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Clive Donner, 1926 - 2010

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"Clive Donner, who helped launch the careers of actors such as Sir Ian McKellen and Alan Bates, has died at the age of 84," reports the BBC. "He was best known for a series of 1960s films including Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and What's New Pussycat," which, "released in 1965, featured Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Woody Allen and Ursula Andress in the leading roles. Allen also wrote the screenplay, while Burt Bacharach composed the music."

The BFI's screenonline has a fine biography; let's pick it up in the early 60s, when he's just had a surprise box office hit, Some People (1962). "Despite this success Donner was unable to find a backer for a film version of The Caretaker (1963 [clip above]), written by his friend Harold Pinter, but a private consortium, headed by Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noël Coward and Peter Sellers, agreed to put up a minimum of £1000 each. The film
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Clive Donner obituary

Director who captured swinging London's zeitgeist and remade classics for television

For a few years in the 1960s, Clive Donner, who has died aged 84 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was among the leading film directors of swinging London. Unfortunately, when London stopped swinging, so did Donner. The four films that made his name were a low-budget adaptation of Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker (1963); Nothing But the Best (1964), a wicked satire on the British class structure; the farcical What's New Pussycat? (1965); and the coming-of-age comedy Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968).

Already in his 30s when he started directing, Donner gained a reputation for being tuned in to "youth". His debut movie, The Secret Place (1957), a heist drama shot on location in the East End, had David McCallum as a Brandoesque leather-jacketed "crazy mixed-up kid".

The Heart of a Child (1958) concerned a boy and his St Bernard dog, Rudi,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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