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Glenn Ford marries Eleanor Powell

The date was 23 October 1943 when Glenn Ford married Eleanor Powell.

Glenn Ford marries Eleanor Powell

 

Glenn Ford was in his US Marine Corps uniform.

They had a son Peter Ford who also became an actor – he was born in February 1945.

Later Eleanor Powell turned to God and became a Minister in the Church.

Her son Peter had been struck down with severe arthiritis at the age of 21 and he went through a long period when he could hardly move – then one day he woke up and the affliction had completely left him.    He attributes this to his Mother’s prayers

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Richard Todd Dairy Farmer

The year is 1964 and the smartly dressed driver delivering cartons of cream to the village grocer in the Shiplake area,  from his Land-Rover did not seem to be just another tradesman. 

Eagle eyed  onlookers were reminded of  Robin Hood, Rob Roy or even Guy Gibson from  from The Dambusters film. They were right. The driver was none other than  actor Richard Todd. The cream came from his farm in Shiplake, near Henley on Thames from a growing herd of pedigree Jersey cattle.

In order to test local markets and discover the problems of producing and transporting the cream, Mr. Todd carried his first deliveries in his estate Land-Rover.

The products caught on and soon a driver and small van were delivering regular supplies. So good was the quality that demand exceeded supply. Alternative sources had to be established.

In September 1964, with Richard  Todd as chairman and managing director, Shiplake Dairies Ltd. was formed and became the heart of a small group of companies of which Richard Todd Farms is the marketing company for all dairy produce.

Richard Todd Dairy Farmer 2

 

ABOVE: Richard Todd looks proudly at his Refrigerated Delivery Van

After experimental work with a number of home-made types of transport refrigeration, Mr. J. Coates, general manager of Shiplake Dairies, enlisted the aid of Mr. Alex Schepen, of Abingdon. Mr. Schepen suggested Petter mechanical transport refrigeration units and with the assistance of the bodybuilding manager of City Motors, Oxford, designed their first economically successful refrigerated vehicle.

A Bedford KB 2-ton chassis, it was equipped with a Thermo-King HPA2OD transport refrigeration unit, hydraulically operated from a gearbox p.t.o. There was a single-access rear door with mounting step incorporated in the rear bumper.

Vehicle insulation was made up from 3M. polystyrene foam on sides, rear and roof with 4in. thickness on the bulkhead, body lining of 18swg aluminium and a galvanized steel floor.

To overcome the problem of maintenance of vehicle livery, extensive use was made of glassfibre-reinforced polyester sheeting which undoubtedly helped the efficiency of the insulation.

Richard Todd Dairy Farmer 3

ABOVE - One of the Richard Todd Farms Delivery Vans.

Richard Todd with his wife and family lived at Haileywood House Nr Shiplake.

He became a Dairy Farmer and loved it but as he later said it did get in the way of his film career which was about on the wane by 1964 when these pictures were taken. This venture did not last that long.

He sold the house and moved to the Cotswolds which was a mistake as he later admitted – and shortly after that he left his wife Kitty and eventually married Virginia.

Richarsd Todd and His Son Peter

The picture above shows Richard Todd with his son Peter taken a little time before the pictures at the top of the article I would think

 

 

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The Wonder Kid 1952 – Bobby Henrey

 

I remember this young boy in The Fallen Idol but know little about his follow-up film The Wonder Kid – filmed partially in Austria where it seems this shot was taken.

 

 

Bobby Henrey

 

The Wonder Kid was actually released here in 1952.   David Raynor, who often provides very welcome and interesting comments of this Blog, is an expert on Bobby Henrey and has kindly agreed to let me post below the comments he has made on imdb :-

While not in the same league as that in “The Fallen Idol”, Bobby Henrey’s performance in his second and last film, “The Wonder Kid”, is just as charming and fascinating to watch. He is totally convincing and often very touching as Sebastian Giro, a ten years old French boy and child musical prodigy found in an orphanage by Mr Gorik (Elwyn Brook-Jones) who exploits the youngster’s talent as a classical pianist and turns him into an international celebrity. He even tells everyone that the boy is only seven years old in order to make the boy wonder’s talent seem all the more remarkable. But Gorik is also a crook who embezzles the takings so that he has almost all the money and Sebastian gets hardly any. Coupled with that, Gorik won’t allow Sebastian to enjoy the simple pleasures of being a little boy, like having a pet dog or playing with other boys or even reading comic books, because, when Sebastian isn’t performing, Gorik isn’t making any money out of him. He works the over tired boy like a slave who must continually practise on the piano. Sebastian’s elderly English governess, Miss Frisbie (Muriel Aked) is very concerned about the boy and confronts Gorik about his crooked activities. But he dismisses her from her post. Miss Frisbie then pays a gang of junior league crooks to “kidnap” Sebastian and take him to stay in a remote lodge in the Austrian Tyrol and Gorik won’t get him back until he’s paid over a huge ransom which is, in effect, all the money he has stolen from the boy. It is here, in this beautiful setting, that the boy finds a freedom and a happiness he has never known and just wants to stay there forever with those who have become his friends. But trouble is on the horizon for him…

This now unjustly forgotten little film is thoroughly entertaining and wonderful to watch.  Apart from the truly picturesque scenery, Bobby Henrey’s performance as the cruelly exploited child prodigy who moves from misery to happiness is just wonderful. Highly recommended.

—————————————————-

David’s comments above – and he now informs me that this film has been released on DVD within the last 3 years or so.  I must get a copy.

 

 

The Wonder Kid 5

 

The Wonder Kid - Pictured again with that lovely dog.

The Wonder Kid

 

The Wonder Kid – ABOVE From the Front Cover of the ABC Film Review – this picture supplied by David Raynor

 

The Wonder Kid 2

 

The Wonder Kid – ABOVE  A Front of House Still from the Film - this picture supplied by David Raynor

 

BELOW – Scenes from the film

The Wonder Kid

 

The Wonder Kid 2

 

The Wonder Kid 3

 

The Wonder Kid 4

 

The Wonder Kid 5

 

Scenes from the Film ABOVE

 

David Raynor did meet up with Robert Henrey at a special showing of The Fallen Idol  at the Regal Cinema in Tenbury Wells back in 2013 – here is what he had to say about that :-

My meeting with Bobby Henrey was a memory to treasure, although not the 180 miles journey there and back.

One thing I remember was that when the opening credits started and Bobby’s name came on the screen, everybody cheered. I certainly didn’t like the insulting remarks Guy Hamilton made about Bobby, that he couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag; that he had the attention span of a demented flea and they used up thousands of feet of film getting one line of dialogue out of him and so on. The truth was that if Bobby had been as bad as that, Carol Reed wouldn’t have had him in the film in the first place, or he would have replaced him early on.

 

But in truth, he was wonderful in it and was kept on the film until the end of the shoot. For some reason, Hamilton didn’t want Bobby on the film. He wanted a professional child actor. But Carol Reed wanted Bobby and that was that. In any event, he made the right choice. So Hamilton seems to have had it in for Bobby, hence the snide remarks about him.

In complete contrast to Hamilton’s remarks, Karl Hartl, who directed Bobby in his second film, The Wonder Kid, said that Bobby was no trouble at all; that he learned his lines easily and that he only ruined one take, where he spoke about Brookville instead of Brooklyn.

David adds :  I am attaching a photo of Bobby and I together at Tenbury Wells. I’m the one in the blue anorak.

Bobby Henrey with David Raynor 2013

 

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Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans

 

 

This is now getting a re-run on Talking Pictures – a welcome one at that.

Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans

We all remember the names of Hawkeye and Chingachgook, 

John Hart and Lon Chaney Jnr

 

 It might seem dated now but who cares – that’s what television was in the 1950s and we loved it.

 

 

“Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans” was a good Television series imported from the USA as so many were.

Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans 2

John Hart starred as Hawkeye – he had played the Lone Ranger for a while earlier than this when Clayton Moore had a disagreement with the Studio, but that was eventually settled and Clayton Moore returned leaving John Hart to move on and later in o this series.

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Erich Wolfgang Korngold

 

On BBC Radio 4 last evening in the ‘Front Row’ programme there was a very enlightening feature on Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Composer so well known in the Film field because of his days in Hollywood from around 1034 – and probably best known for his rousing score to ‘The Adventure of Robin Hood’ featuring Errol Flynn.

 

Kings Row

He later scored the film ‘Kings Row’ starring Ronald Reagan – and a clip from this was played on the programme.   Quite often when this work is played people say ‘Star Wars’ but No – it is Kings Row.  Apparently George Lucas wanted a similar dramatic score to his ‘Star Wars’ film and asked the composer to listen and take inspiration from Korngold’s film work, which he did and came up with the one we all know. At Ronald Regan’s Presidential Ball, he had a first rate orchestra and Conductor at the White House to play Korngold’s music, and the President just loved it – particularly the ‘Kings Row’ composition.

 

Kings Row 2

In  1942, Warner Brothers released the film  “King’s Row,” which included in its cast a 31-year-old actor named Ronald Reagan, who claimed the film “made me a star.” The film’s musical score was by someone already a star – the Austrian-born Erich Wolfgang Korngold, famous for his earlier work for Hollywood swashbucklers like “Captain Blood” and “Robin Hood” starring Errol Flynn.

Kings Row 3

Above: Anne Sheridan with Ronald Reagan

 

Korngold’s music for “King’s Row” proved unusually popular, and Warner Brothers prepared a form letter politely declining inquiries for sheet music or recordings. Back then, film score recordings were not common, and the big studios were jealously protective of anything – including music – that they owned. It wasn’t until 1979 — 37 years after the release of the film – that a full soundtrack recording of “King’s Row” was released, produced by the composer’s son, George, who was responsible for a major revival of interest in his father’s work. In fact, Korngold’s main title music from “King’s Row” may have provided the model for the American composer John Williams when he wrote his main title music for the 1977 sci-fi swashbuckler “Star Wars.”

 

Kings Row 4

ABOVE: James Wong Howe – acclaimed film photographer on this film – Kings Row

The main title music for “King’s Row” was requested by the White House in 1981 for use at the inauguration of President Reagan, the star of this film – and later President of the USA

 

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Holidays

 

 

I am just heading off into the English Country side for a few days holiday.

I will not be posting any articles on the Blog until next week.

 

Thanks for reading – I have posted One New Article per day from and including 1 January 2019 so m aybe due a rest but will try to make up for lost time when we are back.

 

Meantime THANKS for reading the articles – I hope there are some that are oF interest as I do try to vary them.

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Diana Rigg her daughter Rachael Stirling in Wild Bill

 

This is filmed in and around Boston in Lincolnshire - and I must admit I have come to love this series of police drama. It isn’t of course a Fifties film or TV series and in fact is well up to date in 2019.

 

Wild Bill

 

Rob Lowe – pictures above is the star of the show - Rob Lowe as Bill Hixon with Bronwyn James as DC Muriel Yeardsley in Wild Bill. 

 

Rachel Stirling and Rob Lowe in Wild Bill

 

Rob Lowe – pictured above with Rachael Stirling.

 

Diana Rigg

 

Rachael Stirling plays Rob Lowe’s girlfriend in the series – her Mother is the lovely Diana Rigg – seen her in The Avengers.

 

We watched an episode we had recorded this evening – it was very good and moved on at a pace. Quite zany but with good storylines.

DP151433.tif

The scenery around Boston although very flat is somehow appealing and Boston itself looks good

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Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949

Again this was on Talking Pictures this afternoon and I saw some of it – but know the film and the story so well, as most of us do.

 

I always say this – Alec Guinness seemed to take the plaudits for his many roles in this film – and in many ways he deserves that – but Dennis Price is the central character who seems  to appear in nearly every scene. He is excellent in this.

 

Alec Guinness played nine of the D’Ascoyne family – and Dennis Price played Louis Mazzini – whose Mother had been a family member but had been completely dis-inherited by them when she chose to marry an Italian who they did not approve of.  She eventually died in poverty and Louis had a loving upbringing but again in poor circumstances.

Kind Hearts and Coronets 3

 

ABOVE: Ascoyne D’Ascoyne with a young mistress who he is buying gifts for,  turns on Louis and gets him sacked from his job – this effectively seals his own death warrant

 

Then one of the D’Ascoynes had him sacked from his position as a store  worker – at which stage, Louis became fixed on the idea of eliminating the whole family so that he would inherit their wealth, which he felt was deserved after the way his Mother had been treated.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

As the Narrator – Dennis Price says – The D’Ascoynes have followed tradition and sent the fool of the family into the Clergy ABOVE

Kind Hearts and Coronets 2

 

Kind Hearts and Coronets 4

 

Kind Hearts and Coronets 5

He gradually eliminates them all – as we know – but there is a twist in the tale at the very end of the film

Dennis Price

Dennis Price in nearly every scene in this classic film. T

 

This must have been his greatest role.

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Caesar and Cleopatra 1945

This is a film released well before the Fifties decade – but it was a big production made at Denham Film Studios. It turned out to be very successful at the Box Office.

It was a Technicolor Production directed by Gabriel Pascal

Claude Rains – a great actor – brings off Caesar with withering poise and breezy wit, as he encounters the beautiful Cleopatra – superbly played by Vivien Leigh in one of her best ever screen roles and performances.

Caesar and Cleopatra

The film was shown on Talking Pictures this afternoon .

There are many reviews on this film to be read online.  I remember seeing the later Elizabeth Taylor film Cleopatra some years later – but from what I have read this is a better film

Caesar and Cleopatra 2

The Film Director was Hungarian born  Gabriel Pascal – he would be very welcome at Denham as Alexander Korda – who buil and owned the Film Studios –  and many of his close associates were Hungarian.

Gabriel Pascal was a bit like Alexander Korda in a way, as he spared no expense on his films - he certainly didn’t stick to budgets but he produced lavish spectacular ones

Caesar and Cleopatra 3

ABOVE – Claude Rains here with Francis L Sullivan - whose next but one role would be as Jaggers in the 1946 film version of Great Expectations 1946 – a truly memorable role in a memorable classic film

Caesar and Cleopatra 4

ABOVE – The Wonderful Claude Rains as Caesar

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Walt Disney Jig Saw Puzzles

I have said this before and will say it again, at this time Walt Disney was ahead of  anyone else in the Film Industry with the way he promoted the release of his films on a Worldwide scale.

One of the things he did – among others – was to produce Jig Saw Puzzles featuring scenes from the films he was releasing

These BELOW are just some of the ones I have collected. Mind you, there were others in the late forties / Early fifties who produced these – I do have Four Jig Saws from The Blue Lagoon and probably TWO for Diamond City

Walt Disney Jig Saw

ABOVE – Rob Roy The Highland Rogue

Walt Disney Jig Saw 2

  ABOVE – Snow White – these may have been from early fifties re-release of the film

Walt Disney Jig Saw 3

ABOVE – Snow White – these may have been from early fifties re-release of the film

Walt Disney Jig Saw 4

Rob Roy again 1953 release

Walt Disney Jig Saw 5

Another Scene from Rob Roy The Highland Rogue

Walt Disney Jig Saw 6

 

Now my own favourite ABOVE – The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men 1952 Release

 

 

 

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