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As beautiful a tribute as you can possibly ask for
John Thaw was a wonderful actor, of whom I've been a huge fan of for about 7 or 8 years now, and twelve years on is still much missed. This documentary was really interesting and beautifully done. Any flaws? No, not really other than that it was so engrossing that it was sad when it was over. The John Thaw Story is well shot and contains some lovely photos(a few of which makes one wish there was footage of some of his stage work) and well chosen footage of his best roles(especially Inspector Morse and The Sweeney) as well as some of his lesser known work(maybe there could have been more of the latter), which are often done to demonstrate what his friends, colleagues and family are saying rather than a slide-show. Loved seeing his beautiful Luckingdon home as well. The music fits really well, Shostakovich's Festival Overture especially for the thirty seconds at the beginning accompanying the collage of clips of his acting roles being the standout. What his friends, colleagues and family have to say about Thaw is both interesting and entertaining, giving a bigger picture of what he was like and from those who knew and worked with him. Those who have read his wife Sheila Hancock's wonderful book The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw will be familiar with some of the stories, but some are so good they're worth repeating. Favourites were Richard Briers' story of the barbecue, sausages and the paraffin, the temperamental camera while making the final episode of Morse, his experiences at RADA and Peter O'Toole speaking about Thaw's interpretation of one line when doing Pygmalion. Thaw's acting ability and what people thought about it is summed up so well here(things that make me love him so much but The John Thaw Story says it much better), the best coming from Hancock regarding the shot of Thaw just acting with his eyes and face with the camera moving closer in the final episode of Morse, which I consider one of the series' most remarkable moments. It is something that has rarely been done anywhere near as effectively from actors today. The impression one gets is that Thaw was much loved and respected and throughout The John Thaw Story- and Hancock's book- I saw a bit of myself in Thaw, like the shyness, the modesty, not finding it easy to fit in like in his first year at RADA and the love for classical music, so- after being a fan for so long- after watching this appreciation for him grew even more. All in all, a beautiful tribute and it was brave to have it done so close to his death, what was touching was Hancock right at the end understandably struggling to keep her emotions. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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