Denis O’Dell Dead: the producer worked with the Beatles, Sean Connery
Denis O’Dell, producer of two Beatles films as well as “How I Won the War”, “Robin and Marian” and “Heaven’s Gate”, died on December 30 of natural causes in Almería, Spain, in his home from San José, Cap de Gata. He was 98 years old.
Father of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” producer Denise O’Dell and grandfather of Denis Pedregosa, producer of the Netflix hit “The Paramedic”, O’Dell’s connection to the movies dates back to the 1940s.
He had already produced six films, such as “The Playboy of the Western World” by Brian Desmond Hurst in 1962, before his association with the Beatles which began in professional terms with O’Dell taking an associate producer credit on “A Hard Day’s. “Richard Lester Night”, starring The Beatles and released in 1964.
O’Dell is generally credited with persuading John Lennon to go to Almeria to star in the absurd World War II drama “How I Won the War”, during the filming of which Lennon composed much of “Strawberry Fields” Forever “, a milestone in the production of The Beatles. Associate producer on “How I Won the War,” O’Dell received full producer credit on the “Magical Mystery Tour” made for television, directed by George Harrison, Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Such was the Beatles’ gratitude to O’Dell that on “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)”, one of the last songs recorded by the band, Lennon introduced McCartney as “Denis O’Bell”.
O’Dell went on to produce great films, such as “The Offense” by Sidney Lumet in 1973, “Royal Flash” by Lester in 1975 and especially “Robin and Marian” from 1976 with Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, and Michael Cimino 1980’s “Heaven’s Gate”, where he works on the film’s prologue, shot and shot in Oxford, but has little to do with the rest of the film.
By this time, O’Dell had created a second residence in Almería, living in a house spectacularly situated on a small hill overlooking a cobalt blue Mediterranean Sea. There he proved to be a generous host to anyone in the film industry visiting Almeria and an integral part of its important international filming scene which saw Spielberg filming part of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” from 1989 fair. down the road to Playa de Monsúl and Ridley Scott shot much of “Exodus” in Almeria.
Despite being one of Spain’s biggest film producers, O’Dell never sought the limelight. In a rare moment of public attention, in 2013 he received the Almería Land of Cinema Award by the Almería Short Film Festival, his highest honor.
He is survived by his daughter Denise O’Dell, who co-produced “Sahara” and “The Kingdom of Heaven”, and his grandson Denis Pedregosa whose production credits also include “Cold Skin” and “Black Mirror’s” ” Black Museum “.