Dirty Weekend (1993) - News Poster

(1993)

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Michael Winner was over-indulged, but he was a pioneer of sorts

Peter Bradshaw looks back at the uneven and often controversial career of Michael Winner, who has died aged 77

'You don't look so bad – here's another!" With these reported words in 1984, the once notorious "subway vigilante" Bernhard Goetz put another bullet into a mugger he'd shot on a New York subway train. It was a sensational incident which briefly rewakened the gun debate in the Us, but for Goetz resulted only in an illegal firearm conviction: a jury found him not guilty of attempted murder and assault. There was no doubt which movie was foremost in the minds of both press and public: the rape-revenge picture Death Wish, made 10 years before by the smart and workmanlike British director Michael Winner.

Goetz had sensationally made Winner's fantasy a reality. The film spawned a number of sequels, the second of which, Death Wish 3 in 1985, was explicitly inspired by Goetz. In the original,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Michael Winner obituary

Flamboyant film director, best known for Death Wish, and later an outspoken restaurant critic and bon vivant

Michael Winner, who has died aged 77, supplied interviewers with a list of more than 30 films he had directed, not always including the early travelogue This Is Belgium (1956), mostly shot in East Grinstead. But his enduring work was himself – a bravura creation of movies, television, journalism, the law courts and a catchphrase, ''Calm down, dear", from an exasperating series of television commercials.

He was born in London, the only child of George and Helen Winner, who were of Russian and Polish extraction respectively. His builder father made enough money propping up blitzed houses to invest in London property. The profits funded his wife's gambling, which, her son complained, so distracted "Mumsie" that he was never paid due attention. She left him in the bedroom with the mink coats of guests who came to his
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Director/Writer Michael Winner Dead At Age 77

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Director Michael Winner has died in his native England at age 77. Winner's star rose in the early to mid 1960s with a string of innovative comedies such as The Jokers and I'll Never Forget What's'isname, that perfectly tapped into the emerging London "mod scene".  His eclectic range of movies covered many genres, from Westerns to WWII to urban crime thrillers. Among his more notable titles were Lawman, Chato's Land, Scorpio, Hannibal Brooks, The Games, The Sentinel, The Nightcomers, The Mechanic and The Stone Killer. His greatest and most unexpected success was the 1974 film Death Wish starring Charles Bronson which was released at a time when societies worldwide were bristling at an explosion of urban crime and the perception that the current laws were not protecting them. The film tapped into a vigilante sentiment in its depiction of a New York liberal who takes the law into  his
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Michael Winner: a career in clips

Andrew Pulver looks back through some of the key films of director Michael Winner, who has died aged 77

Play It Cool (1962)

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After a string of short films, Winner broke into features in the early 60s, with low budget thrillers and trendy pop musicals. Quite a few of them had "cool" in the title – including the nudie pic Some Like It Cool. The Billy Fury pic Play It Cool was considerably more commercially viable, no doubt inspired by the success of Cliff Richard's Young Ones film. Fury – in a real stretch – plays an up-and coming rocker called Billy Universe; Anna Palk the heiress who he might or might not get together with, and Dennis Price (!) as her overbearing dad.

The Cool Mikado (1962)

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Frankie Howerd led the line for Winner's followup, produced by Howard Baim,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Doctor Who complete reviews: Battlefield

Imagine if you were the lucky one to succeed in pulling the sword from the stone. You'd be revered as a hero or heroine, your name would be toasted in pubs up and down the country, you'd be a living legend.

Well, unless you pulled the sword from the stone, then toppled backwards because the sword was so heavy, then fall down the stairs behind you, hurt yourself while doing so, and then end up in a big, smelly pile of cow dung in front of a chortling crowd of millions.

That's what Battlefield feels like. It's one of those frustrating tales in which the good bits are regularly balanced out by the story's own limitations. On paper, it's got all the promise of a Who classic. Ancient knights and an evil sorceress do battle with The Doctor and also...

So all of that sounds inviting for the fans and viewers.
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Michael Winner: 'The only purpose of life is to avoid boredom'

The notorious film director on cheating death, the awfulness of restaurants – and how he can't stand boring people

It is with a mixture of fear and exhilaration that I approach Michael Winner's large house – he likes to describe it as a mansion – in London's fashionable Holland Park. God knows how much it's worth – £25m maybe. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin lives next door, in an even bigger house. An attractive, slightly forbidding young woman answers the door – I later discover she is a resting actress called Ruby – and she shows me into Winner's private cinema, filled with memorabilia from half a lifetime of movie-making and an entire lifetime of trouble-making.

There are seats for 30 people, a bar, a director's chair with Winner's name on it, the Winner puppet from Spitting Image, a signed photograph of Marilyn Monroe, pictures of some scantily clad starlets, and hundreds of photographs of stars
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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