David Lean’s films were nominated for an astonishing 57 Academy Awards, of which 27 won Oscars. He made unique movies on a grand scale, with huge stories on vast canvases. He was aided by hundreds of technicians, thousands of extras and the most talented actors in the world. Yet he singularly controlled this vast army giving pleasure and inspiration to millions.
His films reflected his own life – the single brooding perfectionist force to a great endeavour – whether they be Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago or Brief Encounter. Collated by his widow, Lady Sandra Lean, this is a highly personal account in text and images by the people that came into contact with David through his work and his private life.
Thousands of words have been written about David Lean the film director and the work he created. Yet until now, very little has been said about the man who sacrificed his private life for his art. Six marriages are proof of a man whose preferred family was the film crew and whose personal life was always subservient to making films. Yet, without a strong understanding of human emotion, how could a man make so many productions that touched the hearts of millions?
In this fascinating book, the answers are presented in both text and pictures. David always said that a good book should contain “Really good pictures…That’s all. Just bloody good pictures.” Illustrated throughout with over 300 well-known and previously unpublished photographs, which are complemented by David’s inspiration: letters, quotations, memorabilia or an anecdote relating to his travels or his films David Lean – An Intimate Portrait is a unique study, containing a wealth of fascinating photography, of a man who continues to entertain millions.
Joseph Suss Oppenheimer (1698-1738), better known as Jew Suss, was a court Jew, who advised the Duke of Wurttemberg. Clever and handsome, even ostentatious, he fitted easily into court life, despite his humble origins. However, his unpopular economic policies made him enemies and when the Duke died suddenly Suss was arrested, convicted of ‘destestable abuses’ and exectued in Stuttgart in an iron cage. His spectacular rise and fall inspired a media outpouring in the eighteenth century and he has been much written about subsequently. In the twentieth century two films were made about him, one British in 1934, the other German in 1940. Goebbels took an active interest in the latter. After the war its director, Veit Harlan, was tried for Crimes against Humanity for having made the film. Despite his acquittal, the film’s association with the Holocaust remains controversial to this day.
In his lifetime Gielgud was acclaimed as the finest classical actor of the twentieth century and Jonathan Croall’s biography from 2000 was instantly recognised by critics as a masterful achievement, one that was ‘unlikely to be surpassed’ (Sunday Telegraph). Since that time however a considerable amount of new material has come to light and the passing of time has allowed a new candour. John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star sees this peerless biographer return to his subject to offer the definitive life of Gielgud.
For this new biography Croall’s exhaustive research has included over a hundred new interviews with key people from his life and career, several hundred letters from Gielgud that have never been published, scores of letters written to him and archived versions of his film and television work. As Gielgud worked increasingly in this medium during the last third of his life much greater attention is given to this than in the earlier work.
Fresh light is thrown on his professional relationships with figures such as Laurence Olivier and Edith Evans, and on turbulent episodes of his private life. The overall result is a a much more rounded, candid and richly textured portrait of this celebrated and complex actor.
Who is Mike Hodges? One of the great maverick British film-makers. A director who is uncompromising and willing to fight his corner, he has made films over the last three decades that mark him out as a rare and unusual talent.
He is a difficult film-maker to define. His work includes crime drama (Get Carter, Croupier and Pulp), science-fiction (Flash Gordon and The Terminal Man) and even comedy (Morons from Outer Space), but he has also made watchable oddities such as A Prayer for the Dying (Mickey Rourke courting controversy as an IRA killer seeking redemption) and Black Rainbow (a surreal fantasy drama little seen, but much acclaimed).
He started his career in television in the 1960s, but hit the big screen with the violent crime drama Get Carter, a film that has now achieved cult status (recently voted the best British film ever in Hotdog magazine) and continues to be the benchmark any British crime film sets itself against. Though hardly prolific- just eight feature films in 30 years – Mike Hodges makes fascinating movies that just won’t go away. What is in it? As well as an introductory essay, each of Hodges film and television work is reviewed and analysed. There is also an article looking at the impact and continuing influence of Get Carter and a section listing any other information about Hodges and his films.
Marlon Brando will never cease to fascinate us: for his triumphs as an actor (On the Waterfront, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris), as well as his disasters; for the power of the screen portrayals he gave, and for his turbulent, tumultuous personal life.
Seamlessly intertwining the man and the work, Kanfer takes us through Brando’s troubled childhood, to his arrival in New York in the 1940s, where he studied with the legendary Stella Adler, and at the age of twenty-three became the toast of Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire. Kanfer expertly examines each of Brando’s films – from The Men in 1950 to The Score in 2001 – making clear the evolution of Brando’s singular genius, while also shedding light on the cultural evolution of Hollywood itself. And he brings into focus Brando’s self-destructiveness, his lifelong dissembling, his deeply ambivalent feelings towards his chosen vocation, and the tragedies that shadowed his final years. This is a never-before-seen portrait of one of the most extraordinary talents of the twentieth century.
A complete look at the extensive, ageless, unparalleled filmography of Woody Allen.
Writer, actor, director, comedian, author, and musician, Woody Allen is one of the most culturally and cinematically influential filmmakers of all time. His films – he has over 45 writing and directing credits to his name – range from slapstick to tragedy, farce to fantasy. As one of history’s most prolific moviemakers, his style and comic sensibility have been imitated, but never replicated, by countless other filmmakers over the years. In The Ultimate Woody Allen Film Companion, film writer Jason Bailey profiles every one of Allen’s films: from his debut feature, What’s Up, Tiger Lily, through slapstick classics such as Take the Money and Run and Sleeper; Academy Award-winning films such as Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters; and recent gems such as Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine.
Bailey also includes essays on the fascinating themes that color Allen’s works, from death and Freud to music and New York City. Getting up close and personal with the actors and actresses that have brought the iconic films to life, this book’s behind-the-scenes stories span the entire career of a man whose catalog has grown into a timeless cornerstone of American pop culture. Complete with full cast lists, production details, and full-color images and artwork, The Ultimate Woody Allen Film Companion is the ultimate, indispensable reference to one of cinema’s most beloved and important figures.
The first life of the man who was Lord Peter Wimsey, Bertie Wooster and starred in I’m Alright, Jack!
With the death of Ian Carmichael in 2010 one of the last links was lost with the golden age of British cinema. Carmichael starred alongside Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers in the Boulting brothers’ classic satirical comedies I’m Alright, Jack!, Private’s Progress and School for Scoundrels. He summed up, on screen and in life, the kind of Englishman who was beginning to emerge after the war – educated, not necessarily upper class, upwardly mobile and a study in good manners and a sense of fair play – and thus played the straight-man foil to the distracted ravings of his wilder co-stars.
Subsequently, he became Bertie Wooster in a highly successful television series based on P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories. He also made the part of Lord Peter Wimsey his own in another long-running adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers’ famous detective novels, and was still acting on television well into his eighties alongside Susan Hampshire in ITV’s drama series The Royal.
From the tip of Cornwall to the Isle of Mull, through rural communities and the inner-city, Amber Massie-Blomfield takes the road less travelled to discover Britain’s most astonishing and unexpected theatres. A ruined playhouse, haunted halls, a stage hewn from granite cliffs. Theatres on wheels, squeezed into a former public lavatory and rescued from fire. A theatre that is not there at all.
Making the case for radical, quirky and non-conforming performance spaces alongside iconic venues, this book is a celebration of thriving against the odds. It also tells a personal account of a life-long love affair with the places where ‘anything is possible’: from open-air fry-ups and an impromptu can-can to paranormal manifestations. An adventure through theatre, place and the people who make it happen, Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die gives us reason to be hopeful.