Entertainers come in all shapes and sizes…….
You may not recognise the name but if you are at any kind of film-buff at all there is a very strong likelihood that you will have seen one or more of his movies at some time or other. One of the giants of the British film industry, Lewis Gilbert directed his first film in 1948 and then went on to make a host of classic movies such as Reach for the Sky, Carve Her Name With Pride, Sink the Bismarck and Alfie, not to mention at least 3 James Bond films, as well as Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. That’s enough to be getting on with.
You don’t have to watch too many John Ford movies to start recognising familiar faces moving from film to film. Ford built up a remarkable stock company of actors over his moviemaking career, and in many ways it is these familiar faces that help to give a Ford film such a distinctive identity and texture. They are all here in these short pen portraits, most of them gone now, but all part of one of the most extraordinary flowerings of genius Hollywood has ever seen. As Peter Bogdanovich so elegantly puts it: Every Ford movie is filled with reverberations – which makes his use of the same players from year to year, decade to decade, so much more than just building a “stock company” – and one film of his cannot really be looked at as separated from the rest.
Sometimes a book vies for my attention when I see it sitting on the new-books trolley, and this one definitely elbowed its way into my field of vision, sitting there alongside books on Andy Warhol and Renaissance painting. The rodeo circuit in Australia has a surprisingly long and active history, even though it remains all but invisible to most of us living in urban centres. Geoff Allen here recounts stories told him by Blue Bostock of his time as a bullfighter and rodeo clown (Bluey the Clown, what else!); to name just two of his many claims to fame.
A bit of wartime rodeo action from our Picture Collection