Nat Gould

His life and books

Walter West 1885-1958

The film director and producer Walter Leonard Alabaster West was born in Cookham, Berkshire on 11 September 1885 and died on 4 March 1958 in London.

He began his career as an actor, but in 1915 started to direct and soon became an important figure in British silent films. He produced his own movies and those of other directors, and owned several production companies, notably the Broadwest Film Company which he started in 1914 with financial assistance from G.T. Broadbridge.

This company began production in a small studio in Esher in Surrey, but in 1916 moved to Wood Street in Walthamstow where it quickly became one of the most important film makers in Britain by its declared policy of filming "all known novels and successful plays featuring many well-known names in the stage world" (1). After talkies arrived Walter West directed only four productions. His last film (2) appeared in 1947 (3).

(1) Rachael Low The History of British Film: Volume II The History of the British Film 1914-1918 (1997) pages 83-85.

(2) The Internet Movie Database

(3) Nat Gould: The Biography by Tom Askey (2017) pages 135-136.