Cat no. 226503

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Gordon McCallum (sound engineer)

1988

Recorded 11 October 1988

Gordon McCallum (26 May 1919 - 10 September 1989)
Interviewed by Alan Lawson

Gordon McCallum entered the British film industry in 1935 as a loading boy for Herbert Wilcox at British and Dominions. He soon moved into the sound department and worked as a boom swinger on many films of the late 1930s at Denham, Pinewood and Elstree. During the Second World War he worked with both Michael Powell and David Lean on some of their most celebrated films.

Between 1945 and 1984 as a resident sound mixer at Pinewood Studios, he made a contribution to over 300 films, including the majority of the output of the Rank Organisation, as well as later major international productions such as 'The Day of the Jackal' (1973), 'Superman' (1978), 'Blade Runner' (1982) and the James Bond series. In 1972 he won an Oscar for his work on 'Fiddler on the Roof' (1971).

In this interview McCallum discusses many of the personalities and productions he has encountered during his long career, as well as reflecting on developments in sound technology, and the qualities needed to make a good dubbing mixer.

(Lawrence Napper, BCHRP)