Cat no. 226495

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Johnny Goodman (production manager/producer)


Johnny Goodman (15 October 1927 - )

Johnny Goodman was born in 1927 in Walthamstow. He entered the film industry as a page boy at the Gaumont-British Studios at Lime Grove (Shepherd's Bush) at the age of 14. Working his way through various departments at Gaumont and Gainsborough, he ended at the camera department of G-B Instructional working with Lewis Gilbert on documentary shorts such as 'Sailors Do Care'. When he was demobbed in 1951 he went briefly to America, but returned to work for Tempean Films with Monty Berman and Robert Baker. Goodman was production manager on several 'B' movies of the 1950s, as well as 'The Armchair Detective', 'The Treasure of Monte Cristo' and 'What A Carve Up!'. During the 1960s he worked briefly for Film Contracts (a producer of advertising films) and then for Sydney Samuelson's film logistics firm 'Sam Freight'.

Goodman moved into television as an executive producer in the late 1960s and 1970s, working with Ward Thomas at Trident Films on programmes such as 'Robin Hood' and 'The Four Feathers' and later with Jeremy Isaacs and Verity Lambert at Euston Films, making (for Thames Television) such well known series as 'Riley: Ace of Spies', 'The Sweeney', 'Charlie Muffin' and 'Minder'. Later he worked for HTV. He came out of retirement to produce the Maureen Lipman series 'About Face' and was also involved in the documentary series 'The Best of British', as well as doing research work for Samuelson at the British Film Commission. Goodman has been closely involved with BAFTA througout much of his career, and he held the post of Chairman for a period during the 1980s.

In this interview Johnny Goodman talks extensively to Alan Sapper about his career in film and television, remembering many colleagues and productions. He gives good impressions of the atmosphere at Shepherd's Bush, at Tempean and of the difficulties and uncertainty of television work, particularly at an executive level.

(Lawrence Napper, BCHRP)