Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender is an Emmy / Rose d'Or Award winning 2012 feature-length documentary about Queen singer Freddie Mercury and his attempt to forge a solo career. The documentary premiered on BBC One in edited form as part of the Imagine series, and later the Director's Cut was shown on BBC Four. It gained 3.5 million viewers when aired on BBC One in October 2012 and a further 1.2 million when shown on BBC Four.
Reuniting the Producer, Editor and Director of Photography behind 2011's widely acclaimed Queen: Days of Our Lives BBC documentary, The Great Pretender in similar vein presents a compelling insight into its subject matter, unearthing previously undiscovered or rarely seen footage.
Produced and Directed by Rhys Thomas, a lifelong Queen Fan and expert (to the extent that he famously broke the Mastermind all-time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen), Thomas has this time turned his attention to the Freddie Mercury archive, going back as early as 1976 in search of vintage gems which reveal more than ever before the inside story of Mercury's life and career and the solo projects he worked on outside of Queen.
The extensive archive footage is drawn from rare interviews with Mercury, concerts, video shoots and personal material, much of it being seen for the first time, along with newly filmed contributions from fellow Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen Manager Jim Beach, Soprano Montserrat Caballé, composers David Arnold and Mike Moran, lyricist Tim Rice and many more. From it emerges a portrait of a man who was very different from his flamboyant onstage public persona.
The Great Pretender includes for the first time ever Mercury and Rod Stewart singing their 1984 demo for "Let Me Live", a snippet of the then unreleased Michael Jackson collaboration "There Must Be More To Life Than This", and Mercury with The Royal Ballet in 1979, never seen in full before.
Courtesy of Neville Cawas Bardoliwalla OBE
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