Percival Rubens

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Percival Rubens (b. Krugersdorp, 29/12/1928 – d. Johannesburg, 13/06/2009) was a film director and scriptwriter.


Born in Krugersdorp, Percival Philmore Rubens was reportedly trained as an engineer, but like so many other film professionals, began his movie career with Alpha Film Studios in Johannesburg. He is known to have directed a documentary for the South African Railways & Harbours, working with the likes of Ronald Brantford and Grenville Middleton, but his first feature film was The Foster Gang (1964), produced by Pierre de Wet. He usually worked as a freelancer, which probably accounts for his limited output as a feature film director. However, sometimes this also enabled him to work with prominent overseas actors, notably on Mister Kingstreet’s War (1971), which featured John Saxon, Tippi Hedren and Rossano Brazzi. Between 1977 and 1980 he spent some time at Heyns Films, a company for which he completed several television movies. He frequently wrote or contributed to the screenplays of the films he directed. He married Gisela Rothe in 1968.

Note: He used the name Percy Philmore twice, once as editor on The Foster Gang (1964) and again as art director on The Long Red Shadow (1968).



The Boy and the Mountain (short) (1958), The Foster Gang (+ screenplay with Lee Marcus) (1964), The Long Red Shadow (+ screenplay with Lee Marcus) (1968), Strangers at Sunrise (+ screenplay with Lee Marcus) (1969), Mister Kingstreet’s War / Heroes Die Hard (+ screenplay with George Harding) (1971), Die Saboteurs (1974), Mighty Man (1978), The Demon (+ screenplay) (1979), Survival Zone (+ screenplay with Eric Brown) (1982), Hostage (with Hanro Möhr) (1987), Zone / Okavango (1989), Sweet Murder (+ screenplay) (1990).


Call Me Kelly (with Bernard Buys & David Shreeve) (TV series/1977), Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? (TV movie/1979), Kate in the Park (TV movie/1979), We Three Kings (TV movie/1979), Happy Days Are Here Again (TV movie/1980).


Posthumous Golden Horn Lifetime Achievement Award for Direction from SAFTA in 2010.


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm (1982)

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