Anthony Hinds it seems was the man we have to thank for Hammer films making horror films, it was Hinds above anyone else at Hammer that was an admirer of the Horror genre and it was because of his influence that the studio embarked on its Frankenstein and Dracula re-makes which we all know were highly successful and responsible for spawning so many sequels from the House of Hammer. Hinds was also a gifted and intelligent producer and had the ability to manage some of the more difficult American actors that Hammer secured to feature in the studios early productions.
Anthony Frank Hinds was born in 1922 in Uxbridge and went to St Paul’s public school where he followed a more studious path as opposed to the many of his school friends who opted for the more sporty options. He completed his education in 1939 and went straight into the family business which was run by his Father William Hinds and Enriquez Carreras and went under the name of Exclusive Films. In 1940 he was enlisted into the RAF and remained there for the duration of WWII. He rejoined the film company in 1946 after being persuaded to do so by Michael Carreras. Hinds became a producer by chance one of the projects that Exclusive were involved with suddenly became minus a producer after they walked out, so Hinds was literally thrown in at the deep end and soon found himself to be the new producer for the company and went on to produce over fifty movies for the company. Hinds was also given the task of finding a new studio location for exclusive, because the company realised that studio costs were far too high in relation to the returns they were getting from the movies that they produced. Hinds at first located an unfurnished country residence which was a mansion house at Cookham Dean close to Maidenhead. He began to try and turn the Mansion into a studio for Hammer but their time there was short lived and they produced just four movies whilst there. After Cookham Hinds attempted production at two other country houses but these were also deemed unsuitable. It was at this stage that Hammer films moved back to Elstree studios, and whilst there made another two movies, again Hinds found this to be unsuitable and not in tune with the way in which Hammer wanted to make films. At last Hinds came across Oakley House which was located on the river Thames on the outskirts of Windsor, it was here that Hammer finally settled and eventually it became Bray Studios.
In 1960, Hinds finished his first screenplay which was based upon THE WEREWOLF OF PARIS by Guy Endore, which was eventually brought to the screen as THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF after the success of the production which had been plagued by a number of problems. Hinds decided to scale down his duties as a producer and concentrate more fully on his writing and penned many of Hammers most successful screenplays under the alias of John Elder. In 1969 Hinds decided to retire from Hammer films as an executive and at the age of 46 pursued a life of leisure. He had decided to part company with Hammer after some bad feeling over the series JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN where Hinds found himself replaced as producer by Joan Harrison. This retirement however did not last and Hinds continued to write scripts for Hammer and also for Tyburn films, these included LEGEND OF THE WEREWOLF and THE GHOUL. His last work for the Hammer studio was on the TV series HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR when he wrote the teleplay for A VISITOR FROM THE GRAVE in 1980. He died on September 30th 2013, from Parkinson’s disease.