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Connery Chappell

Connery Chappell (1908 – 1984)

He was born in London in 1908. Connery started working as a theatre critic and journalist in pre-war time London, and worked for several newspapers including the Sunday Despatch. He fell ill with tuberculosis and had to spend the war recovering in a sanatorium on the Isle of Wight. But recover he did, and in the decade following the war he became the editor of two cinema magazines,The Kinematograph Weekly and The Picturegoer, and then as editor of Illusrated. Following this, in the mid-1950s, Connery became an Executive Film Producer for the Rank Organisation at Pinewood Studios. During his time with Rank he was involved in creating two crime drama series, Interpol Calling and Ghost Squad. In 1960 he set up his own company, Amlin Film Productions. Amlin produced several documentaries about the electricity and steam industries, in addition to making the film The Two Salisburys which compared the eponymous towns in the UK and Rhodesia.


Connery authored several fiction and non-fiction titles throughout his career. His most notable published title was his account of the lives of the internees on the Isle of Man during the 2nd World War entitled Island of Barbed Wire. His fictional writing included Trouble on the Line – a story of a mix-up at wayside railway station – and The Arrival of Master Jinks – the story of a doctor who discovers a drug that reduces the human gestation period from nine months to three months.


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Picturegoer Film Annual 1954-55

This is just the sort of Christmas Present children of the fifties would receive – and love to receive – as it contained hours of reading and news of the film stars and films that we were all waiting to see when they came around to the local cinemas.

Picturegoer Film Annual 1954-55

In this issue there were interesting articles on Audrey Hepburn, Norman Wisdom, Marilyn Monroe, Rhonda Fleming and many more PLUS a section on 3D which was in vogue at the time.

Pictures also of Robert Wagner, Grace Kelly, Gina Lollobridgida, Charlton Heston, Jack Palance – the list goes on.

Films featured included  Julius Caesar, Trouble in Store, The Glenn Miller Story, Tha Band Wagon, Doctor In  The House, From Here to Eternity plus features on Jack Hawkins, Debbie Reynolds, Janette Scott, Cyd Charisse and John  Wayne.

The last article is about the NEW Wide Screen process – which is headlined Wide Screen is Here To Stay – and so it proved to be – and we read of a number of films done in this process – King of the Khyber Rifles and Knights of The Round Table.

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A classic film Still – Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr

This film is technically just outside of the Fifties being released in 1949 but a great film nonetheless – and starring two actors who were well able to add some zest to any production – and they certainly did in this one – Samson and Delilah.

Samson and Delilah

This lovely colour still is scanned from an old film annual of the time – and in those days whatever process they used I do not know but somehow the colour had a special brightness and sharpness that is very much of the era – difficult to say what it is but a sort of old fashioned classy look and eye catching too.

This is Victor Mature’s most memorable film and Hedy Lamarr’s too.

George Sanders,even in a biblical epic remains the original English scoundrel and gentleman!The acting of others is equally professional and convincing.Thr direction and editing is brilliant.

The later part of the film has a lot of passion and pathos with Victor Mature excelling as the blind Samson.   The destruction of the temple still evokes wonder and awe even after all these years and remains a very fine and enjoyable film – one of the best of its kind.


Film trailer as above

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Movie Memories Magazine

This is a great magazine – and has been running for a number of years now – based in North Lincolnshire England.

The examples below are quite old magazines but absolutely packed with articles and information / news on many films and actors.


Please visit:

 For £ 15 subscription you receive THREE editions each year – and each one is packed with film information spanning the Golden Days of Hollywood and the British Cinema. I cannot speak too highly of this superb publication and look forward to each new edition.


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By the Light of the Silvery Moon

My daughters used to love this film and having it on Video meant that  we watched it regularly.  Here again the Technicolor from the early Fifties is in my view is unsurpassed and this is shown to great effect in this film.

On saying that – the poster below is in Black and White so it certainly does not do justice to the Colour !!!



Doris Day moving towards the peak of her career here and Gordon MacRae who never quite seemed to get top star billing that often – although he was in Carousel not long after this.

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Double Feature from the 1950 s

I reckon that I saw this Double Feature in England at a Cinema in St.Albans, Hertfordshire at the time where we would have been on holiday – in fact I am sure that is where I saw it.

I certainly remember both films well – Johnny Dark was a Motor Racing film and pretty good at that – and starred Tony Curtis who would be at the top of his career at that time.

Double Feature from the Fifties

However it was Tanganyika that I really liked – a good action packed jungle adventure and very thrilling to a young lad in those days. Seeing it now – and it is not that easy to get hold of – it is very colourful and has a fast moving storyline.

Van Heflin stars along with Ruth Roman, Howard Duff and Jeff Morrow

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SS GB and – Went the Day Well ?

This evening we see the BBC Television adaptation of SS GB telling the fictional story of the Nazis in control of London – from the novel by Len Deighton.


This reminds me of an earlier film telling the story of a platoon of soldiers drafted into a sleepy English village – Bramley End – during the War – nothing strange about that event you would think – but all is not what it seems. What we see next is some of the villagers noticing things about these soldiers that does not quite add up – small and unusual things at first – noticed primarily by some of the women. Soon this builds to a realisation of what is going on – and the film reaches its climax with the battle for Bramley End as it became known. At times chilling and violent which is even further magnified by the fact that all this is going on in a little, very civilised English village. A Masterpiece of Cinema.

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Classic Films Direct


This catalogue from  CLASSIC FILMS DIRECT really interested me when it arrived this morning. There are far more pages than I have scanned and pictured below but they offer films of the era that we on this site cover – both UK and USA films.

Just have a look and see what you think :


To Contact them -   OR telephone 01455 558160





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Marius Goring

An interesting actor to say the least.

Marius Goring


I remember him well as Mr Perrin in ‘Mr Perrin and Mr Traill’  and also in ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ which when his character was down on earth was photographed in that dazzling Technicolor of the time.

See Below – Marius Goring and David Niven.

A Matter of Life and Death

Because of his suave, continental looks, Goring was often assumed to be foreign, but was born in Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1912. His father was a doctor and criminologist who died the 1918 flu epidemic, when Marius was six; his mother, the former Katie MacDonald, was a pianist who had studied with Clara Schumann. Educated at Cambridge and at the universities of Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Paris, Goring determined on a stage career while in his early teens – he first appeared on stage in a Cambridge production at 13 – and studied under Harcourt Williams and at the Old Vic dramatic school from 1929 to 1932.

He made his professional debut in 1927, and toured the continent playing classical roles – he was fluent in both French and German. In 1932 he joined the Old Vic, stage-managing two seasons and playing both Romeo and Macbeth among other roles in 1932-34. He made his film debut in Thornton Freeland’s The Amateur Gentleman (1935), the screenplay of which was co- written by Clemence Dane, and the following year Goring had a great personal success in the West End production of Dane’s play The Happy Hypocrite with a performance Michael Powell was later to describe as “stunning”.



Years before Marius Goring became known to U.S. moviegoers for such roles as the composer in The Red Shoes (1948) and the sensitive German General in So Little Time (1953), he played romantic leads in west End plays. Emlyn Williams seriously considered him for the role of the young miner in the original production of The Corn Is Green

While at Cambridge Goring acted in plays, as he did while studying at two German universities and at the Sorbonne. He returned to England as an apprentice at the Old Vic. When the actor scheduled to play “Macbeth” broke his ankle and the understudy, who was Alastair Sim, lost his voice, Marius acted the leading role for three performances at age twenty.

He was seen in Rembrandt (1936), The Spy in Black (1939), and Pastor Hall (1940) with Nova Pilbeam before making his reputation with English movie audiences in The Case of the Frightened Lady (1940), which had been a hit for him on stage.

Despite the success he had achieved at a relatively early age and the high expectations his colleagues had for him, Marius Goring was devastated when impresario Binky Beaumont replaced him during tryouts of a play that starred Diana Wynyard. “I got the sack while we were playing in Manchester,” he remembers. “I came very close to jumping out of my hotel window. When I got back to London Larry Olivier asked if I’d like to take over for him in a part he was tiring of. Like an idiot, I refused, thinking my career was over. To a serious young actor, one’s career is one’s life.”

His proficiency in “high German” was put to good use as a member of British Intelligence playing Adolf Hitler on a popular radio series heard throughout the British Isles.

Even after the international acclaim he received for his work in the picture The Red Shoes (1948), he continued to consider himself essentially as a stage actor. The exceptionally versatile actor has since then appeared in Take My Life (1947) with Greta Gynt, Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill (1948) with David Farrar, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), The Magic Box (1951), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Son of Robin Hood (1958) with Jack Lambert, The Treasure of San Teresa (1959) with Dawn Addams, Exodus (1960), First Love (1970), Holocaust (1977), and La Petite Fille en Velours Bleu (1978).

Marius Goring was for a time a vice-president of British Equity and is still one of the union’s trustees. He is also a member of London’s venerable Garrick Club where this photograph was taken by the authot (Richard Lamparski)

In 1941 he married Lucie Mannheim, the German-born actress who was seen in The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), So Little Time (1953), and Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965). Marius considers their appearances on stage together, playing in both English and German, to be the high points of his career. She died in 1976.

Goring met his present wife, producer Prudence FitzGerald, when she chose him from his photo in a casting directory for a part on a television show. They share a seventeenth-century house in London’s Hampton Court that looks out onto a royal park.

He is seen frequently on British television and works almost constantly on the stage in England. The Winslow Boy, starring Marius Goring, was very well received throughout the tour of the United Kingdom in 1984. But his recent work is almost unknown in the United States, where he never became the name that he is in the United Kingdom. He played Germans so frequently and convincingly, many American moviegoers were confused as to his nationality. Since he has made only a few Broadway appearances and has never made a picture in Hollywood, he has not had the personal publicity a foreign character actor of his standing would receive in the American press.






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June Thorburn Film Actress

June Thorburn (8 June 1931 – 4 November 1967) was a beautiful and popular English actress whose career was cut short by her death in an air crash. june-thorburn Early life Born  8 June 1931  Karachi, which in those days was British India. She was the eldest of three children.

She spent most of her schooldays in boarding schools in India, since her father was a colonel in the Indian Army and therefore her parents travelled a lot. When he retired from the military, they moved back to Britain. June began writing plays from about the age of seven. Her grandfather (Sydney Thubron) who had also spent many years in India as a design engineer, building many important bridges, made early ‘movies’ and she was the star in several, the first being “Her Second Birthday”, when she was only two years old.

When she was 20 she left home and moved to London and there  she met and married her first husband, Aldon Richard Bryse-Harvey.

This turned out to be a short and stressful marriage – however she had a  daughter in 1953, named Heather-Louise June. The marriage ended in divorce and June moved back to Hampshire, close to her family.

Her she is on the front of the Picture Post of 14 May 1955 – Below :-

Picture Post 1955 - June Thorburn

She remained there for a few years and then her  career started to take off so in 1957 she moved back to London. There  she met Morten Smith-Petersen, who eventually became her second husband. She was married to him until her death in 1967. Together with Morten, she had a second daughter named Inger-Sheleen Christabel.


I have since read this item – actually written by her son  which is quite interesting and enlightening :-

June had two children, Heather, now living in Tigard, just outside Portland Oregon. Sheleen, now living in Chiswick in London, and a Step-son, Simon (Me) Now living in Australia. We are all married. Heather and Jerry ,in Oregon have no children, Sheleen and Chris have a little Girl called Scarlet, And Susie and I have two boys,Ben and Dan and a daughter called Storm. Heather was the product of June’s first marriage, and Sheleen,of her second Marriage to my father Morten.

And another item from someone on duty the night of the air crash :-

I was on duty with BEA (British European Airways) at the West London Air Terminal on the November night of the Iberia crash. BEA was the handling agent for Iberia in those days and the only flight to use Gatwick was the Malaga service, with the rest using Heathrow.

We, at the terminal, in Cromwell Road, usually received the passengers from this service around about 2 a.m. after they had travelled up from Gatwick to Victoria by train and then by special bus to the Terminal. Of course, it was, that evening, not to be.

I hope it it not too intrusive to say that I spare a thought and a prayer for all on board as each successive November comes along.

Film Career.

Fury at Smugglers Bay I remember well and in recent years the Richard Todd produced film ‘Don’t Bother to Knock’ which was not that successful, and of course Tom Thumb, but I also remember the very young and very beautiful June Thorburn in the 1951 version of Scrooge with Alastair Sim.

Tom Thumb was released in 1958 and was quite successful at the Box Office.




Tom Thumb Film Stills above

Below this lovely picture of June Thorburn with Tom Thumb :


 She is an actress well remembered by film fans such as myself even though she did not appear in that many films – but somehow they are films that I know well – maybe because she was in them.


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