Raw Wind in Eden 1958

This was brought to us by Universal – and one description of it was ‘ Raw Wind In Eden’ was about as entertaining as a raw wound in Eden.

Raw Wind in Eden 1958

Esther Williams starred along with Carlos Thompson who were travelling on a small plane that crashes on a remote island run by Jeff Chandler with Rosanna Podesta.

Predictably Esther Williams dons her swimming costume and goes for a dip where she meets and eventually falls in love with Jeff Chandler.

It was filmed in Cinemascope and Eastmancolor

Raw Wind in Eden 1958 2

The casting of Jeff Chandler and Esther Williams, was certainly a good choice and  the setting and the location filming in the Mediterranean Sea  impresses as much as the actors .

It is well done. It is a quite a basic story but none the worse for that

Raw Wind in Eden 1958 3

It looks to have been released as part of a double feature ABOVE

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3D Films of the Fifties

I have to admit that I just loved those 3D films released in the early / mid fifties – and I have looked it up online and there are as many as 62 of them released between 1953 and 1956.

The craze died away as quickly as it had come and I don’t know why because some of the films were very profitable indeed.

One of my own favourites was ‘The Phantom of the Rue Morgue’ with Karl Malden but I didn’t get to see any of these films until later – maybe into the early sixties when the odd one – such as this one – came round again.

Many of the films I have seen later in normal format – for instance Hitchcock’s ‘ Dial M for Murder’ was made in 3 D but I doubt many of us ever saw it that way. I for one wish that I had.

Dial M for Murder

House of Wax was one of the biggest hits of 1953 – made at a cost of 1 million dollars it earned 23.75 million dollars worldwide – where as ‘Dial M For Murder’ was again successful but with a much lower success at 6 million dollars

Devil's Canyon 1953

Devil’s Canyon 1953

House of Wax

House of Wax

Now let me pose something for comment and maybe correction, but I have looked through the list of these films and it seems to me that there were no 3D films made in England during that period when they were so popular – and I wonder why.

One film  which depicts England – Well Scotland in fact – was ‘The Maze’ a real favourite of mine – set in an eerie  Scottish Castle that hid a dark secret, we only learned of the truth in the final minutes of the film.

I liked ‘The Maze’   -  here again though, I have seen it but never in 3 D

The Maze

 

The Maze – with an interesting second feature

Campus Panty Raids

 

 

Atom Bomb Doom Town 1953

 

Atom Bomb Doom Town 1953 2

More 3D features – never heard of either ABOVE.

The Atom Bomb Doom Town film is about the Nevada A Bomb tests

 

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The Man Who Could Cheat Death 1959

Here we have Anton Diffring, Christopher Lee and Hazel Court is a thriller about a man who is still youthful at 104 thanks to gland operations – glands that come from people he has murdered in order to maintain his youth.

Michael Carreras produced this Hammer Film – as he usually did and Terence Fisher directed as he usually did !!

Apparently Peter Cushing turned down the leading role  and so Anton Diffring stepped in at the last minute

This is quite a good film, although not one of Hammer’s best. The Victorian setting (the story is set in Paris) is very well done and adds to the atmosphere. Christopher Lee is very effective as the hero – he did not often get that role in early Hammer films – although in ‘The Hound of The Baskervilles’ released just before this one, he played quite a benign part. 

Hazel Court is absolutely beautiful as the heroine – I remember her well in an early film she made ‘Holiday Camp’

The Man who could cheat death 2

Scenes from the film

The Man who could cheat death

 

Scenes from the film

The Man who could cheat death 4

 

ABOVE – A set of Front of House Stills from the film.  I used to love to see these each week, outside of the Cinema in a display case, and would look at them and try to imagine what the film would be like.

 

The Man who could cheat death 3

 

Hazel Court remembers that in this film there was a scene where she posed nude for the Sculptor but this was only for the continental version. ABOVE

 

The Man who could cheat death 5

Needless to say, Anton Diffring comes to a sticky end

 

 

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Buddy Holly – The Buddy Holly Story – Theatre Musical

I drove a few miles today to see the matinee performance of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story which has been on in  the West End of London and toured regularly ever since in Britain.

 

What a vibrant show this is – and the music !!  We were all up dancing in the aisles at the end !!

Buddy The Musical

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story appearing at this event

The Buddy Holly Story follows the tragically short life of Buddy Holly from his first recording contract through to his move to New York and concludes with his fatal tour of Midwest America with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper when – on 3 February 1959 he was tragically killed aged just 22.

The musical shows Buddy as he sings his way from the recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee to Harlem’s Apollo Theatre, culminating in a live rock’n’roll extravaganza at the ‘Winter Dance Party’ finale and features some of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits including That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy, Rave On, Heartbeat, Raining In My Heart and many more…

 

One interesting snippet – Buddy and his friends went to see The Searchers (1956) starring John Wayne.

The Searchers 1956

Several times throughout the film, John Wayne says “That’ll be the day”. This repeated phrase stuck with Buddy Holly and he wrote the song that would become his first Number One hit.

Interesting also that the famous British Group of the Sixties ‘The Searchers’ took their name from this film – so not just a classic film, which it is, but also an influence on the future of pop music in more ways than one.

The Searchers 1956 2

I just had to include the picture ABOVE – in one of the most touching scenes in the film John Wayne embraces his sister in law as he leaves on his long quest  - an unspoken gesture of  warmth and love for each another.

No words are needed here. Beautifully played by the actors -particularly Ward Bond who is just finishing his coffee as he notices but he just carries on and  averts his  eyes from the scene

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The Son of Captain Blood

 

I can remember seeing this and remember it as a good adventure film. Sean Flynn the son of legendary actor Errol Flynn attempted to do what his Dad had done so successfully – and so a lot of interest went into that aspect which I think was a little unfair.

In real life he did in fact seem, more of an adventurer than his father had been. He made more films than I had realised and this is the only one I remember.

He died – it is believed – when travelling in Cambodia in 1971. At that time he was a photo /journalist – he had previously been in Vietnam at the time of the war and had seen some action there.

He was only 29 when he died – just a bit older than Errol Flynn had been when he made Robin Hood

 

Son of Captain Blood

 

Here it is showing at the Regal in Aberdeen along with The Scarlet Blade – Jack Hefley, Lionel Jeffries and Oliver Reed

 

Regal Aberdeen

 

Filmed in Technicolor it was another swashbuckler – which I admit I rather like

 

The Scarlet Blade was filmed in Dyaliscope – which I had never heard of – it was another wide screen Cinemascope like format and The Scarlet Blade was in Hammerscope – as was ‘The Abominable Snowman’ I think

 

The Scarlet Blade 1962

 

ABOVE: In swashbuckling terms – this must be one of the best Double Features that you could get

 

The Scarlet Blade  – Royalist have been driven underground  in 1648 and are now concerned with rescuing King Charles I and kelping him escape  to safety.   Charles is now held prisoner by Colonel Lionel Jeffries and Captain Oliver Reed of Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads - they are taking The King to London for trial

Lionel Jeffries has set up headquarters in the manor of the Beverleys who were Royalists now dispossessed of their property.

Lionel Jeffries is a real baddie and certainly not living the spartan puritan life that the Roundheads  preach about. He’s even got a marriage arranged for his daughter June Thorburn to Oliver Reed but she is a  secret Royalist who is in love with Jack Hedley  – the elder of the two Beverley brothers who is the leader of a group of Royalists.

The Scarlet Blade 1962 2

The Scarlet Blade –

 

The Scarlet Blade 1962 3

The Scarlet Blade

The Scarlet Blade 1962 4

The Scarlet Blade

Jack Hedley an actor who we often saw on Television – he may not have been the best known actor in TV and films or the best paid by any means, but he was lucky enough to be left a five-bedroom house in Eaton Square, one of the most expensive residential areas in London – by his mother.

Jack is still alive I am pleased to say – and has had a long and reasonably successful film career

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The Franchise Affair 1951

 

This is one of my favourite films. Very quaint and typically English but with a powerful and intriguing storyline. Friends of ours came around yesterday and they had been very taken with this one having not seen it before – and if you haven’t seen it before, trying to work out just how things will turn out really taxes the mind.

Michael Denison plays a local family solicitor in a quiet country practice , here appearing with his real-life wife Dulcie Gray, in a story which keeps you guessing until the very end as Dulcie Gray and her mother are accused of kidnapping and false imprisonment.

 Michael Denison agrees to defend them, but the odds are stacked against the defendants, and in his legal world he is well out of his depth with such a case.   Along the way, he has of course fallen in love with the young lady that he is defending.

As well as this being a favourite film, the location filming for the town of ‘Melford’ was actually Chipping Campden a really lovely little town nestling in the Cotswolds  – and these scenes below give us an idea of life there in the very early fifties – it looks much the same now. 

Chipping Campden is one of my favourite places.

The Franchise Affair 1951

 Much of the exterior sequences of ‘Melford’ were filmed in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 2

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 3

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 4

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 5

ABOVE – Not sure where this is. I thought at first that the house in the distance was a matte painting but I don’t think it is – I think it is real. Lovely scene all the same

The Franchise Affair 1951 6

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

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Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 8

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 9

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

The Franchise Affair 1951 10

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England

Don’t miss this film the next time it is on Talking Pictures – which should be any time in the next week or two on Talking Pictures

 

 

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The Avengers – Diana Rigg

 

Something I did not know – and it comes as a surprise about that wonderful Television Series  The Avengers.

Diana Rigg  was not the original choice to play Emma Peel in The Avengers. The original actress cast for the role was Elizabeth Shepherd who, most unusually, had not been screen-tested.

The Avengers

ABOVE:  Patrick Macnee as Steed and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers

The Avengers 2

ABOVE:  Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers

 

Julian Winkle was executive producer. and he made the choice of  Liz Shepherd who had done some things on television and she was undeniably very beautiful but it wasn’t until after one and a half episode that the decision to drop her was made.  She was  not a bad actress, but apparently didn’t have a sense of humour at all and that was essential in The Avengers.

So those episodes were scrapped and her services were dispensed with – and out of the tests came Diana Rigg. Other actresses were tested such as  Moira Redmond  and one or two unknowns like Sarah Brackett – sadly she died many years later in 1996 in Westminster – but Diana Rigg was head and shoulders above everybody else.”

Elizabeth Shepherd as Emma Peel

 

ABOVE: Elizabeth Shepherd

Brian Clemens worked for a total of six years on various Avengers series and then, when Diana Rigg left the show, he was suddenly thrown out.

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Cliff Richard – His Birthday

 

Cliff celebrated his 79 th Birthday yesterday 14 October 2019 – and his is still Rockin’

Cliff

Next year he embarks on a major tour – as he says ‘ the word Retirement does not exist in my vocabulary’

Serious Charge  

ABOVE – Cliff with Andrew Ray in Serious Charge 1959

Serious Charge 2  

ABOVE – Cliff surrounded by young girls in Serious Charge 1959

Serious Charge 3

ABOVE – Cliff with Andrew Ray in Serious Charge 1959 on Location for ‘Serious Charge’ in Stevenage

 

This  was Cliff’s first film -  ‘Serious Charge’ with Anthony Quayle and Andrew Ray and Sarah Churchill. Cliff did not have a very big part but did get to sing his hit ‘Living Doll’

Expresso Bongo

 

His very next film released in 1961 was ‘Expresso Bongo’ along with Laurence Harvey and Sylvia Sims  - so here he is again alongside  another top actor – or top actors. As we see above he sang for me – one of his best songs of the period ‘A Voice In The Wilderness’

Then onto one we all know – the delightful – and colourful ‘Summer Holiday’ in 1963. We all flocked to the cinema for this one

Summer Holiday 1963 2

Cliff above – with his friends setting off on the great adventure which we all shared. This was a good film

Summer Holiday 1963

Cliff in Summer Holiday ABOVE

He later made another hit ‘The Young Ones’ alongside none other than Robert Morley

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Love in Pawn 1953

Bernard Braden and Barbara Kelly play a young couple who are forced to take drastic measures to raise money because a large gift is coming their way from a distant relative – however it is dependent on them not being in debt - and so the wife takes drastic action and pawns her husband.

However his new family seem to really like him, particularly daughter Jeannie Carson  who does what she can to seduce him. Soon the situation becomes a national sensation, as Barbara Kelly is reluctant to retrieve her now confused husband. Farcial situations abound as you can imagine.

 

Love in Pawn 1953 3

ABOVE:  John Laurie offers legal advice.

I have featured this film before on the Blog when I said that, as a young boy, my brother and I were taken to see it 

There is lots of sharp, punning dialogue, presumably supplied by “additional” script writers, Frank Muir and Denis Norden.

Husband and wife team Bernard Braden and Barbara Kelly – those Television stars of the 50′s – fitted well into this  family-friendly comedy -  the type that the film industry churned out throughout the decade. 

They play a pair of bohemians living the artistic life on a houseboat in Chelsea.

Among the cast  is Reg Dixon who had succeeded George Formby in the West End in  the hit musical ‘Zip Goes a Million’ when George had a heart attack.   He played one of the pawn shop partners, perpetually harassed by his family.

Love in Pawn 1953 2

He never really made it in films,  He had been a big Radio Star as well as having the West End hit.

ABOVE – We see Reg Dixon with Bernard Braden and Jeannie Carson

John Laurie is well cast a stuffy lawyer who gets caught up in the couple’s schemes.  Laurence Naismith is also cast

 

Script: Guy Morgan, Frank Muir, Denis Norden

Director: Charles Saunders

Other actors: Jeannie Carson, Walter Grisham, Avice Landone, Tom Gill, Alan Robinson, Dorothy Gordon, Benita Lydell, Hal Osmond

Love in Pawn 1953

Love in Pawn is a pleasant way of spending an hour and twenty minutes and it is quite good fun entertainment.

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The Last of the Long Haired Boys 1968 – Help with this one Please !!

Well, I don’t know anyone who has ever seen this film – and I do know that even the star of the film Richard Todd never saw it.

There seem to be no pictures or film stills for us to use from this film

It starts out in a curious fashion in October of 1967.  Richard Todd was staying at his flat in London one evening when a knock came at the door and he opened it to quite a forlorn looking character who was Peter Everett. He had written a script for a film and was producing and directing it. He begged Richard Todd to read the script which Richard did later that night.  

The following evening Peter Everett came round again and was almost in tears and imploring Richard Todd to take the leading role in his film – he explained that Richard was vital to the film.

Richard Todd had , however been very impressed by the script that Peter Everett had written – they story centred on a former RAF fighter pilot who had seen much action in the War, and now the War was over seemed unable to adjust to the realities of post war life. He became more and more engrossed with memories of those finest hours and about the colleagues who had perished – he became lost in a hideous dream world much to the contempt of his son and the agony of his long suffering wife.   He had in the story, taken on a Pub close to a Wartime airfield in Kent – and proceeded to cram it with memorabilia of the conflict.

Finally almost deranged he dons his RAF uniform and wanders on to the airfield, surrounded in his mind by ghosts of the past.  His son finds him and at last seems to understand his inner turmoil and quietly talks him back to safety.    This is a touching scene that bridges the generations.

Richard Todd was profoundly disturbed by the script – however he found it beautifully written by Peter Everett who was a novelist and poet.

Richard Todd agreed to do it – he had by this time been told that filming would start in a few days time down at Hawkinge in Kent – and he learned that quite a strong cast of well-known British actors had been lined up including Patrick Barr, David Markham, Sonia Dresdel, Sue Jameson and Malcolm Tierney.  Then a  new cast member Gillian Raine was brought in to play the Airman’s wife – on Richard Todd’s recommendation. He said that he loved working with her.

The first day’s filming proved a nightmare of incompetence and chaos – a young cameraman had been assigned who had been a still specialist and no experience of this type of work.  That evening Richard Todd phoned up contacts he had and an experienced film cameraman and crew arrived on set  the next day.

Scenes in the local Pub at Paddlesworth went well –

Other studio scenes were done in a converted Hangar at Panshanger, a former RAF airfield Nr Welwyn.

This film was finished in November 1967. Richard Todd thought that they had managed to produce something really good.

However, he added ‘ What happened to ‘The last of the Long Haired Boys’ I don’t know’ 

Apparently he was out of the country when it was due for release – and he never saw any share of the profits from the film – if indeed there were any.

However one day some time afterwards he was sitting in a Restaurant in London when an old acting friend Trevor Howard came up to him and said ‘ Just seen your film Ther Last of the Long Haired Boys.  Bloody marvellous, Dicky old boy’

As Richard said ‘ I could not have asked for a finer accolade than that from my screen hero’

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If anyone out there knows of – or has seen this film please let me know. I have searched around for years for it – but to no avail. There must be a 16 mm or 35 mm copy somewhere.

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