case producer – was the Absurdist SF Post-Holocaust tale The Bed-Sitting Room (1969), adapted from the play The Bedsitting Room (first performed 1962; 1970) by John Antrobus and Spike Milligan.

More widespread Genre SF recognition followed with the second Superman movie, Superman II (1980), during whose fraught production Lester replaced the initial director Richard Donner (left uncredited). Lester also directed the next film in this Superhero franchise, Superman III (1983), which was less well received than the first two. He retired in 1991. [DRL]

Richard Lester Liebman

born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 19 January 1932

about the filmmaker

  • Neil Sinyard. The Films of Richard Lester (London: Croom Helm, 1985) [nonfiction: hb/photographic]
  • Neil Sinyard. Richard Lester (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2010) [nonfiction: hb/photographic]


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