During the current clamour to re-appraise everything from the British sex comedy to the career of Sid James. There is one area of home-grown cinema which has remained neglected by the Sight And Sound, Ross Brothers and the Reynolds & Hearn axis. Namely the school of savage sub-Bunuelian satire which ran from about 1968-73. Lindsay Andersons vigo-influenced If, advocated teenage rebellion in a post-Paris riots culture, Peter Medaks’ The Ruling Class depicted the House Of Lords as a place literally filled with skeletons, rotting corpses and zombies, and Kevin Billingtons’ The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer gave us Tony Blair 25 years before the event.
Published in Film Archive
/barney platts mills bronco bullfrog zohra paolo sedazzari matteo sedazzari zani 2

 
Those who have seen the film Bronco Bullfrog will not have forgotten it. Made in 1969, it features real East End kids playing East End Kids and doing the sort of thing East End Kids of the time got up to. We are shown real stuff like the film’s star Del, out to impress on a first date, taking his girlfriend ‘up west’ on his new motorcycle. He decides that the West End cinema is a bit too pricey so instead takes her for a slap meal to a fancy restaurant – a Wimpy’s.
Published in Film Archive
tony hancock simon wells punch and judy man galton and simpson

By 1962, Tony Hancock had been absorbed into the role of the nation’s favourite comedian. The comedian’s morose dejection was in its own way, as contemporary to his day as Johnny Rotten or Liam Gallagher was to theirs. ‘Ridiculous!’ I hear you say, but rather true in fact. Take a look if you don’t believe me. Remember though, during this era of cold, post-war austerity no one previously had dared to display such affront.

Published in Film Archive
norman wisdom laurel hardy paul mcavoy zani

It was with a great sense of sadness that I learned of Sir Norman Wisdom's demise the other day. After a six month illness, at the grand old age of 95, our Norm, Norman Pitkin, the loveable Gump, quietly passed away at an Isle Of Man nursing home. A true working class hero, Norman certainly was a chap of many, many talents… his greatest being the ability to make us laugh, something he always tried very hard, sometimes too hard, to achieve…

Published in Film Archive

/Honor Blackman Gale The Avengers Hamlet


There is no doubt that Cathy Gale helped change the perception of women on British television forever. "When I started, men were still of the opinion that women would always be seen as the weaker sex due to their lack of strength. I was the first woman to be seen defending herself and so illustrated that this was no longer the case. Despite being glamorous and witty, Cathy was also Steed's intellectual equal.
Published in Film
Honor Blackman  1

Very few actresses have ever been given a role that redefines the public's vision of women on television. That in itself would be a significant achievement; but as Cathy Gale in The Avengers, Honor Blackman not only altered that public perception and re-characterized the role, she also single-handedly kick-started the whole 1960s 'second wave' feminist movement.
Published in Film
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