Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson are returning to London from Bucharest after the great detective has interceded in a delicate matter relating to the Rumanian Royal House. As they depart from Bucharest they receive their mail forwarded from London. Doctor Watson opens a distressing letter from his niece, Mina, now living in Budapest with her young husband, Janos, a newly qualified lawyer. It seems that the young man has not returned from a business assignment in Transylvania. Holmes advises that he and Watson should postpone their return to Baker Street. Watson wires ahead and they are met at the station by Mina and her friend, Lucy Westenra. Holmes is duly intrigued by their stay overnight at the home of Dr Westenra in the grounds of the asylum of which Dr Westenra is the Administrator. Holmes suspects that letters from the young lawyer may have been forged, or written under duress. Next day they set off for Castle Dracula.
You host John Rakestraw talks with author, film maker and legend Gerry O’Hara, he is a raconteur and a teller of tales.
“A writer who did a bit of directing,” is Gerry O’Hara’s modest description of his 50-year career in film and television.
His career has spanned a good 70 years and started by covering the deaths and weddings as a cub reporter all the way through to a new career as an author.
He was lucky enough to go to a great university. His professors were a formidable array of major movie directors. Carol Reed, who Gerry assisted on two big movies, regarded it as his duty to teach his assistants how to direct. Carol planted the first seed and found him a novel to adapt and direct later on. Others among his mentors were Laurence Olivier, Vincent Minelli, Otto Preminger, Anatole Litvak, Robert Rossen and Tony Richardson.
After directing a B picture ‘quickie’ in 17 days, Gerry took to writing ‘spec’ scripts and pedalling them around the studios until, by subterfuge, he got his first writing and directing stint off the ground.
The BFI’s Film Dope describes his career as “the sort of CV where the concepts of artist and artisan ebb and flow into each other across a pleasingly incongruous collection of movies … the quintessence of a freelance British directors output.”
Moving into TV he directed for The Avengers, Hammer House of Horror and Man in a Suitcase. He became Story Editor and contributing writer for The Professionals, Cats Eyes, and the Australian series Special Squad. He wrote the adaptation of the book Operation Julie, which played over three consecutive nights, a first in British TV, watched by an audience of thirteen million viewers.
The irrepressive O’Hara is now embarking on a new career as an author. In the next year, he will be publishing at least three books.