Few people outside Britain will have heard of Richmal Crompton's famed creation of the 20s & 30s called "Just" William (Brown), that impossible well-meaning tearaway & troublemaker - "Peck's Bad Boy". He featured in over 2 dozen highly prized(dust covers obligatory)books and was the Harry Potter of his day. With his dedicated disciples,Ginger,Douglas & Henry they invariably upset their families and anyone who happened to innocently become implicated in their many determined & well-meaning acts of altruism. Set in some vague Southern English country village at some vague period between the decades known to their creator,each book comprised several chapters,each recounting a different "adventure" for him & his gang and their unfortunate "enemies", young and old, to the exasperation of Mr Brown and the despair or frustration of the rest. Because of the images created by Miss Crompton,and her dedicated illustrator, despite several attempts on radio,film and TV, to my mind only this first version came near to bringing the popular characters to life. Dicky Lupino was the nephew of famed Ida Lupino of the famed Lupino dynasty. He was my age and for a brief spell during early WWII I was at school with him and was he some problem! To defeat the merciless regime of the Christian Brothers took some nerve and by petulance or temper,he managed it! Also in the cast was the 11-year old Roddy McDowall before he migrated to Hollywood as an evacuee. This moderately entertaining episodic film also leaned heavily on the strangely cast very stout and irasible Fred Emney,a popular variety comedian of the time, as Mr Brown. Happily,as a devotee, I have this on video although it took 3 decades to get it. Although the books still have a dedicated following,and despite his famous connections,chubby Richard was hardly heard of again except for a fleeting appearance as a taxi driver taking on Myrna Loy in London in the 1960 Doris Day thriller, Midnight Lace. Whatever Happened To......? PS Since submitting the above I have discovered there is a dedicated & informative website that also includes bios on Richmal Crompton and even better,directions on availability of other William videos. Satwalker 99 Brendan Kent UK
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