Archive for July, 2019




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.


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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Talking Pictures TV

Talking Pictures TV, a family-owned, father and daughter-run station with only three members of staff, launched on Freeview about four years ago but it already has over two million viewers.

It IS unashamedly nostalgic with mainly fifties films – which quite often are non colour ones, documentary shorts and TV series of a good few years ago – which seem to have  proved a hit with the public and – we are informed – the Queen.

Available on Sky  328 and on Channel 81 Freeview.

Films such as  1949 classic The Rocking Horse Winner starring John Mills;  episodes of The Human Jungle (1965) with Herbert Lom as psychologist Dr Roger Corder; and last weekend and today the wonderful ‘John and Julie’ from 1955.

Then we had a full run of the Edgar Wallace features –  they were really good – I particularly remember ‘Act of Murder’ in this series which was just superb.


Talking Pictures


ABOVE A scene from  ‘A Family at War’ which has had a regular slot – a re-run of the 70’s series.


Going back to what is on offer on Talking Pictures – below is a taste :

Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray in ‘The Glass Mountain’. The chilling horror of Sir Donald Wolfit in ‘Blood of the Vampire’.

Rock ‘n’ roll of Terry Dene in ‘The Golden Disc’, and  John Bentley as the cum amateur detective Paul Temple.

Horror legend Boris Karloff brings his television sleuth to the big screen in ‘Colonel March Investigates’, ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ star Jack Warner plays an altogether tougher policeman in the Brighton-based thriller ‘Jigsaw’, and Michael Redgrave and James Mason join forces for thegenuinely creepy ‘Thunder Rock’. These are just a few of the many offerings

The family run company headed by Father and Daughter Noel and Sarah Cronin bring to us classic series from  the USA ranging from Westerns to  Dramas featuring such guest stars as Ronald Reagan, Ginger Rogers, and many others of the day.

Many of these films have not seen the light of day for decades, Talking Pictures has  opened up the  treasure trove which has been stupidly overlooked  and brought this magic back to an  audience who yearn for a  return to that golden age of Thrills and Romance.

Talking Pictures TV

BELOW – a Press feature on Talking Pictures as they prepare to launch in 2015

The 24-hour channel on Sky will see long-lost British classics, including some of Michael Caine’s earliest film work, screened at last. Sarah Cronin-Stanley is the powerhouse behind the channel, along with her father Noel Cronin, who has a tremendous background in British fi lm.

“He started off in 1963 as a postboy at the Rank Organisation, but moved on to be an assistant in the cutting room and eventually became an editor at the Central Offi ce of Information, working with directors who went on to be famous in their own right, such as Peter Greenaway,” says Sarah.

“Then he started a film distribution company called Dandelion Films, then Renown Pictures, which bought up the rights many British films.” Sarah began her career as a freelance foreign correspondent, with special expertise in Africa and the Arab world, and a producer/director, but confesses that being brought up with such a background in classic film and television, it was natural that she would end up working with her father in his business.

“We sold films to the major broadcasters for many years but recently demand from them for the type of films that we specialise in had started to decline,” Sarah says, “but we know that there’s still a sizeable audience for them.

“We don’t hold the rights for the big British classics such as The Lavender Hill Mob, but many films which were probably B-films at the cinema when they were originally screened. That doesn’t make them any less entertaining or historically important, though. Many major movie stars made their earliest appearances in these kinds of films.

“Actually, we’re showing one of Michael Caine’s earliest, Blind Spot, made in 1958, in our first week. It’s always fun to watch the films and spot a future star.”

Talking Pictures TV really has an extraordinary breadth of material for movie-lovers. In its first week it has classic horror movie Blood Of The Vampire, with Donald Wolfit and Hammer pin-up girl Barbara Shelley; a 1963 teen movie called Live It Up!, starring David Hemmings, a young actor called Steve Marriott (who of course went on to be in the Small Faces), with music from acts including Kenny Ball, Gene Vincent and The Outlaws, a group that included Rainbow’s Ritchie Blackmore, and our gardening correspondent Chas Hodges!

There is also a 1932 crime drama called When London Sleeps, a musical comedy called Every Day’s A Holiday with a cast of what seems to be everyone who was famous in 1965 (John Leyton, Mike Sarne, Freddie And The Dreamers, Ron Moody, Richard O’Sullivan, Liz Fraser), and a 1980 movie called Richard’s Things, with an almost unbelievable cast that you would never see anywhere else. New Tricks’ Amanda Redman, Tim Piggott-Smith and intense Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann.

There is also, a Paul Temple film starring John Bentley, who went on to play Meg Mortimer’s husband inCrossroads, as the suave detective.

If you are over 40 I can hear you salivating at the idea of seeing these gems, but is there a market in these classics from a younger audience?

“I think the vintage boom has been very good for us,” says Sarah. 

“Younger audiences want to see the styles and hear the sounds of the past. I’m very much a vintage girl myself. As well as working here, I run a vintage ice-cream van. 

“I also think that you can learn a lot about film history from old movies. All the special effects that you see in films today started with a smoke effect in something from the 1950s and 1960s.”

However, Talking Pictures TV isn’t just offering vintage movies, restored to a high standard, it also has access to American TV series from way back.

They will be showing Burke’s Law, starring Gene Barry as millionaire policeman/spy Amos Burke, and Honey West – Sarah’s favourite – a 1960s series about a sexy lady private detective, starring Anne Francis. 

They’ll also be showing The June Allyson Show, a series of one-off dramas with an incredible roster of guest actors, including David Niven, Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, James Coburn and then-movie star Ronald Regan (whatever happened to him?). 

Sarah says that Talking Pictures TV is currently looking into the rights to show vintage adverts in the “intermissions” between films and programmes, and that they will be interviewing actors from the classic films on the channel. 

Sarah and her father have for many years run a club for fans of B-movies (The Renown B Movie Fan Club) and a company selling DVDs of their films. “I know everybody who’s a member of the club, and I really love hearing from them.

We’ve even got a widow of an actor who is in several of the films as a member, and she always writes to find out if we’re releasing another one of his films on DVD.”

Sarah clearly feels very close to the films she represents, and to the people who enjoy them, and hopes that Talking Pictures TV will resonate with the viewers, of any age. “I hope that people will enjoy spending time with the channel; sitting down with a cup of tea and recalling some happy memories that watching the films and programmes bring back.”

Albert RN


ABOVE: A Classic scene from Albert RN – a typical film that has appeared on Talking Pictures



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Malta Story

Malta Story is not a film I know at all although I do remember it when it first came out.

In this one Alec Guiness is an RAF Pilot and  Anthony Steel plays his commanding officer.

Also  Alec  Guiness has a serious on screen romance which did not happen much in his film parts he had.

Anthony Steel


Lord and Lady Mountbatten met up with the stars of the film after an Army concert at St. Andrews Barracks in Malta – and enjoyed a chat with Anthony Steel and Muriel Pavlow

Muriel Pavlow

After the filming Muriel Pavlow went back to England in time to celebrate her wedding Anniversary with her husband  Derek Farr. He however, was appearing in a   play  in the West End, so instead he hurried up to the Film Studios at Pinewood and they managed  a quick champagne  luncheon  together.

She had married Derek Farr in 1947 having first met him when filming Quiet Wedding.

Muriel Pavlow

In  1947  melodrama The Shop at Sly Corner,  Muriel Pavlow was cast as the sweet, violin-playing daughter of shady antiques dealer Oskar Homolka.

Derek Farr, who had been Margaret Lockwood’s leading man in Quiet Wedding, was cast as her love interest – to her great delight. “I nearly fainted because he was my pin-up, believe it or not, I thought he was marvellous, he had such wonderful blue eyes. And the first scene I had with him I had to come flying down the stairs and throw myself into his arms and kiss him. And that did it! I married him three months later.”

Muriel Pavlow 3

ABOVE:  Muriel Pavlow  with her husband Derek Farr.

Muriel Pavlow died earlier this year – 2019 – at the age of 97

Wonderful actress and film star

Muriel Pavlow 2


Derek Farr and his wife Muriel Pavlow appeared  in many West End plays together – including the one above.

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Film Stars have time to Relax


Well, of course, the film stars of the day did have a life outside of movie land – and generally they were all family people as these pictures show.

They went about their business as normal and then relaxed in whatever way they each wanted to.

The Stars Relax


ABOVE – Richard Greene and his wife Patricia Medina at their Hollywood home when he was filming ‘Forever Amber’

They later divorced and Patricia Medina  went on to marry Joseph Cotton – and they had one of the happiest marriages in Film Land over many years.  Patricia said in an intyerview that her and Joseph Cotton had spent only one night apart during their thirty years of marriage and she said that it was terrible for them  to be apart.

They loved one another to the day he died – and she continued to love him after he had gone.

The Stars Relax 2


ABOVE – Glynis Johns took Director Ken Annakin’s Daughter Snicky, to see the Sea Lions during the filming of ‘Miranda’ at the London Zoo


The Stars Relax 3


ABOVE:  Phyllis Calvert and her five year old daughter Auriol


The Stars Relax 4



ABOVE : Ava Gardner selects another record


Stars Relax


ABOVE:  Ann Todd walking with her daughter Francesca


Stars Relax 2


ABOVE: Lauren Bacall with her pet


Stars Relax 3


ABOVE:  Rosamund John star of ‘Fame is the Spur’ with her son John. Her husband Russell Lloyd having fun joining in.

I am puzzled however by this picture because within a short time of this picture being taken Rosamund John had divorced Russell Lloyd and married the politician John Silkin who she had met through her interest in politics. He was nearly ten years younger that Rosamund but they soon had a child – a son – and went on to live a long and very happy life together. He became an MP and was in the Labour Government of Harold Wilson – she frequently attended Parliament to listen to him speak.

I can’t find any mention of the son John, pictured above.  I will look further into that.


Stars Relax 4


ABOVE: Paramount star Gail Russell studied commercial art before she entered the world of films


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John and Julie on Talking Pictures



What a charming gem of a film this is – with Eddie Calvert’s haunting melody played to great effect throughout the film and at it’s climax.


The story is quite well known – of two young children who run away to watch the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 – and the many adventures that they have in London.

John and Julie 9


When it becomes apparent that their parents can’t take them they run away together to London and the film is the story of their adventures and the things that happened to them, and the characters that they meet along the way – Excellent British actors and actresses who brought humour and sensitivity to the characters – Colin Gibson and Lesley Dudley were ideally cast as the children.


Film Premier


ABOVE – The Film Premiere  


Australian actor Vincent Ball also had a small part along with Moira Lister, Noelle Middleton, Syd James, Megs Jenkins, Constance Cummings, Wilfred Hyde Whyte, Peter Sellers and the brilliant Colin Gordon The background music for the film is very wonderful – recorded by Eddie Calvert – the man with the Golden Trumpet.



John and Julie   John and Julie 2   John and Julie 3   John and Julie 4   John and Julie 5   John and Julie 6     John and Julie 7   John and Julie 8  

ABOVE – With a very much younger Andrew Cruickshank than when he appeared for all those years as Dr. Cameron in Dr.Finlays Casebook on  BBC Television in England – one of my all time favourite programmes


Lovely to watch this heart warming film as I have so many times over the years If you would like an enjoyable, satisfying and nostalgic look into the Fifties – a simpler world but a lovely one at that – then just see this film. It is  one of my own  favourite films even today after fifty years.

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The Lancaster swoops low – almost film land


Just imagine the scene – a Lancaster Bomber swoops low over a small town and as it does the crowds below are thrilled with the sound of those iconic Merlin Engines which become louder as the large Bomber speeds away.  The Scene from a War time film you would say – and it well could have been.

I actually filmed the Lancaster as it swooped low right above the main street but I cannot seem to upload it here





 In fact this happened yesterday at 40’s Weekend held in in the beautiful town / village of Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire.

This is very close to Coningsby where  the Lancaster has its home – so it would not have far to come.

Woodhall Spa 2019


Woodhall Spa 2019 2


Petwood Hotel 2019


ABOVE:  The Iconic Petwood Hotel at Woodhall Spa – Home of the Officers Mess of 617 Squadron – The Dambusters – in Wartime

Petwood Hotel 2019 2


American Vehicles at the Petwood Hotel

Kinema in the Woods


ABOVE – The  famous  Kinema In The Woods over this weekend was showing among other Films – The Dam Busters and Lancaster Skies


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