George Canes

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George Canes (b. 18/03/1930 – d. Johannesburg, 18/11/1996). Director, set designer, occasional actor. The son of Maurits Canes, a Dutch-born diamond cutter who came to South Africa in 1927, George Canes first appeared on the film scene when he played Tokolos in Pierre D. Botha’s Die Goddelose Stad (1958). At the time there was some talk of him directing a feature about prostitution in Johannesburg, but this project didn’t come off the ground. Instead he took small parts in a number of films and also acted in a stage production of The Andersonville Trial put on by the Johannesburg Reps in 1962. However, his main interest was set design and he worked with a number of local directors, including Gordon Vorster, Pierre de Wet, Jan Perold and David Millin. He also wrote and directed two features himself – Pressure Burst (1971) and Next Stop Makouvlei (1972) – as well as a number of documentaries. In addition he was art director on films shot in South Africa by visiting filmmakers. When television finally came to South Africa in 1976, he directed series such as Drome Van Gruis (1981) and Witgoud (1985). (FO)


Stage director

Four O'Clock Noon (1959); Dark of the Moon (1964, 1986); Seidman and Son (1968)

Film Director

Radio Bantu: Republic of South Africa (documentary/1969), Pressure Burst (feature/1971), Bantu Toddlers (documentary/1971), Journey to the Sun (documentary/1971), Clifton – a day (documentary1972), Next Stop Makouvlei (feature/1972), The Yellow Cardigan (documentary/197*)

Production Designer/Art Director

Basie (with William Hart) (Gordon Vorster/1961), En die Vonke Spat (with William Hart) (Gordon Vorster/1961), Die Tweede Slaapkamer (Gordon Vorster/1961), As Ons Twee Eers Getroud Is! (Jan Perold/1962), Jy’s Lieflik Vanaand (Gordon Vorster/1962), Century of Achievement (documentary) (Raymond Hancock/1962), Die Ruiter in die Nag (Jan Perold/1963), Piet My Niggie (Jan Perold/1965), Seven Against the Sun (David Millin/1964), Kick or Die (Charles H. Norton/1987), It’s Murphy’s Fault (Robert J. Smawley/1988), Captive Rage (Cedric Sundström/1988), Ten Little Indians (Alan Birkinshaw/1989), Crossing the line (Gary Graver/1989)


Pressure Burst (1971), Next Stop Makouvlei (1972), Rhino (with Heather Capon) (Ronnie Isaacs/1984)


Die Goddelose Stad (Pierre D. Botha/1958), Hou die Blink Kant Bo (uncredited) (Emil Nofal/1960), Basie (Gordon Vorster/1961), Die Tweede Slaapkamer (Gordon Vorster/1962), Majuba: Heuwel van Duiwe (David Millin/1968), Tant Ralie se Losieshuis (Dirk de Villiers/1974), It’s Murphy’s Fault (uncredited) (Robert J. Smawley)

Television Director

Takkie se Wêreld (1979), Drome van Gruis (1981), The Green & Gold Hero (1982), Witgoud (1985)


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm

Arts Theatre Club archive held by George Mountjoy.

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