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March 06, 2006

A Fairly Reliable History of British Films


I don't know how long this site will be up, but it's worth a look. It's the history of British film as seen through the eyes of movie extra Keith Guttenberg, the guy in purple, as seen in the above "still". Some of the lines are pretty funny while others are absolute groaners. Be certain after the episode is over to click to learn more about British films. There are some humorous paragraphs on famous actors and films such as the piece on David Lean's Oliver Twist.

This site seemed appropriate for me as this previous week I had seen two films that featured Sylvia Syms. This was not planned, as I was totally unaware that she was in the second film until the credits appeared. I saw a British DVD of Ice Cold in Alex, the rousing World War II film in which John Mills crosses the desert to get a beer in Alexandria. Several top British actors join Mills: Harry Andrews, Anthony Quayle and Syms. It took me a while to realize that I was looking at Syms in I'll Sleep when I'm Dead, filmed forty-five years later. That film is by Mike Hodges, who seemed to forget that he made a better gangster revenge film, Get Carter back in the early Seventies, and that films about men having psychological breakdowns following male on male rape, as in Deliverance and Scarecrow, came and went in that era. Seeing Syms as she looks now is almost like watching contemporary British films - I keep on thinking about the past when they were both more vital.

Posted by peter at March 6, 2006 12:02 AM