Friday, 19 February 2010

RIP Lionel Jeffries

And so another link to my childhood goes :(
I loved the guy way back then and i watch his work now with awe - such a brilliant, eccentic, wonderful character actor that infused any film he was in, be it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Railway Children, Murder Ahoy and a standout turn in a Norman Wisdom film where, in the space of only a couple of minutes, he eclipsed the star.
I remember him best though for, at least with me, his defining role in First Men In The Moon.
A film which had a great impact on me, not only for the excellent Ray Harryhausen effects, but for Lionel's work.
Even at the age of 10, i could see i was watching someone special - not only his eccentricity played to the hilt here, but also the terrific acting when he's talking to the Grand Lunar as he realises the burden of responsability of his task.
And most of all the real sense of pathos at the end where he elects to stay behind on the moon.
It affected me deeply then and still brings a lump to my throat now.
Goodbye Mr Jeffries, you've left behind a great legacy - and i wish you'd been my dad.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Top 5 TV Openings - 4

Already touched on here, the good Captain lands at Number 4. Brilliant, spooky opening credits which gives you everything you need to know about what you're about to get.That shot of Captain Black was eerie back then - and still is now.
Top stuff - and the end credits are just as good.

Planet Of The Apes

Its odd - though i have fond memories of the concept, and the first two films are rightly regarded as classics, i only ever saw "Escape" at the cinema.
No idea when or where i saw the others and my strongest memories are of the TV show (and all the features in Look-In), the bubblegum cards, and really rather dodgy cartoon and, most of all, the British weekly comic.
And strongest memory there is the bizarro concept of taking the US Marvel hero Killraven - who battles baddies and Martians on Mars in a sequel to The War Of The Worlds - and drawing the bad guys as Apes.
I mean, c'mon, who thought that up? And why? Were they THAT desperate for suitable back-up strips.
As i say, bizarre.