Richard B Goodwin

Richard B Goodwin, Film Producer (Born 13th September, 1934 in Bombay, India)

In a career spanning 40 years, Richard Goodwin has been involved in a number of well-known British films. As a film producer, he received an Academy Award nomination for A Passage to India[1] (1984), as well as BAFTA nominations. His filmography includes: Romeo and Juliet, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, The Mirror Crack'd, Evil under the Sun, A Passage to India, Little Dorrit, and Seven Years in Tibet.

Early Years

Born in Bombay, in 1934, Richard Goodwin grew up in India until the end of the war. He travelled to England in the first convoy to reach the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. After serving out his time at boarding school, he joined the film industry as a teaboy at the Rank Organisation. [2] Goodwin then spent his national service in the Malayan jungle, and joined the S.A.S in 1952. On his return to England, he turned down a place at Cambridge to return to the film industry, as a military adviser on "A Hill in Korea", starring George Baker. By 1956, Goodwin had begun his long association with fellow producer John Brabourne, and together they were to make films for more than 35 years.


Richard Goodwin learnt his trade as a location and production manager, and after working as associate producer on Franco Zeferelli’s "Romeo and Juliet",(1968), he produced "Tales of Beatrix Potter", featuring the Royal Ballet. John Brabourne's father in law, Lord Mountbatten, secured the film rights to a number of Agatha Christie novels, from the Dame herself. [2] By 1974, Goodwin and Brabourne had produced the first of the “all star” adaptations of Christie’s novels, " Murder on the Orient Express".[2] The film was a success, grossing $35 million from a budget of $1.9 million. [3][4] Directed by Sidney Lumet, the cast included: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, and Ingrid Bergman. "Death on the Nile" followed in 1978, with another all-star cast, headed by Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. The later adaptions, "The Mirror Crack'd", in 1980, and "Evil Under the Sun", in 1982, received mixed reviews, and disappointed at the box office.[5] [6]

In 1981, Goodwin and John Brabourne finally secured the rights to produce E.M.Forster's A Passage to India.[2] They managed to persuade David Lean to return to directing, after a 14-year lull.[7] "A Passage to India" opened to critical acclaim in 1984, and received 11 Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture, for which Goodwin and Brabourne were nominated as producers.They lost to "Amadeus", but their feature film won two oscars: Best Supporting Actress for Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and best music for Maurice Jarre.[1]

Their next major project was Little Dorrit (1988).[2] It was directed, and adapted from Charles Dickens’ novel, by Richard’s wife, Christine Edzard. With a total running time of 6 hours, the film was released in 2 parts, and was a critical success. "Little Dorrit" was made entirely at Sands Films studios, set up by Goodwin and his wife in the 1970s, in a Grade II listed, former granary at Rotherhithe, by the river Thames. Sands Films, their film and costume production company, continues to operate after nearly 40 years.[8] Goodwin’s last major film, which he executive produced, was Seven Years in Tibet (1997) starring Brad Pitt and David Thewlis.

Television and Writing

In the latter part of the 1980s, Goodwin turned his hand to a television series for Channel 4/PBS, "Leontyne by Barge from London to Vienna", about his international travels on a barge, called the Leontyne. An accompanying book, "Leontyne", written by Goodwin, was published by Collins. Later, Goodwin went on to shoot and produce a collection of films, titled "Barging Through Europe", on his travels, on another boat, the Regina, depicting the vanishing trades of France.


  1. 1 2 "Oscars Ceremony 1985". Accessed 2016-2-18
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 French, Philip (2014-01-25). "The Poirot Collection: Blu-ray box set". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  3. "Murder on the Orient Express". Accessed 2016-2-18
  4. "Murder Orient Express Reboot Still Happening". Accessed 2016-2-18
  5. "The Mirror Crack'd". Accessed 2016-2-18
  6. "Evil Under the Sun". Accessed 2016-2-18
  7. Santas, Constantine; Wilson, James M.; Colavito, Maria; Baker, Djoymi (2014-03-21). The Encyclopedia of Epic Films (in Arabic). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810882485.
  8. "Rotherhithe Picture Research Library". 2009-9-29
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