Joseph Losey

Joseph Walton Losey III
b. January 14, 1909, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
d. June 22, 1984, London, England

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Sometimes one has to choose between good taste and being a human being.

—Robert Mitchum in Secret Ceremony (1968)

Joseph Losey remains a highly controversial figure. Claiming him as a great director or, even worse, as an important artist might draw chuckles in some quarters, even if some of his films, like The Servant (1963), are regularly taught in cinema study classes. His reputation has suffered because many of his early films, which are among his best work, are obscure and hard to see, while the glossy misfires of his later years, such as The Assassination of Trotsky (1972) and Roads to the South (1978), are readily available. Adding insult to injury is a pair of films that must count as two of the worst movies of all time: Modesty Blaise (1966) and Steaming (1985). Then there are his two lunatic Elizabeth Taylor ventures, Boom! (1968) and Secret Ceremony, both of which have attained a high camp status since their release. How can the man who made those films be a great director?

The man who made those films, in fact, was a great director. It’s only when you look closely at the first half of his career that you begin to realize what an important figure Losey is. He directed at least half a dozen beautiful films, most of the time battling bad scripts, miscast actors and his own intellectual uncertainty. Like any first class film director, he found depth in even the most absurd situations. Losey was a vulgar artist, and he used his vulgarity as a piercing spotlight on human relationships. Many of his best films, like The Sleeping Tiger (1954) and Secret Ceremony, are hilariously “bad,” but Losey’s electric instincts thrust them up into the domain of exciting art.

The dominant themes of Losey’s eclectic work are emotional instability, emotional and physical violence and perverse sexual power plays. There is not one conventional love story in his films. He has a mania for settings that express states of mind, and his camera movements are always abnormally sensitive and skittish. He has been attacked as a case of style over substance, but this misses the point. If Losey had been a writer his deficiencies would make him a minor figure, but he was from first to last a film director, and, at least for directors who don’t write their own material, style is substance. Circumstances beyond his control (the Hollywood blacklist and heavy British taxation) forced Losey to wander, and this wreaked havoc on his already nervy, vulnerable style. Constant uprooting meant that he never really had time to settle down and concentrate for an extended period on any particular place. He grappled with America, understood England down to the ground and largely passed on France.

The Boy with Green Hair

Joseph Losey made his first feature film, The Boy with Green Hair (1948), when he was close to 40 years old. The years before Green Hair are somewhat barren, though there is information, as far as it goes. He was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and seems to have admired his impoverished father and despised his sexually predatory mother. Like so many people, Losey did a lot of lying and exaggerating about his past, which makes for a real mess of contradictory data. In David Caute’s bitchy but invaluable biography, Joseph Losey: A Revenge on Life, sister Mary Losey disputed many of her brother’s stories. Losey moved to New York early on and was heavily involved in the radical theater of the 1930s, directing many agit-prop plays. Like so many artists working during the Depression, Losey felt that Communism was the only humane political choice. Unlike Elia Kazan, he never repudiated these early ties yet, on occasion, he was willing to sell out his principles for money. He made some short films, many of them commercials for large companies. Throughout his life, Losey referred to himself as a “romantic Marxist,” (1) yet he saw no apparent contradiction between politically motivated left-wing theater and short movies boosting big business.

The Boy with Green Hair was an allegory about war and intolerance produced by Dore Schary, a cornball fellow who liked to make little “message” pictures. Many of Schary’s other productions have dated, but The Boy with Green Hair survives well, though it takes a bit too much on its shoulders. It’s an extreme attack on conformity, staunchly anti-war and anti-nuclear. Whilst Fritz Lang undoubtedly influenced his handling of mob scenes, Losey differs from Lang in his volatile identification with his characters. The scene that sticks in this respectable debut is the one where Dean Stockwell, such a touchingly serious child, is forced to give up his individuality, his green hair, in order to please the people of the small town he lives in. Though restrained, the scene is almost tragic, and Losey puts all of his energy behind it. Already he was showing his talent for emotional collisions that cut to the bone without caution.

The Lawless (1949), Losey’s next film, is the kind of work he might have staged in the ’30s, a story about Mexican workers falsely accused of a crime. The high point of The Lawless is when Losey ditches the dull script and lacklustre acting and makes a purely visual point. The gathering together of an angry mob is portrayed abstractly: feet invade the top of the empty frame and gradually fill it up to the bursting point. This shot effectively illustrates the fact that a mob is a large clump of enraged energy that obliterates the individuality of its various members. Losey disliked naturalism and was always striving for symbolic effects such as this. The director’s hatred for the mob in The Lawless reaches fever pitch when they trash a reporter’s room, throwing books and typewriters. He portrays small town America, which he knew and loathed in La Crosse, as suspicious of words and ideas and intrinsically violent. Only feathery Larry Wilder (Macdonald Carey) stands up to them. When one of the accused workers hears of Wilder’s bravery, he says, “He sounds like a good man. Well, you meet one once and a while.” This line represents Losey perfectly: pessimistic to the point of burn out, yet reluctantly ready to acknowledge the small good in the world.

When he was exiled in England and wanted to show prospective producers what he could do, Losey would screen his next film, The Prowler (1951), which he was proud of. Though well shot, it’s not a particularly convincing film. Webb Garwood (Van Heflin), a lonely cop, unhappy with his job, falls in with failed actress Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes). They begin an affair and he shoots her husband, gets away with it, and marries her. Wickedly, Losey shoots their wedding in one take, on a crane, with a funeral taking place across the street. The story is improbable and Keyes is poor, but Losey transcends these limitations in the last third of the film, where the couple is holed up in a lonely ghost town out in the Mojave Desert. The Prowler doesn’t quite work but, like his first two films, it has moments of surprising angry power.


That same year Losey made the first of his great films, a miracle considering the odds stacked against him. He hadn’t wanted to do a remake of Fritz Lang’s M (1931), but shaky finances forced him to accept the assignment. As though doing a new version of an established classic weren’t enough to breed insecurity, Losey chose David Wayne, a light comedian, for the Peter Lorre child murderer role. A travesty should have resulted; instead a masterpiece came into being, slightly inferior to Lang’s version, but not by much.

The beginning of M bristles with tension, as Wayne’s kid killer finds his next victim. Losey begins in an incredibly high key, and, unafraid of falling on his face, he merely goes higher and higher. The political machine and the police in San Francisco are viewed with a jaundiced eye, and the civilians aren’t so appealing either. “The child was wearing a red dress,” reports one woman. “What are you, a Communist?” asks another lady (she isn’t kidding.) More obviously than in Lang’s version, the killer is depicted as a manifestation of the sickness of society, eliciting more sympathy for the character. There are some missteps and implausibilities (par for the Losey course, I’m afraid), but they are wiped away by the power of the ending, one of the classic examples of Losey’s ability to make a setting express character.


The mob catches Wayne and keeps him in an underground garage. The sense of entrapment that Losey creates in this low-ceilinged environment is a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare—he lets loose with a veritable symphony of ominous sound effects and visual straight-jackets, like an opera singer hitting one high C after another. The killer has a long speech about why he murders the children: he believes the world is evil and that he has to do awful things so that he can be punished—only after being punished can he be good. Wayne, who was best known as the fey next-door neighbor in George Cukor’s Adam’s Rib (1949), delivers this complex speech superbly (Losey reports that when he finished the cast and crew burst into applause.) (2) M is the culmination of Losey’s undervalued Hollywood work, a dissection of American society that stands up as one of the best films of the 1950s.

The Big Night (1951) is a psychologically messy coming of age story with an affecting performance from John Barrymore Jr (son of John, father of Drew.) One blistering scene in The Big Night highlights Losey’s social conscience: a troubled Barrymore visits a nightclub and is overwhelmed by a harsh-voiced, sleepy-eyed female black singer. Outside the club, Barrymore tells her how moved he was by her singing, and she responds gratefully. “And you’re so beautiful,” he says, “even if you are a…” Losey cuts to the singer’s face as she silently absorbs his insult. Then he cuts back to Barrymore, who is mortified. It’s a sign of Losey’s talent that he makes you feel sorry for both of them.

Stranger on the Prowl (1952) was a relative disaster due to external pressures. Losey was forced to leave America after refusing to inform on his friends to the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a sign of his ultimate integrity. Thus began a long exile in England; he never shot another film in the USA.

The Sleeping Tiger was his first film shot under a pseudonym (Victor Hanbury was the name credited.) Considering what he’d just been through, and the basic material he had to work with, it is to his credit that Losey was able to come up with another whopper, a masterpiece that argues that as far as film directing is concerned, style is content. It inaugurated his baroque period with a vengeance. Tiger is a film of such blithe absurdity, such fearsome energy, that it’s like a fever dream—you can’t take your eyes off of it. Its basic plot is ridiculous: Dirk Bogarde plays Frank Clemmons, a baby-faced criminal who tries to rob distinguished psychoanalyst Dr. Esmond (Alexander Knox). A progressive man, Esmond decides to rehabilitate the criminal in his own home. While there, Clemmons, wearing one of the highest pompadours in film history, begins a passionate affair with Knox’s wife Glenda (Alexis Smith giving the performance of her life.) Warming up for The Servant, Bogarde-as-Clemmons trips the family maid and then bullies her, rather upsettingly. Glenda is quite turned on by his sadism, and this brings out Losey’s new interest in sexual perversity, which will continue for the rest of his career. His constant use of mirror shots begins here as well (a former girlfriend reported that Losey would only make love in front of a mirror.) (3) Nothing else Losey made is as much sheer cinematic fun as The Sleeping Tiger—it’s an orgy of style.

The next few films he made are not among Losey’s best. The Intimate Stranger (1956), made under the name Alec C. Snowden, has some sour things to say about the modesty of British film production. Time Without Pity (1957) is strenuous and forced, dominated by frenzied acting and a loud score. Losey’s high-on-the-hog pacing finally grows wearying—you wish all the actors would calm down and stop shouting so loudly. The Gypsy and The Gentlemen (1957) is a fine Regency picturesque in color that Losey later disowned. It features the alarming Melina Mercouri, eyes flashing, stunning horses with her hideous laughter, turning the trite story into camp. Only a Luis Buñuel could redeem something like Gypsy, and there’s even some dialogue about how idiotic the story is, so at least most of the participants were in on the joke. Class divisions rack the failed love affair at the core of Losey’s next film, Blind Date (1959), a step forward which epitomized the director’s skill at exposing the hurt feelings hiding underneath an overdone genre plot.

With The Criminal (1960), Losey gained a mature modicum of control, though his visual ideas were as vital and vulgar as ever. His command of atmosphere and his ability to build tension are outstanding here—he even uses some cockeyed German Expressionist angles. The bursts of violence in The Criminal are orgasmic in their surety, in their explosive feeling of energy at last unleashed. Some scenes spill over the top, making an unconvincing mess, yet mournful soundtrack jazz and winter landscapes signal a darkening of Losey’s consciousness. He leaps onto theatrical moments and is unafraid to hold long takes; this works especially well during an aria delivered by a prison inmate about the madness and solitude of penal life. From his lead, tough-sexy Stanley Baker, Losey gets an exceptional performance.

The Damned

The Damned (1962) is a film of its time, a sincere and outraged portrait of a world on the verge of apocalypse, only partially compromised by a science fiction plot involving radioactive kids. It begins with a catchy song called “Black Leather,” as Simon (Macdonald Carey) is tempted by Joan (Shirley Anne Field) and beat up by her brother King (Oliver Reed). The Damned then builds to the finest scene of Losey’s career, a confrontation between Viveca Lindfors’ sculptress Freya and Reed’s destructive thug King. At first King toys with this controlled cultured lady, and you can see that Freya thinks she’s handling a dicey situation quite well. But fear starts to overtake her sang-froid when her work is threatened. King looks at her sculptures in exactly the way the townspeople regard the newspaper office in The Lawless, with suspicion and philistine contempt. When he destroys one of her pieces, she attacks him, and he sneers, “I enjoyed it my lady!” Devastated, Freya howls, “I don’t believe you!” This reaction is especially disturbing because of Freya’s woman-of-the-world stances earlier in the film. She seems sophisticated and calm, as if she could withstand anything, but she is simply not ready for genuine sadism. Losey proves he is an artist with this unforgettably painful scene—it is the culmination of so many of his themes and concerns.

Jeanne Moreau in Eve

At this point, Losey stopped toiling in obscurity and began to be taken up by the international film community. This attention, especially by overly adoring French film critics, effected a general coarsening of his talent. As if reacting to all the kudos, he took a chance and made Eve (1962), a fragmented plunge into decadence dominated by a purely instinctual star performance from Jeanne Moreau in the title role.

Of all his films, Eve is the most personal, a daring admission of inadequacy and sexual ambiguity. It centers on an acclaimed writer, Tyvian (Stanley Baker), who knows he’s a fraud, perhaps underlining Losey’s own doubts and fears about himself. (Though he had a large ego, Losey must have wondered sometimes whether he really had anything to say.) In its way, Eve is similar to 8 1/2 (1963), but it is more exploratory than Fellini’s film—it’s a disoriented stew in which fear of women and dread of homosexuality are only two of the many strands. Harsh black and white contrasts show a debt to Erich Von Stroheim—the scene where Eve whips Tyvian out of the house is almost an homage to Seena Owen’s mad monarch in Queen Kelly (1929). Moreau’s trollop knows that Tyvian is a masochist who needs her contempt to assuage his guilt, and she clearly enjoys torturing him. Moreau herself risks absurdity in ten-minute blocs where Losey keeps his camera on her and lets her create.

“Losey gave me total freedom,” said Moreau, when I interviewed her. “We worked long before we started shooting. We knew where this woman came from, we knew where she was born, and what happened to her. With a great director like Losey, you don’t speak when you shoot. We created Eve together.” (4) If, finally, Eve is a film about being in love with Jeanne Moreau, this is not an unusual occurrence in the exotic world of ’60s art films. Eve is an endlessly fascinating mess, Losey’s one truly personal, mysterious film, crassly cut by its producers, two more thugs bashing in one of Freya’s sculptures.

The Servant

After that, Losey became embroiled with Harold Pinter, who wrote three screenplays for the director, the first of which was The Servant, a film that consolidated his reputation. Many critics have expressed confusion about the film, especially its ending, but to my mind it is fairly simple. From the moment the man-servant Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) sees Tony (James Fox) sleeping in his big opulent house, he wants to have him. Sexually? Most likely. But mainly he just wants to be his wife, a goal he achieves rather quickly. Barrett hates women, even if he is sexually drawn to them, as is demonstrated by a long scene in a telephone booth—some girls want to use the phone and he contemptuously looks at their legs while he is talking. “Hurry up!” mouths one of them. When he leaves the booth, he says, “Get out of my way you bitch,” nastily, for no apparent reason.

Losey had four wives, two of which he omitted entirely when talking to interviewers. Like Nicholas Ray, he was able to view both men and women sexually, to the benefit of his films. His bisexuality has been hinted at by people who knew him. Michael Sayers, a distinguished playwright and screenwriter, told me that he used to have Losey and Bogarde over for dinner in the ’50s and that, to him, they were very definitely a couple. “Dirk was good for Joe, though he treated him badly in the end,” he reported. (5) If true, this relationship is key to Losey’s use of Bogarde, especially in The Servant. It’s clear that Barrett sleeps with tempting Vera (Sarah Miles), but his manner with her is light and casual, whereas with Tony he is as calculating and demanding as any woman who wants to trap a man. Barrett uses Vera and other women to keep Tony in check so that he can have him for himself.

In the final analysis, The Servant is a struggle between Bogarde’s seedy valet Barrett and Wendy Craig’s fiancée Susan over a passive love object, weak aristocrat Tony. At the end, when Susan kisses Barrett, the film reaches a nightmarish peak. The real climax, though, is when she slaps him, feebly, and he reacts with shame. The slap seems to chasten Barrett precisely because it is so ineffectual and defeated—a complicated exchange to put across, and easy to miss. The Servant is a murky theatrical dungeon traveling towards that brief moment of conscience which Barrett experiences after he is slapped. If this terrific movie is finally more Pinter than Losey, careful viewing results in a deeper understanding of the ambiguous sexuality Losey only hinted at in Eve.

Modesty Blaise

Unfortunately, a real decline set in after this triumph. King and Country (1964) is a small, conventional war story diminished by comparison to Stanley Kubrick’s more developed Paths of Glory (1957). Modesty Blaise (1966) is a shockingly stupid spy spoof, the only Losey film that feels like a commercial necessity. His next Pinter project, Accident (1967), though revered by many critics, is a self-conscious art film with a sexy veneer—it evaporates off the screen. Everything about it is oblique, glancing and empty.

Whereupon Losey made his two Liz Taylor movies, Great Vulgar Director meets Great Vulgar Actress. Boom! is a film much beloved by John Waters and other devotees of bad cinema, an adaptation of Tennessee Williams that really isn’t all that bad. Taylor is too young to play the dying Mrs. Goforth, a drag queen role, but she has the shrill bitchiness required. Losey pans around her gigantic home, trying to locate meaning, while Liz, wearing a headdress that looks like a small Japanese village, invites the Witch of Capri (Noel Coward) to dine and does some Kabuki for him. Richard Burton plays Taylor’s “Angel of Death,” and he frequently intones, “Boom! The sound of the sea!” For all its unintentional humor, and far-out miscasting, Boom! is actually a fairly good adaptation of a beautiful late Williams play.

Secret Ceremony, however, is in a class all by itself. It is much funnier than either Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959) or Leo McCarey’s Duck Soup (1933) and rewards multiple viewings. For the first reel or so, motherless Cenci (Mia Farrow, wearing a long black Cousin It wig) and childless streetwalker Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor) hypnotize each other wordlessly. Cenci leads Leonora back to her huge empty mansion and feeds her at length. Leonora scarves down sausages and croissants and lets out a hearty belch. They start screaming at each other, then climb into a bathtub and grapple over a rubber ducky. Leonora then invades the wardrobe of Cenci’s dead mother disastrously; the biggest laugh in the film is when she walks out in a not-to-be-believed purple velvet outfit fit for Miss Piggy. Then randy stepfather Albert (Robert Mitchum) gets into the act, wearing a beard that looks like it hooks behind his ears. It’s a perfect film for Mitchum, who gets to be menacing and send up his lines. He defiles Cenci, who prances about with a demented smile for most of the running time. Albert then confronts Leonora, who wants to shield her young charge from his wicked Humbert Humbert ways. “You look more like a cow than my late wife,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fond of cows. Mooooo!” Understandably distraught, Leonora tries and fails to save Cenci, who overdoses on pills. Losey then cuts to Christ on the cross! Leonora stabs Albert over Cenci’s coffin, then goes back to her old apartment, muttering a fable about two mice falling into milk. Secret Ceremony is a film that is so bad, so irredeemably, lovably foolish, that it provides the sort of life-embracing laughs many comedies fail to engender. I have shown it on successive nights to large groups of people and all of them laugh uproariously throughout. Is there room to include such a film among a great director’s great works? Unless we are unnecessarily stuffy, which would miss the point of his career entirely, the answer has to be yes.

The Go-Between

The Go-Between (1971), his last collaboration with Pinter, is also his last great film, a haunting adaptation of L.P. Hartley’s novel. Michel Legrand’s driving music for The Go-Between is one of the all-time best film scores, as important in its way as Bernard Herrmann’s score for Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)—it adds emotion where it is sorely needed. In this film Losey makes the most effective use of zooms imaginable, and he takes his time, accumulating small details. Aside from its intelligence and insight, however, it hardly seems to be a Losey film—it is evocative, judicious, perfectly cast, but rather cautious.

1972’s The Assassination of Trotsky is an almost uniquely unappealing movie. The camerawork is uncertain and modish, and Richard Burton is ludicrously miscast as the Russian exile. Losey seems to be trying to mask his indifference to the subject by retreating into a numb loftiness. He ran afoul of feminists Jane Fonda and Delphine Seyrig during the making of A Doll’s House (1973), which, sadly, is inferior to the Claire Bloom version directed by Patrick Garland in the same year. The film is so bleached out with natural light that you can barely see the actors sometimes, and Losey shows no sympathy for the material.

In 1974 he fulfilled a lifelong dream by shooting Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo, which he had staged in the late ’40s, for Ely Landau’s American Film Theatre project, but drink and age were catching up to him. The Romantic Englishwoman (1975), starring Glenda Jackson and Michael Caine, was strangely enervated in spite of the stars’ lively sniping at each other with Tom Stoppard’s lines. Mr. Klein (1976), though acclaimed by some, is a laborious tale of the French Occupation told at a funereal pace. The customary nervousness of his camera had turned clumsy and awkward by this point.

La Truite

There’s neither style nor conviction in Roads to the South, which is very similar to Luchino Visconti’s Conversation Piece (1974) in its political disillusionment and scant content. Losey tried opera with Don Giovanni (1979), and pulled off a fairly ravishing, though uncharacteristic, show. (He’d never seen Giovanni performed when he was asked to do the film, and on the whole the movie feels too dutiful.) La Truite (1982) is nearly a return to form, what with its prowling opening sequence at a bowling alley and the Eve-like sexual opportunism of its lead, deadly blank Isabelle Huppert. It contains a useful declaration of principles in regards to Losey-sexuality, appropriately mouthed by Jeanne Moreau: “Nowadays, heterosexuality and homosexuality mean nothing—you’re either sexual or you’re not,” she says. The film meanders around Japan, a country that seems to have interested Losey, but La Truite’s disparate elements never quite add up to anything.

Unfortunately, Losey ended his career with his worst film, Steaming (1985), a catastrophic adaptation of a bad play with a script by his fourth wife Patricia Losey. Only the fact that Losey was in ill health at the time can possibly excuse a movie this ghastly. It features a cast of women, including Sarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave, who divulge intimate details at the drop of a towel—even the Lifetime network would flinch away from this stuff. With this completely uncharacteristic work, Losey finished his maddeningly uneven career. These last fifteen years or so make for a melancholy afterthought to such auspicious beginnings, and these poor films have permanently marked Losey’s reputation. Far more damning in its way, Caute’s voluminous biography lists, in tedious detail, his many shortcomings as a man. “A bit of an old misery, an unhappy person,” said cinematographer Freddie Francis. (6)

Most accounts paint Joseph Losey as almost always rude and ungenerous, a man who made many enemies and, worst of all, a man who badmouthed almost all of his actors. Perhaps he was not as smart as he thought he was. The psychological notes he kept on his characters reveal a somewhat shallow mind. In the interviews he gave, there is a strong whiff of the charlatan. Looking at the evidence, one can only assume that too much critical acclaim crippled his instincts and made his talent self-conscious. He seems so bored with the films of his last years, so passionately committed to the movies up to and including The Servant. “Do you really think he is a great director?” asked a colleague of mine, when I was starting on this piece. After a hesitation, I replied, “Yes.” We might hesitate over Joseph Losey, but we cannot deny that his best work, so wounded, so angry, so filled with crazed brio, so bold, emotional and unashamed, places him securely in the pantheon of great film directors.

Joseph Losey


Pete Roleum and His Cousins (1939) short

A Child Went Forth (1940) short

Youth Gets a Break (1940) short

A Gun in His Hand (1945) short

The Boy with Green Hair (1948)

The Lawless (1949)

The Prowler (1951)

M (1951)

The Big Night (1951)

Stranger on the Prowl (1952)

The Sleeping Tiger (1954) made under the name Victor Hanbury

The Man on the Beach (1955) short

The Intimate Stranger (1956) made under the name Alec C. Snowden; known as Finger of Guilt in the USA

Time Without Pity (1957)

The Gypsy and the Gentleman (1957)

Blind Date (1959) known as Chance Meeting in the USA

The Criminal (1960) known as The Concrete Jungle in the USA


The Damned (1962)

Eve (1962) known as Eva in the USA

The Servant (1963)

King and Country (1964)

Modesty Blaise (1966)

Accident (1967)

Boom! (1968)

Secret Ceremony (1968)

Figures in a Landscape (1970)

The Go-Between (1971)

The Assassination of Trotsky (1972)

A Doll’s House (1973)

Galileo (1974)

The Romantic Englishwoman (1975)

On the set of King and Country. Losey (right)

Mr. Klein (1976)

Les Routes du Sud (Roads to the South) (1978)

Don Giovanni (1979)

Boris Godunov (1980, video)

La Truite (The Trout) (1982)

Steaming (1985)

Select Bibliography

James Palmer and Michael Riley, The Films of Joseph Losey, Cambridge University Press, 1993

David Caute, Joseph Losey: A Revenge on Life, Oxford University Press, 1994

Michel Ciment, Conversations with Losey, Routledge Kegan and Paul, 1985

Foster Hirsch, Joseph Losey, Twayne Publications, 1980

Edith De Rahm, Joseph Losey: An American Director in Exile, Pharos Books, 1995

Edith De Rahm, Joseph Losey, Deutsch, 1991

Articles in Senses of Cinema

Cold, Cold Heart: Joseph Losey’s The Damned and the Compensations of Genre by David Sanjek

Losey Revisited by James Leahy

Unkind Cuts: Joseph Losey’s Eve by Geoff Gardner

Eve: Sinfully Underrated by Megan Ratner

Web Resources

Compiled by Albert Fung

Film Directors: Articles on the Internet
Links to several online Losey articles here.

Click here to search for Joseph Losey DVDs, videos and books at


  1. David Caute, Joseph Losey: A Revenge on Life, Oxford University Press, 1994
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Jeanne Moreau to Dan Callahan, November 7, 2001
  5. Michael Sayers to Dan Callahan, November 18, 2002
  6. Caute, op cit.

About The Author

Dan Callahan is a writer based in New York City. He contributes film reviews to Time Out New York, Stage Press and other publications.