Didn't particularly want to be the one to post this here. Lord Attenborough has passed at the age of 90. I met him twice when I worked in theatre and he was more than nice to me. RIP, Charlie would be proud.
I liked Attenborough as a director, but more so as an actor. I was trying to think of the film in which I first saw him. It was probably THE GREAT ESCAPE, which appeared on American television in 1967. But if that was the film, in my mind he was overshadowed by the American stars of that cast. Much more memorable to me was his appearance in Fox's 1964 British production GUNS AT BATASI, which appeared on U.S. TV in 1968.
Attenborough had the lead role in that film, playing a Regimental Sergeant Major who refuses to turn over a wounded native African officer to rebels in the newly independent country of Batasi. His was the quintessential portrait of the stiff-upper-lip British soldier who does his duty as God and country give him the light to see it. Attenborough won the BAFTA award as Best British Actor that year for both GUNS AT BATASI and SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON.
This one-minute clip tells you all you need to know about Attenborough's character in the film. (The scene starts with a snippet of John Addison's score.)
What a great bloke, a prince among men. And what a life! I don't think he ever quite recovered from his daughter & granddaughter dying in the Thailand tsunami, & then a stroke & a fall, & his wife (married in 1945) suffering from dementia. His last few years were pretty horrible, so maybe we shouldn't mourn his death, but celebrate his life
Sad to hear of Sir Richard Attenborough's passing! A Master Craftsman who has left behind an incredible legacy of work - R.I.P Dickie! * I also enjoyed reading his Autobiography - Entirely Up To You, Darling!
Pinkie in BRIGHTON ROCK, his creepy as f**k performance as British serial killer John Reginald Christie in 10 RILLINGTON PLACE ( the fact it's based on real life makes it far beyond the Hannibal Lector nonsense ) a stand out character in THE GREAT ESCAPE, the very little seen SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON ( excellent and very creepy John Barry score ), THE SAND PEBBLES, and also directed some bloody fine films. A younger generation might, but I never, think of Jurassic Park when I think of Richard Attenborough. ( I just think DINOSAURS )
I posted about Guns At Batasi a while back and thought I'd repost this. R.I.P. "Big X"
(From the imdb) "An anachronistic martinet Regimental Sergeant Major on a remote Colonial African army caught in a local coup d'etat must use his experience to defend those in his care."
Really good, unsung 1964 John Gullermin (The Blue Max) film with Richard Attenborough's excellent award-winning (BAFTA) performance. Co-starring Jack Hawkins, John Leyton, and Errol John. Movie debut of Mia Farrow. Percy Herbert and Graham Stark are both very amusing in their interactions.
Attenbourough's Sgt, Major Lauderdale is laughed at behind his back for being a martinet-like dinosaur, but when the shit hits the fan, he's the one best able to get the job done.
Man what a line up of great directors the night Richard won for GANDHI and I loved how in his speech, which has a slight hiccup in this clip, he said to all the directors nominated, "I am honored to be in your company!"