Friday, 10 May 2013

RIP Bryan Forbes

Being away and without the net I was unable to mark the passing of actor/director/producer and screen writer Bryan Forbes this week at the age of 86.



I can't lie and say Forbes was an absolute favourite director of mine as I had some niggles regarding his work - I found his nepotism at casting his wife Nanette Newman in virtually everything he helmed a bit annoying, and had heard he had, as an actor himself, a particularly irritating habit of acting out each scene before the shoot expecting the actor to play it as he had just done - but he was nonetheless a talent and as a director responsible for some absolute corkers, such as Seance On A Wet Afternoon and Whistle Down The Wind, amidst the near miss star studded The Wrong Box and some clunkers like Deadfall and International Velvet. Perhaps most famously of all he is known for the original, and the best, adaptation of Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives.

As an actor he found fame in such greats like The Colditz Story, The League Of Gentlemen and Quatermass II, and as a writer worked with his old friend Richard Attenborough on Chaplin, his last involvement with cinema. 

Quite a roll call really, and that's good enough for me.

4 comments:

  1. And let's do not forget the kitchen-sink classic 'The L-Shaped Room' from 1962 which was Bryan Forbes' (and arguably Leslie Caron's) finest hour..

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    1. I have a *slight* issue with The L Shaped Room in that I adore the book, so the film always falls short for me. But that's a personal opinion. It's certainly worth a watch. For me, his finest was Seance... just sublime.

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  2. The early 60s were obviously his peak years plus of course 1974's STEPFORD WIVES, but he was a man of many talents, turning to writing fiction and a nice biography of Edith Evans "Neds Girl", who had become a personal friend. He also wrote nicely on Katharine Hepburn. THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT was a doomed project, which he inherited when John Huston walked out, like HELLO DOLLY it was all wrong for 1969, but look at that amazing cast now ... he even had a bookshop where he lived in Surrey. He also doctored lots of other scripts and movies like that dreadful 1964 OF HUMAN BONDAGE, his own scripts for films like THE ANGRY SILENCE and THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (both 1960) are enjoyable too, and it was great re-seeing KING RAT last week. THE L-SHAPED ROOM too is interesting with those early matter of fact depiction of gay characters.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Michael, yes you've just reminded me of King Rat, a very good piece indeed - great cast.

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