Europe's greatest forgotten filmmaker

Mysterious death

My photograph shows the site (Hammersmith Bridge in London) where Yuri Gadyukin’s body was discovered on August 22nd 1960 after a week-long search.  It is recorded that a number of bitter fights had taken place between Harry Weathers, the lead actor in “The Graven Idol” and the director in the weeks preceding Gadyukin’s disappearance.  However, Gadyukin had made several enemies during his time working in England and speculations and theories were rife.

Amongst these was the notion that Weathers and Gadyukin fought over the director’s somewhat dictatorial treatment of his actors and this enmity escalated into hatred.  There were also rumors of an affair between Weathers and actress Molly Hewitt which could have contributed to the feud.  Certainly Weathers subsequent disappearance (he has never been found) made him the prime suspect.  Other more outlandish speculation includes the idea that Gadyukin owed money to Laurence Kraft, a local gangster, which he had borrowed to help finance an ailing shoot which was rapidly spiralling out of control.

I took the photo while on a visit to London in 1998. I hope to post other photos soon of locations used in Gadyukin’s British movies.
Gadyukin’s killer was never found, although Interpol were brought in to assist UK police after a supposed sighting of Weathers in St Tropez.  An Inspector Biggs led the 1960 investigation for Scotland Yard but has since retired.  The case was officially closed in 1967 although amateur sleuths feel compelled to visit until this day, most notably James Pennington, who wrote an article on the subject for the Fortean Times in the early 1980s.