Ivor Montagu was born in 1905 and grew up at Townhill Park House, the seat of his banker father, the second Baron Swaythling. His grandfather, Samuel Montagu, the first Baron Swaythling, lived at South Stoneham House until his death in 1911. Ivor was educated at Westminster School and King’s College, Cambridge where he became interested in film making. After leaving Cambridge he helped found the London Film Society with the aim of showing good commercially-unknown films. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and this brought him into contact with Russian film directors, including Sergei Eisenstein whom he accompanied to America in 1930. He also collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on a number of films in the 1920s and 1930s. During World War Two he made a series of documentaries for the Ministry of Information. After the war he worked as a film critic for the Observer and the New Statesman. In 1948, his work with movie producer Michael Balcon led him to become associate producer at Ealing Studios. He co-wrote Scott of the Antarctic in the same year.
He was a keen sportsman and was a supporter of both Southampton Football Club and Hampshire County Cricket Club. He represented Great Britain at table tennis and in 1923 founded the English Table Tennis Association. He died in 1984, aged 80.

Ivor Montagu

Image Unavailable

Photograph, c.1950

Further reading:

Southampton People, by John Edgar Mann, p70-71. (HS/t)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, Volume 38.
The Youngest Son: Autobiographical Sketches, by Ivor Montagu, 1970. (HS/t MON)


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