Sunday, November 29, 2009

NEW FILM ONLINE: "Battle of Britain"

Year: 1969

Stars: Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York, Edward Fox, Kenneth More, Robert Shaw, Ian McShane, Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard

Director: Guy Hamilton

Locations: South eastern England, France, Spain

Plot: The heroic “few” save Britain from the threat of the Luftwaffe.

Number of Stills: 29
Number of 'Now' Shots: 3

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NEW FILM ONLINE: "Don't Just Lie There, Say Something!"

Year: 1973

Stars: Brian Rix, Leslie Phillips, Joan Sims, Joanna Lumley

Director: Bob Kellett

Locations: London

Plot: Any film that has a title that is more than two words, give or take a definite, or even indefinite article should be viewed with suspicion. This film is no exception. Brian Rix participates, and, as with all his other Whithall farces, this one concerns mistaken identity, people losing their trousers and other items of hysterically funny British humour that kept the audiences rolling in the isles. If only the whole cast had been shipped out to one of the outer Isles of the Hebrides we'd have all been spared.
However, we are not here to view the artistic merits, or otherwise, of the films that we add to the site but to investigate and identify the locations used, and here we have a considerable number diligently sleuthed by Adrian Grepnold and Simon James, two of our consistent and stalwart research assistant.

Number of Stills: 14
Number of 'Now' Shots: 9

Actor Edward Woodward dies at 79

Edward Woodward, who was known for his roles in The Wicker Man and The Equalizer, has died aged 79.

The veteran actor had been suffering from various illnesses, including pneumonia, and died in hospital, his agent said.

Janet Glass released a statement praising Woodward's "brave spirit and wonderful humour".

It said: "Universally loved and admired through his unforgettable roles in classic productions such as Breaker Morant, The Wicker Man, Callan, The Equalizer and many more, he was equally fine and courageous in real life, never losing his brave spirit and wonderful humour throughout his illness.

"He was further sustained by the love of his wife, Michele, children, Tim, Peter, Sarah and Emily, his grandchildren and numerous friends. His passing will leave a huge gap in many lives."

Woodward rose to fame in the 1960s and early 1970s in spy series Callan. Cult film The Wicker Man saw him play a devout Christian police officer drawn to investigating the disappearance of a young girl in a sinister community.

In the 1980s he gained international attention in hit US TV series The Equalizer, playing a former spy turned gun-for-hire.

Woodward recently joined EastEnders for a short stint as Tommy Clifford. Speaking about the role to What's On TV earlier this year, he said: "I was very pleased. I only like to do a few jobs each year and I pick the ones I can't turn down. I liked the character and six episodes suited me."

He said that as well as working on an autobiography, he'd been spending time painting watercolours.

Woodward lived in Cornwall with his wife, actress Michele Dotrice, who's known for playing Frank Spencer's long-suffering wife Betty in the classic sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

The man who used to write the Callan series was a great lead-soldier collector and used many of my figures in various TV episodes. He also provided photos of Edward Woodward with the military figurines to be used in my wargaming magazine, Miniature Warfare.

Recent Additions

Here are the latest additions to our library, taking their place in the queue for uploading to the site:

Big Job, The (1965), Sid James and Joan Sims, Chalfont St giles, Buckinghamshire (imdb)
Gelignite Gang, The (1956), Eric Pohlmann and robberies in Kemp Town, Brighton
Hindle Wakes, trouble at t'mill (1931), Llandudno
Rockets Galore (1957), Donald Sinden & Gordon Jackson, in the Outer Isles
Terror By Night (1946), Sherlock Holmes, aka Basil Rathbone, on set. No location work.
Von Ryan's Express (1965), Frank Sinatra, locations in Italy and Switzerland.
What's good For The Goose (1969), Southport, Norman Wisdom, a bank in the City? A seaside.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Revolutionary

The Revolutionary, who remembers that film? Who has even heard of that film? It'd not even in Simon's book, so it must be unusual.

However, it starred Jon Voight and Robert Duvall, and not even imdb knows where it was made.

The plot was loosly woven around students who seem to have started off in Paris, or so at least the locations seem to suggest, then off to perhaps America, and then turning a corner the actors seem to be in South Kensington, London. The policemen, on the London streets in the film, are in US style uniforms, NYPD leftovers perhaps, and the riot police are in battle gear of unknown provenance, but they all seem to be in a British industrial estate.

The film came up on late night TV and I was unable to grab it, so, if anyone out there has a copy...........................please.

Anyway, the whole point is, or maybe, was, is that this film was made in Brixton south east London. Atlantic Road is featured, just where Alfie was made, Brixton Market, and also Brixton Station Road, with the railway arches; Alfie again and Date With a Dream; and, best of all, for the first time, anywhere, ever, the Electric Avenue, with its famous canopies, was included, and it doesn't get any better than that!

No, its not Revolutionary Road, a modern film, but Jon Voight's third major film, The Revolutionary made and back in 1970, nor is it Start the Revolution Without Me.

The film ends in one of the legal gardens in central London, the Temple perhaps or Greys Inn maybe, where so many other flicks were made.

A confusing film, but then, we're here for the locations not the plot.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"The Gelignite Gang", Brighton Film Studios

Back in 2006 we had a blog from an enthusiast relating to the film "The Gelignite Gang", and, three years later one of our readers has found the film, which was made at the Brighton studios, and kindly sent us a copy. Lots of excellent streets scenes, now waiting to be grabbed and loaded, of Kemp Town, a suburb on the east side of Brighton. Is this the Kemp Town of the "races", doo dah, doo dah dey We wonder?

Eric Pohlmann is the only remembered name from the film, one of those faces you know, and one of those names you don't, he made more than two hundred films and appeared in Hot Enough for June and The Third Man.

The production company Brighton Film Studios was founded in 1945. Between 1948 (Timothy Carder's Encyclopaedia of Brighton says 1954) and 1966 it occupied St Nicholas's Parish Rooms, a large red-brick building of 1880 in St Nicholas Road, which had previously been auction rooms.

Between 1949 and 1964 at least a dozen feature films—mainly crime and thrillers and usually released as B features, supporting more prestigious productions—were made by Brighton Film Studios and a number of others made use of the facilities. It was also used to shoot television commercials in the early days of ITV.

It again became an auction house after the studio closed and was later converted into flats.