This article is about the British film designer. For the U.S. congressman from Texas, see John C. Box
John Allan Hyatt Box OBE, (27 January 1920Template:Spaced ndash7 March 2005) was a British film production designer and art director. During his career he won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction on four occasions and won the equivalent BAFTA three times, a record for both awards. Throughout his career he gained a reputation for recreating exotic locations in rather more mundane surroundings, he once created a walled Chinese city in Snowdonia.
Box was born in London, and attended Highgate School from 1934-38; due to his father's job as a civil engineer, he spent much of his childhood in Sri Lanka, then the British colony of Ceylon. After studying architecture at North London Polytechnic he served in the Royal Armoured Corps during World War II.
After the war Box served his apprenticeship an assistant to the art director Carmen Dillon, herself an Oscar winner. During this period he worked with her on Anthony Asquith's adaptation of The Browning Version (1951) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1952).
Box’s first films as an art director were low budget affairs, the first being the science fiction B-movie The Gamma People (1956). His first big break came when director Mark Robson asked him to work on the period film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1957), which starred Ingrid Bergman. After this Box worked on Carol Reed's adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel Our Man in Havana (1959) and Richard Quine’s The World of Suzie Wong (1960).
It was his role as the production designer of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) that he first worked for the British director David Lean, as well as winning him his first Oscar. Box got the job working on this film after John Bryan fell ill. Box designed Of Human Bondage (1964) and worked with David Lean again on the adaptation of Doctor Zhivago (1965), for which he again won an Oscar for his set designs.
The following year Box won his first BAFTA award for his reproduction of Tudor England in Fred Zinnemann's version of A Man for All Seasons (1966). In his next production he recreated Victorian era London for the musical Oliver! (1968). He won an Oscar for Oliver!, a feat he repeated in his next film three years later, Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), which provided Box with his final Academy Award for his detailed reproduction of pre-revolution Russia.
In 1972, Box worked on Travels with My Aunt, for which he received another Oscar nomination. He won a BAFTA or his role on Jack Clayton’s version of The Great Gatsby (1974), and won the award again the following year for Rollerball.
Box's next two projects were 1977's Sorcerer (1977) and The Keep (1983), both of which were expensive and unsuccessful. He reunited with David Lean for the film A Passage to India (1984), for which Box received Oscar and BAFTA nominations. He retired after this film, but returned in the mid-90s to work on an adaptation of Black Beauty, as well as First Knight, his first foray into computer assisted set design and his final film. He was awarded the OBE in 1998.
Black & White
/ Color separate
- 1940 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse / (c): Vincent Korda
- 1941 (bw): Richard Day, Nathan H. Juran, Thomas Little / (c): Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary, Edwin B. Willis
- 1942 (bw): Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright, Thomas Little / (c): Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright, Thomas Little
- 1943 (bw): James Basevi, William S. Darling, Thomas Little / (c): Alexander Golitzen, John B. Goodman, Russell A. Gausman, Ira S. Webb
- 1944 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari, Paul Huldschinsky, Edwin B. Willis / (c): Wiard Ihnen, Thomas Little
- 1945 (bw): Wiard Ihnen, A. Roland Fields / (c): Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegté, Samuel M. Comer
- 1946 (bw): William S. Darling, Lyle R. Wheeler, Thomas Little, Frank E. Hughes / (c): Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis
- Set Decoration
Black & White
/ Color separate
- 1947 (bw): John Bryan, Wilfred Shingleton / (c): Alfred Junge
- 1948 (bw): Roger K. Furse, Carmen Dillon / (c): Hein Heckroth, Arthur Lawson
- 1949 (bw): Harry Horner, John Meehan, Emile Kuri / (c): Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore
- 1950 (bw): Hans Dreier, John Meehan, Samuel M. Comer, Ray Moyer / (c): Hans Dreier, Walter Tyler, Samuel M. Comer, Ray Moyer
- 1951 (bw): Richard Day, George James Hopkins / (c): Cedric Gibbons, E. Preston Ames, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason
- 1952 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason /(c): Paul Sheriff, Marcel Vertès
- 1953 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno, Edwin B. Willis, Hugh Hunt / (c): Lyle R. Wheeler, George Davis, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox
- 1954 (bw): Richard Day / (c): John Meehan, Emile Kuri
- 1955 (bw): Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Samuel M. Comer, Arthur Krams / (c): William Flannery, Jo Mielziner, Robert Priestley
- 1956 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm F. Brown, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason / (c): Lyle R. Wheeler, John DeCuir, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox
Black & White
/ Color separate
- 1959 (bw): Lyle R. Wheeler, George Davis, Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss / (c): William A. Horning (posthumous award), Edward Carfagno, Hugh Hunt
- 1960 (bw): Alexandre Trauner, Edward G. Boyle /(c): Alexander Golitzen, Eric Orbom (posthumous award), Russell A. Gausman, Julia Heron
- 1961 (bw): Harry Horner, Gene Callahan / (c): Boris Leven, Victor A. Gangelin
- 1962 (bw): Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead, Oliver Emert /(c): John Box, John Stoll, Dario Simoni
- 1963 (bw): Gene Callahan / (c): John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Hilyard M. Brown, Herman A. Blumenthal, Elven Webb, Maurice Pelling, Boris Juraga, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox, Ray Moyer
- 1964 (bw): Vassilis Photopoulos /(c): Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton, George Hopkins
- 1965 (bw): Robert Clatworthy, Joseph Kish /(c): John Box, Terence Marsh, Dario Simoni
- 1966 (bw): Richard Sylbert, George Hopkins / (c): Jack Martin Smith, Dale Hennesy, Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss
- 1967: John Truscott, Edward Carrere, John W. Brown
- 1968: John Box, Terence Marsh, Vernon Dixon, Ken Muggleston
- 1969: John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Herman A. Blumenthal, Walter M. Scott, George Hopkins, Raphaël Bretton
- 1970: Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo, Antonio Mateos, Pierre-Louis Thévenet
- 1971: John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxsted, Gil Parrondo, Vernon Dixon
- 1972: Rolf Zehetbauer, Jurgen Kiebach, Herbert Strabel
- 1973: Henry Bumstead, James W. Payne
- 1974: Dean Tavoularis, Angelo P. Graham, George R. Nelson
- 1975: Ken Adam, Roy Walker, Vernon Dixon
- 1976: George C. Jenkins, George Gaines
- 1977: John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Roger Christian
- 1978: Paul Sylbert, Edwin O'Donovan, George Gaines
- 1979: Philip Rosenberg, Tony Walton, Edward Stewart, Gary J. Brink
- 1980: Pierre Guffroy, Jack Stephens
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