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Lindsay Shonteff

Lindsay Shonteff
Born Lindsay Craig Shonteff
(1935-11-05)November 5, 1935
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died March 11, 2006(2006-03-11) (aged 70)
Occupation Screenwriter, Film producer

Lindsay Craig Shonteff (5 November 1935 – 11 March 2006) was a Canadian born film director, film producer and screenwriter who achieved fame for low-budget films produced in England.


Lindsay Shonteff was born in Toronto, Ontario and made his directing, producing, editing and screenwriting debut in 1959 with a Canadian made Western The Hired Gun/The Last Gunfighter that he edited in his own home.[1] After the film's release, Shonteff went to England following his friend fellow Canadian Sidney J. Furie.

Shonteff's English debut was Devil Doll (1964) that Furie was originally scheduled to direct. Furie was offered a more prestigious film so recommended his fellow Canadian Shonteff. Richard Gordon said Furie advised Shonteff throughout the making of the film.[2] Shonteff had to cut the horror tale of a ventriloquist's dummy for an X rating from the British Board of Film Censors.

This film led to interest from Columbia Pictures for a contract but Shonteff argued over the matter and the contract did not come through.[3]

Shonteff then filmed the "African horror adventure" Curse of Simba (aka Curse of the Voodoo) for Richard Gordon again starring Bryant Haliday with outdoor sequences filmed in Regent's Park in London.[4]

In 1965 Shonteff co-wrote and directed a James Bond type film for producer S.J.H. "James" Ward Licensed to Kill with Tom Adams as agent Charles Vine. The film was picked up for American and international release by Joseph E. Levine; re-edited and retitled The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World with a new title song written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen and performed by Sammy Davis Jr. The American publicity campaign for the James Bond exploitation film echoed the 'Number 2, but tries harder' advertising of the Avis Rent a Car System prevalent at the time. Reportedly Shonteff was offered a contract by 20th Century Fox but disagreed on conditions.[5] Adams reprised Charles Vine in two more films without his Mauser C96 or Shonteff though Shonteff collaborated again with producer James Ward in Run With the Wind with Francesca Annis in 1966.

Shonteff directed Harry Alan Towers's The Million Eyes of Su-Muru with Shirley Eaton and George Nader based on a story by Sax Rohmer the following year.

In 1969 Shonteff directed the rarely seen crime film Clegg, followed in 1970 by the horror film Night After Night After Night and the cult film Permissive which explored the ruthless world of the 'groupie'. He then directed the cult exploitation film Big Zapper starring Linda Marlowe in 1973, and also directed the sequel The Swordsman the following year.

With the publicity battle between the rival James Bonds of Albert R. Broccoli's The Spy Who Loved Me and Kevin McClory's projected James Bond of the Secret Service in 1976, Shonteff returned to the secret agent fold with his superspy now calling himself Charles Bind in Number One of the Secret Service (with Nicky Henson) that was originally titled 008 of the Secret Service,[6] Licensed to Love and Kill (with Gareth Hunt) (1979), and Michael Howe in Number One Gun (1990). Shonteff also directed Len Deighton's Spy Story in 1976 and filmed How Sleep the Brave, a Vietnam war filmed in England in 1981.[7]

Shonteff died on the last day of production of his final film Angels, Devils, and Men. When Lindsay Shonteff died, he was married to his wife of over 44 years Christina Shonteff.


  1. p. 300 Morris, Peter Canada in The International Movie Industry SIU Press, 2000
  2. Weaver, Tom Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Movies: The Mutant Melding of Two Classic Interviews 1999 McFarland & Co
  3. Bryce, Allan Nickels and Dimes and No Time. The Ups and Downs of Lindsay Shonteff featured in Jaworzyn, S Shock Xpress" The Essential Guide to Exploitation Cinema Titan 1994
  4. Weaver, Tom Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Movies: The Mutant Melding of Two Classic Interviews 1999 McFarland
  6. Wood, Linda British Films 1971-1981 BFI 1983

External links

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