In Search of Dracula with Mark Gatiss TV - Lost Films of WW2 TV - Classic Literature & Cinema TV - Norman Wisdom: His Story TV - Danny Leigh: Boxing at the Movies: Kings of the Ring TV - Bill Paxton - Comedy Legends with Barry Cryer - Ripley’s Believe It Or Not 2006 - Michael Caine: The Man & the Movies TV - Simon Heffer TV - Chaplin: The Birth of the Tramp TV -
Why do we keep returning to the Count? To what extent has public taste changed our perception of the Vampire, and what is the secret of his hypnotic hold over us all? In Search of Dracula with Mark Gatiss, BBC 2020
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Hammer 1968 … Nosferatu … Over the years the Count proved very difficult to kill … ibid.
Two years after the successful Broadway play, Universal Pictures produced the first version of Dracula on film  with sound. ibid.
In 1958 Christopher Lee made the first of seven Hammer appearances in the role. ibid.
On April 15th 1935 a new type of film went on sale for the first time: it was aimed particularly at amateurs. This was part of a revolution in film-making when small home movie cameras became increasingly available. As Europe descended into conflict, for the first time ordinary people right across Britain were able to record all aspects of their lives. Even at war. Lost Films of WW2 I, BBC 2020
On 7th May 1939 one amateur film-maker recorded a more menacing event: a march through the streets of London by the British Union of Fascists – a party led by former Labour MP cabinet member Oswald Mosley. They claimed to have over 50,000 members. ibid.
A new world order was on the march. But that summer in Britain for most people the events in Europe must have seemed a world away. ibid.
With the fear of bombing, the government began the mass evacuation of Britain’s cities … including over 800,000 children. ibid.
By the end of the Battle the RAF had lost 550 pilots but the Luftwaffe had 2,500 airmen killed. ibid.
One of the biggest fears was that Hitler would use poison gas. So like may other cities, Sheffield had special drills. Everyone had to take part, even schoolchildren. ibid.
So bad was Sheffield’s devastation that just a few weeks after the bombing a filmmaker recorded a moral-boosting trip by the king and queen. ibid.
Hong Kong 1939: one of the jewels of the British empire. Britain was still a global superpower controlling over 25% of the world. This empire was protected by the men and ships of the Royal Navy … Britain faced a powerful new rival in the Far East – Japan. In 1931 Japan had invaded China and began to carve out her own empire. The Japanese army made rapid advances … Lost Films of WW2 II, BBC 2020
Town Makes Its Own News Reel: Out of its population of 9.678 the little Linconshire town of Louth has 9,677 film actors. Odd man out is Mr E B Rawlings, and he’d be in the picture too if he wasn’t the cameraman … ibid. Daily Mirror 2 April 1941
By late 1944 France and Belgium had been liberated. In the east, huge Soviet armies were beginning to overwhelm German forces. ibid.
[Channel] Islands’ amateur filmmakers filmed the liberating troops as they landed desperately needed food and supplies. ibid.
Tales of love are as old as story-telling itself … Whenever a popular romantic story is brought to the big screen it’s easily anticipated. Classic Literature & Cinema s1e1, Sky Arts 2021
Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s play of star-crossed lovers as the author dubbed them, has been the yardstick by which all subsequent romances have been dubbed. ibid.
The first feature film of Sense & Sensibility was not until 1995. ibid.
Jane Eyre: The novel has only grown in stature since then and has had seemingly endless adaptations. ibid.
Anna Karenina has been adapted for the screen over a dozen times … Greta Garbo took on the role twice. ibid.
From the aural tradition of ancient Greece to a paperback grabbed at the airport, nothing grabs the imagination of children and adults alike more than a great adventure story. Classic Literature & Cinema s1e2
The 1954 film Ulysses with Kirk Douglas has so far been the only film adaptation of the story. ibid.
One tale of the more recent past shares a story of a man trapped on an island is Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. ibid.
Swiss Family Robinson: Walt Disney made the first colour version in 1960 with John Mills as the head of the stranded family. ibid.
Ivanhoe: The most famous film adaptation has been the 1952 version starring Robert Taylor and Joan Fontaine and Elizabeth Taylor. ibid.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) … Around the World in 80 Days (1956) … Treasure Island (1950) … The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) … The Man Who Would Be King (1975) … Lost Horizon (1937) … ibid.
On screen we saw the master fool, a cheeky comic character with great musical talent and a physical prowess which made Norman Wisdom Britain’s biggest and most bankable film star of the fifties and sixties. His was a natural talent. Norman Wisdom: His Story, BBC 2012
They regularly stole food to survive. ibid.
He walked from London to Cardiff to look for work. ibid.
Norman had no choice but to live on the streets … Salvation came in the form of the army. ibid.
He became the Flyweight champion of the British troops. ibid.
He demobbed to launch himself as a variety artist. ibid.
Rank’s The Trouble in Store ... broke box office records. ibid.
The Square Peg … An authoritative figure memorably played by Edward Chapman: ‘Mr Grimsdale!’ ibid.
The Bulldog Breed and On the Beat … Throughout the 1950s and ’60s Norman was one of the nation’s best loved film stars, seldom out of the news. ibid.
‘Growing up with Norman Wisdom as your dad was as much fun as you can imagine.’ ibid.
By the 1970s Norman was a screen and stage star, but the pressure was now on to make it in television. ibid.
BAFTA established Norman as a serious actor. ibid.
The Boxing movie has never stood still. Danny Leigh, Boxing at the Movies: Kings of the Ring, BBC 2013
In 1980 at eight years old I was too young to know that one of the greatest ever had just been made: Raging Bull. ibid.
The first true blockbuster would be a boxing film. And the first movie stars were prizefighters. ibid.
The public were gathering in Ali’s corner. ibid.
Stallone went on to build a franchise of six Rocky films and a movie career now spanning forty years. ibid.
The secret of the boxing movie is that we are the boxer. We are Rocky Balboa. ibid.
I’ve always loved movies about con men. I think con men are as American as apple pie. (Con & Films) Bill Paxton
He [Bob Hope] made over fifty films … And then his greatest success in films was with Bing Crosby. Comedy Legends with Barry Cryer s1e5: Bob Hope
Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd, was Hollywood’s first canine star. He starred in 27 movies, always signing his contracts with paw prints. His death in 1932 made front page news. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! 2006
‘You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.’ The words are as famous as the celebrated movie they came from and associated for ever with the giant star who spoke them. Sir Michael Caine: Britain’s greatest ever film actor. Michael Caine: The Man & the Movies aka Michael Caine in His Own Words, Channel 5 2021
‘I was in the army from 1951 to 1953, I was conscripted, and called up. I was a very unwilling poor soldier. I hated discipline.’ ibid. interview with David Frost
‘I killed myself becoming an actor really. And I just defeated that shyness.’ ibid. 1984 interview
The Ipcress File: Michael Caine’s performance won plaudits … His name above the title; star billing at last. ibid.
Alfie: His next role would be one that would confirm Michael Caine’s status as a major movie star. ibid.