3 items from 2013
Brian Comport, who has died aged 74, was the screenwriter for the cult films Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly (1970), The Fiend (1972) and The Asphyx (1973). Like so many others working in the British film industry during the last half century, he had ups and downs, but the horror feature films he wrote are widely regarded as classics of the genre.
His break into films came in 1967 when he was introduced to Norman Cohen, a film editor on his way to becoming a very successful director, who had acquired the film rights to Geoffrey Fletcher's delightful 1962 book The London Nobody Knows.
Cohen had secured James Mason to narrate the commentary, and Brian was engaged to provide the words. It was Brian's idea to have Mason walk and talk directly to the camera, making the film a »
- John Crome
In her new book Rachel Cooke re-examines the 1950s through 10 women who pioneered in their careers. In this extract she tells the stories of sisters-in-law Muriel and Betty Box, two prominent women in the British film industry
Until recently, anyone who wanted to see the film To Dorothy a Son had to lock themselves deep in the bowels of the British Film Institute off Tottenham Court Road, London, and watch it on an old Steenbeck editing machine. A little-known comedy from 1954, To Dorothy is no one's idea of a classic. It has an infuriating star in Shelley Winters, a creaky screenplay by Peter Rogers (later the producer of the Carry On series) and a set that looks as if it is on loan from a local amateur dramatics society.
- Rachel Cooke
Alfred Hitchcock silent movies added to Unesco UK Memory of the World Register (photo: Ivor Novello in The Lodger) The nine Alfred Hitchcock-directed silent films recently restored by the British Film Institute have been added to the Unesco UK Memory of the World Register, "a list of documentary heritage which holds cultural significance specific to the UK." The nine Hitchcock movies are the following: The Pleasure Garden (1925), The Ring (1927), Downhill / When Boys Leave Home (1927), The Lodger (1927), Easy Virtue (1928), Champagne (1928), The Farmer’s Wife (1928), The Manxman (1929), and Blackmail (1929) — also released as a talkie, Britain’s first. Only one Hitchcock-directed silent remains lost, The Mountain Eagle / Fear o’ God (1926). Most of those movies have little in common with the suspense thrillers Hitchcock would crank out in Britain and later in Hollywood from the early ’30s on. But a handful of his silents already featured elements and themes that would recur in »
- Andre Soares
3 items from 2013
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