Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1909-05-15
127 Movies · 11 TV Series
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James Neville Mason (; 15 May 1909 – 27 July 1984) was an English actor. Mason is widely considered to be one of the greatest film actors of the 20th century; he achieved considerable success in British cinema before becoming one of Hollywood's biggest stars. He was the top box office attraction in the UK in 1944 and 1945, with notable films including The Seventh Veil (1945) and The Wicked Lady (1945). He starred in Odd Man Out (1947), the first recipient of the BAFTA Award for Best British Film. He starred in a number of successful British and American films from the 1950s to the early 1980s, including The Desert Fox, A Star Is Born, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lolita, North by Northwest, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Bigger Than Life, Julius Caesar, Georgy Girl, Heaven Can Wait, The Boys from Brazil and The Verdict. Mason was nominated for three Academy Awards, three Golden Globes (winning the Golden Globe in 1955 for A Star is Born) and two BAFTA Awards throughout his career. Following his death in 1984, his ashes were interred near the tomb of his close friend, fellow English actor Sir Charlie Chaplin.
Mason was a devoted lover of animals, particularly cats. He and his wife, Pamela Mason, co-authored the book The Cats in Our Lives, which was published in 1949. James Mason wrote most of the book and also illustrated it. In The Cats in Our Lives, he recounted humorous and sometimes touching tales of the cats (as well as a few dogs) he had known and loved. In 1952, Mason purchased a house previously owned by Buster Keaton. He discovered several nitrate film reels of films thought to have been lost, stored in the house and produced by the comedian, such as The Boat. Mason arranged to have the decomposing films transferred to safety stock and thus saved them from oblivion.In his youth, Mason was a keen fan of his local Rugby League team, Huddersfield. In later years he also began to follow the fortunes of Huddersfield Town.Mason was married twice: From 1941 to 1964 to British actress Pamela Mason (née Ostrer) (1916–1996); one daughter, Portland Mason Schuyler (1948–2004), and one son, Morgan (who is married to Belinda Carlisle, the lead singer of the Go-Go's). Pamela Mason was widely reported to be a devotee of the Hollywood social scene and was frequently unfaithful to her husband. Nevertheless, she initiated divorce proceedings against him in 1962, claiming adultery on his part. This led to a $1m divorce settlement, and made a star of her attorney Marvin Mitchelson. Australian actress Clarissa Kaye (1971–his death). Tobe Hooper's DVD commentary for Salem's Lot reveals that Mason regularly worked contractual clauses into his later work guaranteeing Kaye bit parts in his film appearances.Mason's autobiography, Before I Forget, was published in 1981.
Mason was born on 15 May 1909, in Huddersfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the youngest of three boys to Mabel Hattersley (Gaunt) and John Mason where they lived in a house in its own grounds on Croft House Lane in Marsh which was replaced in the mid 1970s by flats called Arncliffe Court. A small residential development opposite where the house once stood is called James Mason Court. His father was a wealthy textile merchant. He was educated at Marlborough College, and earned a first in Architecture at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he became involved in stock theatre companies in his spare time. Mason had no formal training in acting and initially embarked upon it for fun.
Movies & TV Series
1 TV Series
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
A 12 hours miniseries adapted from Anthony Burgess's novel The Kingdom of the Wicked.
The Assisi Underground
This film sheds light on the role of the Catholic Church and the people of Assisi in rescuing Italian Jews from the Nazis in 1943.
The Shooting Party
1913, shortly before the outbreak of WWI. A group of aristocrats gathers at the estate of Sir Randolph Nettleby for a weekend shoot. As the terminal decrepitude of a dying class is reflected in the so...
1 Movie · 1 TV Series
Dr. Fischer of Geneva
Dr. Fischer has an unusual hobby - to expose human greed. How much humiliation will his fellow man endure enticed by valuable presents? Dignity for money! Death for money?
This 1984 miniseries chronicles the life of George Washington, the 1st President of the United States, from age 11 to age 51. Based on the biography by James Thomas Flexner.
5 Movies · 1 TV Series
A behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of 1983's Yellowbeard
The Popes and Their Art
A visit of the art collections of the Vatican Museums with British actor James Mason.
Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
As the Metropolitan Museum of Art closes, Big Bird decides to leave his Sesame Street friends behind in search of Snuffy. Once locked inside for the night, educational hilarity ensues as Big Bird and ...
For years Yellowbeard had looted the Spanish Main, making men eat their lips and swallow their hearts. Caught and convicted for tax evasion, he's sentenced to 20 years in St. Victim's Prison for the E...
A documentary series examining the film making methods and techniques of Charles Chaplin. Featuring previously unseen footage from Chaplin's private film archive.
A Dangerous Summer
Building is Howard's passion, and he is so absorbed in his plans to build an elaborate resort in the Blue Mountains of Australia that he ignores certain obvious signals that his business partner is no...
The Making of Agatha Christie's 'Evil Under the Sun'
Director Guy Hamilton and several of the stars of Agatha Christie's "Evil Under The Sun" walk you through the making of the film.
This is a remake of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. Ivanhoe, a worthy and noble knight, the champion of justice returns to England after the holy wars. He find England under the reign of Prince John and his h...
Evil Under the Sun
Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi....
Frank Galvin is a down-on-his-luck lawyer and reduced to drinking and ambulance chasing, when a former associate reminds him of his obligations in a medical malpractice suit by serving it to Galvin on...
1 Movie · 1 TV Series
Hollywood is a 1980 documentary series produced by Thames Television which explored the establishment and development of the Hollywood studios and its impact on 1920s culture.
North Sea Hijack
When terrorists take over two oil rigs, and threaten to blow them up if their demands are not met, an eccentric anti-terrorism expert volunteers his unique commando unit to stop them.
3 Movies · 1 TV Series
When her father is murdered, a cosmetics heiress becomes the next target of an unknown killer amid the international jet set.
Ben Mears has returned to his hometown to write a book about the supposedly haunted Marsten House. When people around the Marsten House start dying mysteriously, Mears discovers that the owner of the ...
Murder by Decree
Sherlock Holmes is drawn into the case of Jack the Ripper who is killing prostitutes in London's East End. Assisted by Dr. Watson, and using information provided by a renowned psychic, Robert Lees, Ho...
During WW 2, a Basque shepherd is approached by the underground, who wants him to lead a scientist and his family across the Pyrenees. While being pursued by a sadistic German.
The Water Babies
This children's fantasy tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who discovers a complex underwater world where young children are held prisoner by an evil shark and an eel.
Heaven Can Wait
Joe Pendleton is a quarterback preparing to lead his team to the superbowl when he is almost killed in an accident. An overanxious angel plucks him to heaven only to discover that he wasn't ready to d...
The Boys from Brazil
Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman discovers a sinister and bizarre plot to rekindle the Third Reich.
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
Jesus of Nazareth
Dramatizes the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus largely according to the Christian Bible's New Testament Gospels.
Homage to Chagall: The Colours of Love
For over three-quarters of a century, Russian-born Marc Chagall set new standards for modern art with his colorful, heartfelt paintings, murals and stained glass works. In rare filmed interviews and l...
Cross of Iron
It is 1943, and the German army—ravaged and demoralised—is hastily retreating from the Russian front. In the midst of the madness, conflict brews between the aristocratic yet ultimately pusillanimous ...
3 Movies · 1 TV Series
People of the Wind
1976 American documentary film about the Bakhtiari people.
Voyage of the Damned
A luxury liner carries Jewish refugees from Hitler's Germany in a desperate fight for survival.
Origins of the Mafia
Mini series about the origins of the Italian mafia
Fear in the City
The film focuses on Murri; the token maverick cop. He is called in after a bunch of criminals pull off a successful prison break and spend the night picking off various informers and people they don't...
After his son is kidnapped, a millionaire industrialist (James Mason) seeks revenge, in spite of the potential danger that his rash actions will bring about for his child and another kidnapped boy, th...
Autobiography of a Princess
On the birthday of her late father, a deposed Maharaja, a displaced Indian princess living in London and his former private secretary watch home movies and reminisce about royal India.
The Left Hand of the Law
After a couple of 'special squad' cops are gunned down while chasing some kidnappers, the head of the squad takes it really personally! His violent path to find the kidnappers leads him to the upper e...
Telly Savalas is an American ex-WW II POW who returns to Germany 30 years after the war. He teams up with James Mason, the former commander of his prison camp. Together they spring a Nazi war criminal...
The Flower in His Mouth
A female school teacher is implicated in a murder in a Sicilian town only hours after her arrival. The dead man insulted her on the bus on the way into town. As the mystery unfolds, it becomes clear t...
A slave owner in the 1840s trains one of his slaves to be a bare-knuckle fighter.
A small time diamond merchant jumps at the chance to supervise the purchase and cutting of a large first class diamond. But when the diamond is stolen from him, he is blackmailed into pulling off a ma...
Charles Dickens' classic tale of Pip, a poor orphan who befriends an escaped convict and who grows up in the company of a bitter old woman, Miss Havisham, and her haughty young ward, Estella. Pip lear...
The Marseille Contract
An important drug lord settled in Marseille is suspected of having ordered the killing of an American agent, but it is impossible to impute him due to his political influences, so the dead agent's bos...
Frankenstein: The True Story
Victor Frankenstein witnesses his creation turn uncontrollable after he's duped by his associate, Dr. Polidori.
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
Frankenstein: The True Story
Victor Frankenstein witnesses his creation turn uncontrollable after he's duped by his associate, Dr. Polidori.
The MacKintosh Man
A member of British Intelligence assumes a fake criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor; only, someone f...
The Last of Sheila
A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her multimillionaire husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt-style mystery game. The game turns out to ...
Actor James Mason returns to his Huddersfield roots. Harking back to his childhood memories, he remarks how the town has changed and developed but the people have remained the same.
At an exclusive boys' school, a new gym teacher is drawn into a feud between two older instructors, and he discovers that everything at the school is not quite as staid, tranquil and harmless as it se...
During the Korean War, Joe Moran, is convicted for striking a colonel. Imprisoned in Germany he encounters his former company commander Captain Ross, jailed for black marketeering. Together with Ross'...
The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go
An American draft dodger and aspiring writer named Nero Finnigan (Jeff Bridges) becomes involved with the notorious Mr. Go (James Mason), an oriental organized crime mastermind. They conspire to black...
Spring and Port Wine
A stern father and lenient mother try to deal with the ups and downs of their four children's lives in working class Bolton.
The Sea Gull
Film adaptation of Anton Chekhov's story of life in rural Russia during the latter part of the 19th century.
Half-brothers Stefane and Antony despise their biological father, callous millionaire Charles Calvert. Because Charles refuses to share his wealth with his sons, Stefane and Antony ask hip American th...
Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria clashes with his father, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, over implementing progressive policies for their country. Rudolf soon feels he is a man born at the wrong tim...
The London Nobody Knows
Based on Geoffrey Fletcher’s book, this captivating documentary exposes the real London of the swinging sixties. Turning its back on familiar sights, the film explores the hidden details of a crumblin...
John Sawyer, once an eminent barrister, has slid into a life of cynicism and drunkenness since his wife left him. When his daughter's boyfriend is accused of murder, Sawyer decides to try to pull hims...
The Blue Max
A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.
The Deadly Affair
Charles Dobbs is a British secret agent investigating the apparent suicide of Foreign Office official Samuel Fennan. Dobbs suspects that Fennan's wife, Elsa, a survivor of a Nazi Germany extermination...
A homely but vivacious young woman dodges the amorous attentions of her father's middle-aged employer while striving to capture some of the glamorous life of her swinging London roommate.
French novelist Henri-Francois Rey adapted his novel Les Pianos Mecaniques with director Juan Antonio Bardem for this French/Italian/Spanish co-production, set in Spain. Vincent (Hardy Kruger) is reco...
This is the story of the shy Mongol boy Temujin who,during the 13th century, becomes the fearless Mongol leader Genghis Khan that unites all Mongol tribes and conquers India,China,Persia,Korea and par...
After being discredited as a coward, a 19th century seaman (Peter O'Toole) lives for only one purpose: to redeem himself. Based on Joseph Conrad's novel written in 1900.
The Fall of the Roman Empire
Drawn from the same events that later inspired Gladiator, the film charts the power-hungry greed and father-son betrayal that led to Rome's collapse at the bloody hands of the Barbarians.
The Pumpkin Eater
The study of a marriage. Jo has five children and husband number two when she meets writer Jake Armitage. She leaves this husband to marry Jake, and his career takes off. A few years and at least one ...
4 Movies · 1 TV Series
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
A continuation of the dramatic anthology series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, hosted by the master of suspense and mystery.
Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged British novelist who is both appalled by and attracted to the vulgarity of American culture. When he comes to stay at the boarding house run by Charlotte Haze, he soon...
Escape from Zahrain
Yul Brynner plays political leader Sharif who is sprung from a police van on his way to a firing squad by young loyalists led by Sal Mineo. Yul and the other prisoners kidnap an ambulance and head int...
James Mason and John Mills star in this comedy-drama about a tough colonel and a refined captain who clashed during the war, and continue their personal battle in peace-time Tahiti.
A family shipwrecked on an island must deal with escaped convicts and pirates.
The Trials of Oscar Wilde
The flamboyant Victorian wit (Peter Finch) sues the Marquess of Queensberry for a sodomy slur, but it boomerangs.
A Touch of Larceny
After falling in love with an American woman, Virginia Killain, who is engaged to another man, British Naval Commander Max Easton, hatches a plan that will get him enough money to support Virginia in ...
Bigger Than Life
A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.
Susan and Lorenzo have been married for over five years and they are starting to drift apart. So into her life comes an angel, which only Susan can see, to tell her that there will be trouble ahead if...
The Star of Bethlehem
James Mason and his wife Pamela read sections from the bible that lead up to the birth of Jesus. James Mason then visits his daughter in bed and their discussion leads into an enactment of the Nativit...
A Star Is Born
A movie star helps a young singer/actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.
A young Viking prince strives to become a knight in King Arthur"s Court and restore his exiled father to his rightful throne.
A man will go far to find out about life and love... very far indeed!
Based on the story of Australia's colonization, this atmospheric drama stars Alan Ladd as Hugh Tallant, an American medical student falsely convicted of robbery and sent on a torturous voyage with oth...
The Story of Three Loves
Passengers on an ocean liner recall their greatest loves.
The Desert Rats
Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them
The Man Between
"The Man Between" is a 1953 British thriller film directed by Carol Reed and starring James Mason, Claire Bloom, Hildegard Knef and Geoffrey Toone. A British woman on a visit to post-war Berlin is cau...
The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for the idealist and the republic.
The Tell-Tale Heart
One of the most discussed and imaginative cartoons of any era. It tells the famous Edgar Allan Poe story of the deranged boarder who had to kill his landlord, not for greed, but because he possessed a...
Ellis in Freedomland
Westinghouse claims its electric appliances "freed women from the drudgery of housework." The first half involves a dream salesman at work; the second half is focused on the "Spring Sales Event," call...
A pianist takes his ailing wife out of a London hospital at the same time that another female patient there has suffered a miscarriage. Afterwards, the second woman feels empty and withdrawn, and, thi...
Face to Face
Two short films released together under a collective title. The first, "Secret Sharer", directed by John Brahm and starring James Mason, is based on a short story by Joseph Conrad. The second tale, "B...
During WWII the valet to the British Ambassador to Ankara sells British secrets to the Germans while trying to romance a refugee Polish countess.
The Prisoner of Zenda
The classic tale of a king and an everyman switching places.
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
Albert Lewin's interpretation of the legend of the Flying Dutchman. In a little spanish seaport named Esperanza, during the 30s, appears Hendrick van der Zee, the mysterious captain of a yacht (he is ...
The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel
The life and career of Erwin Rommel and his involvement in the plot to assassinate Hitler.
1 Movie · 1 TV Series
One Way Street
After stealing a gangster's money and his girlfriend, a doctor heads for a small village in Mexico to hide out.
What's My Line?
Four panelists must determine guests' occupations - and, in the case of famous guests, while blindfolded, their identity - by asking only "yes" or "no" questions.
The Reckless Moment
A mother attempts to protect her murderous daughter.
It was Leonora Eames' childhood dream come true. She had married Smith Ohlrig, a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a nightmare once she realizes the truth about her husband - he is pow...
East Side, West Side
A New Yorker's (James Mason) mistress (Ava Gardner) drives his wife (Barbara Stanwyck) to a war hero; then someone kills the mistress.
Based on the French literary classic, this drama presents author Gustave Flaubert narrating his tale of infidelity and narcissism. After marrying small-town doctor Charles Bovary, Emma becomes tired o...
The Upturned Glass
A neurosurgeon tells his students a story about an affair he had with a married woman and how after the affair was over, the woman fell out of a window and died. The surgeon suspected that she was mur...
Odd Man Out
Belfast police conduct a door-to-door manhunt for an IRA gunman wounded in a daring robbery.
They Were Sisters
Director Arthur Crabtree's 1945 British drama, about three sisters and their very different marriages, stars Phyllis Calvert, Anne Crawford, Dulcie Gray, James Mason, Hugh Sinclair, Peter Murray-Hill ...
The Seventh Veil
A concert pianist with amnesia fights to regain her memory.
The Wicked Lady
A married woman finds new thrills as a masked robber on the highways.
A Place of One's Own
An elderly couple move into an old, supposedly haunted abandoned house. A young girl comes to live with the pair as a companion for the wife. However, soon the girl is possessed by the spirit of anoth...
Fanny by Gaslight
Returning to 1870's London after finishing at boarding school, Fanny winesses the death of her father in a fight with Lord Manderstoke. She then finds that her family has for many years been running a...
A hunt for a spy, in an hotel in the South of France just before World War Two.
Candlelight in Algeria
Candlelight in Algeria is a 1944 British war film directed by George King and starring James Mason, Carla Lehmann and Raymond Lovell. This drama follows the exploits of Eisenhower's top aide, Mark Cla...
The Man in Grey
After marrying a dour and disinterested lord for status, a young woman falls in love with a stage actor while her best friend from boarding school enters an affair with her husband.
The Bells Go Down
Comedian Tommy Trinder plays it straight in this tribute to the wartime AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service). The dedicated band who kept the fires of London under control during the blitz and fire bombings o...
They Met in the Dark
A Royal navy Commander is tricked by a pretty girl who is working for the Nazis. She tricks him into revealing some military secrets and he is court martial. He vows to track her and her accomplices d...
David Charleston, once a world renowned journalist, now lives alone maintaining the Thunder Rock lighthouse in Lake Michigan. He doesn't cash is paychecks and has no contact other than the monthly ins...
In 1930s France a bar hostess (Margaret Lockwood) helps a man (James Mason) prove himself innocent of murder.
The Night Has Eyes
Two teachers, man-hungry Doris and restrained Marian, visit the Yorkshire moors a year after friend Evelyn disappeared there. On a stormy night, they take refuge in the isolated cottage of Stephen, on...
The year is 1880. On the outskirts of the fictional small Scottish town of Levenford there stands a strange building, half cottage, half castle, embraced with thick stone walls. The townsfolk nickname...
World War II drama in which a member of the French Resistance and three British agents undertake a hazardous mission to infiltrate a German HQ in search of vital information that could lead to the ove...
The Mill on the Floss
Romeo and Juliet in 1930s England. The owner of the mill and the local lord are in conflict over water rights. The lord wins threatening the mill owner with financial ruin.
Fire Over England
The film is a historical drama set during the reign of Elizabeth I (Flora Robson), focusing on the English defeat of the Spanish Armada, whence the title. In 1588, relations between Spain and England ...
Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel
Sir Percy is forced to return to France one last time, to rescue his wife from the clutches of the sinister Robespierre. It clearly is a trap, but nothing will keep the good old Pimpernel from carryin...
The High Command
A general must come to terms with a crime he commited years earlier.
Blind Man's Bluff
A formerly blind scientist continues to feign his condition in order to thwart his philandering wife's romantic plans.
A British secret service agent falls in love with the daughter of a leading London criminal, and soon after becoming involved with her father finds himself in prison facing a charge of manslaughter..
James Mason is teamed up once again with Virginia Cherill whom he appeared with in his debut film, 'Late Extra'. He plays a government agent (John Merriman) who makes a few enquiries and follows leads...
Secret of Stamboul
Secret of Stamboul is a 1936 British thriller film, taken from the novel The Eunuch of Stamboul by Dennis Wheatley, directed by Andrew Marton and starring Valerie Hobson, James Mason and Frank Vosper....