A Woman of Substance (1984) - News Poster

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Diane Baker Reflects on Alfred Hitchcock’s Directing Methods and the State of Acting

This Sunday, actress Diane Baker will appear at Film Forum in New York to discuss her 50-plus year career in film and television with film historian Foster Hirsch. On Monday at 8:00pm she will again be at Film Forum to introduce a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie.

Still just in her mid-twenties, actress Diane Baker found herself one morning in the unfamiliar surroundings of Alma and Alfred Hitchcock’s Brentwood kitchen. They ate peaches around the kitchen table and discussed director Hitchcock’s next picture – Marnie. “I was offered the part without reading the script,” Baker told me on the phone from an apparently sunny San Francisco. “I just happily accepted. Whatever it was, I was going to do it.” But looking back who can blame her? This was, of course, the director whose five previous films had been The Birds, Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo and The Wrong Man,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Deborah Kerr: The Darkness Inside

The Innocents communion: possessed Martin Stephens, Christian Deborah Kerr Deborah Kerr Pt.3: Socially Dubious Desires Later on, in the television miniseries A Woman of Substance (1984) and its follow-up, the TV movie Follow the Dream (1986), Deborah Kerr played a former kitchen maid-turned-businesswoman who didn’t reach the top by being all chaste and poised along the way. (Jenny Seagrove played the character as a young woman.) And once at the top, Kerr’s tycoon does whatever she feels necessary to remain there. Admittedly, Deborah Kerr didn’t create any of those characters all by herself. She did, however, bring them to life in ways that most performers, regardless of gender, would be either unwilling or unable to do. And even though Kerr once complained of her early "goody goody" roles, she surely knew what was going on inside those deceptively prim and proper women she played prior to From Here to Eternity.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Don Sharp obituary

Director of eerily atmospheric Hammer horror films including The Kiss of the Vampire

In 1962, Don Sharp was a minor ex-actor, hack writer and jobbing director of British B-films, when he was offered the chance to make a gothic horror movie for Hammer, "the studio that dripped blood". In the event, The Kiss of the Vampire (1963) rescued both Sharp, who has died aged 90, and Hammer from the doldrums.

The studio, which had suffered several expensive flops, turned to Sharp due to his experience in low-budget film-making. Sharp, who claimed to have never watched a horror movie, let alone directed one, quickly steeped himself in the Hammer style by spending a week or so watching past successes, principally those directed by Terence Fisher and Freddie Francis. The Kiss of the Vampire, made with a smaller budget and an unstarry cast, recruited mostly from television, scored at the box office, and Sharp became associated with horror movies thereafter.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Don Sharp obituary

Director of eerily atmospheric Hammer horror films including The Kiss of the Vampire

In 1962, Don Sharp was a minor ex-actor, hack writer and jobbing director of British B-films, when he was offered the chance to make a gothic horror movie for Hammer, "the studio that dripped blood". In the event, The Kiss of the Vampire (1963) rescued both Sharp, who has died aged 89, and Hammer from the doldrums.

The studio, which had suffered several expensive flops, turned to Sharp due to his experience in low-budget film-making. Sharp, who claimed to have never watched a horror movie, let alone directed one, quickly steeped himself in the Hammer style by spending a week or so watching past successes, principally those directed by Terence Fisher and Freddie Francis. The Kiss of the Vampire, made with a smaller budget and an unstarry cast, recruited mostly from television, scored at the box office, and Sharp became associated with horror movies thereafter.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Director Don Sharp Dies: Worked with Deborah Kerr, Christopher Lee, Lee Remick, Vanessa Redgrave

According to various online sources, Tasmanian-born director Don Sharp has died. He was 89.

A former small-time actor (The Planter's Wife, The Cruel Sea), Sharp (born April 19, 1922, in Hobart) is best remembered for several low-budget thrillers he directed in the 1960s, such as Hammer's The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), the sci-fier Curse of the Fly (1965), and the The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), starring Christopher Lee as the East Asian fiend.

Sharp's other notable efforts include The Death Wheelers / Psychomania (1973), about a youth gang terrorizing a small town; the Ira drama Hennessy (1975), with A-listers Rod Steiger and Lee Remick; The Thirty Nine Steps, an underrated remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 classic starring Robert Powell in Robert Donat's old man-on-the-run role; and the slow-moving adventure drama Bear Island, featuring Vanessa Redgrave and Donald Sutherland.

Sharp also worked on British television, directing several episodes from The Avengers. Other notable television efforts were a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Ian Warren obituary

My father, Ian Warren, who has died aged 96, enjoyed the fine things in life: fast cars, dashing clothes, good food, fine wine and entertaining friends. He also loved music and rugby. He was one of the earliest jazz fans in Britain, had his own band while still a schoolboy (he played the saxophone and clarinet) and jammed with many of the big names of the day at his parents' house in Kensington, west London.

He befriended Duke Ellington and his band, and introduced himself to Louis Armstrong, who offered my father his first – and only – reefer in his dressing room at the Holborn Empire, central London. Later, in the Us, he met George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Peggy Lee.

Ian's father was in the army before becoming an Egyptologist, and his mother was a member of the Seligman merchant banking family. Ian was educated at St Paul's school,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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