Derek Malcolm

Film Critic, Hon. Pres International Film Critics Association (Fipresci), Pres. British Federation of Film Societies

Derek Malcolm born in 1932 and was educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford, having been sent to various boarding schools from the age of four. On leaving university, where he studied history, he attempted to get into publishing but couldn’t get a job and instead became an amateur steeplechase rider, winning 13 races over three seasons before trying a professional acting career in the theatre. Later, he became a journalist, being engaged as a showbiz correspondent by the Daily Sketch. From there he went to Cheltenham and worked for the Gloucestershire Echo as general reporter and theatre critic.

In the late fifties, he went to The Guardian in Manchester as an arts page sub-editor under Brian Redhead. A few years later, he moved to The Guardian in London, again as arts sub-editor and was eventually made deputy drama critic to Philip Hope-Wallace, then deputy film critic to Richard Roud. When The Guardian started horse racing, he became the first racing correspondent of the paper until appointed film critic in the early sixties. He remained film critic for over 25 years until his enforced retirement at 65.

A few years later he succeeded Alexander Walker as film critic of the Evening Standard. Earlier this year, he left regular reviewing to become the Standard‘s critic at film festivals. During his time at The Guardian, he won the IPC Critic of the Year title, directed the London Film Festival, became a Governor of the BFI, President of the International Association of Film Critics (Fipresci) and President of the British Federation of Film Societies. He has also served on juries at the three main European Festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Venice, as well as at the Moscow, Istanbul, Goa, Singapore, Chicago, Dinard and Rio Festivals.

He has written three books — Robert Mitchum, 100 Years of Cinema and Family Secrets. The last was a personal memory of his father’s marriage to his mother and the famous case during the First World War during which his father was accused at the Old Bailey of shooting his wife’s lover. In 2001, he was named by an American film trade paper as one of the six most influential film critics in the world.

Outside the world of film, he has been a keen cricketer, tennis and squash player, and was Captain of The Guardian cricket team for some years, touring India, Sri Lanka and California with the team.