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Oscar Nominated Moody Pt.2: From Fagin to Merlin - But No Harry Potter

Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s.[1] But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans.[2] The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures.[3] Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Why the north is the home of British television comedy

The director of BBC North on why British television comedy – from Open All Hours to Phoenix Nights to Benidorm – has its roots and its future in the north

"Hello, my darlings." The first television words I ever remember. Spoken by the pint-sized comic Charlie Drake. It could easily have been Captain Mainwaring's "stupid boy", courtesy of the immortal Arthur Lowe or something from Hylda Baker. And let's not forget that other Hilda, Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden – my nomination for the funniest performance on British television for 50 years.

Catchphrases and comics lit up my childhood and now the BBC is searching for the next generation of comedy artists. And the north is a great place to start looking. When we think of great, iconic comedic talent, a whole host of northern names immediately spring to mind. From classic entertainers such as Morecambe and Wise, Les Dawson, Russ Abbott and Cannon and Ball
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The film that changed my life

Up the Junction by Peter Collinson (1968)

I could say Tokyo Story, or It's a Wonderful Life, or Bicycle Thieves, all films that I rate, but which I have learned to rate as an adult. The one film that absolutely changed and informed me as a child, though, was Up the Junction, directed by Peter Collinson and based on an earlier TV version by Ken Loach. I saw it on telly on a Saturday afternoon when I was about nine. At the time, I didn't know it was going to be an important film but it has stayed with me for 40 years.

It's about a rich girl from the Chelsea set of the 60s, who decides to give that up and live in Battersea, a poorer part of London, where Dennis Waterman becomes her boyfriend. She cuts her Lulu-style hair and starts looking like the working-class girls.

I remember being fascinated by the class differences.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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