They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next! You’re next!

I’ve just started reading Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers. 

Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing From Another World are my favourite 50’s sci-fi films, and though I’ve watched Invasion many times over the years it’s taken me this long to read the book. I’m not sure why. The same thing happened with Jaws.

Jaws is one of the few instances, possibly the only instance, where I’ve preferred the movie adaptation to the book itself, and as I love the Body Snatchers film perhaps the same thing will happen now. My expectations are, though, that I’ll at least be checking the garden shed and beneath the decking for pods. Anything less and I’ll be disappointed.

The title of this post is, of course, taken from the movie, and there’s another line which, if you substitute the name Becky for Andy, I’m sure my wife could relate to:

I’ve been afraid a lot of times in my life. But I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until… until I had kissed Becky.

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R.I.P Margot Kidder

I’ve just heard that Margot Kidder has died, aged 69, and immediately my mind turned to Saturday matinees at the local cinema in the late seventies/early eighties. The cinema is long gone but the memories remain.

And of you, too, Lois Lane.

R.I.P

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Of The Silent World:Dolores

As a self-confessed fan of both old movies and old photographs, I love this. It is Dolores Costello, who married John Barrymore, and is the grandmother of Drew Barrymore.

I’m sure there are other family members who could be name dropped here, too. 🙂

Oh the days before the world succumbed to sound and colour.

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Introducing Pennywise

I’ve always been a Stephen King fan. I grew up reading him. I love his depictions of small town American life, as well as his more epic stories. Though I also read his thrillers, it is the horror books of old that I have a penchant for.

My two favourites are Salem’s Lot, and It. King’s stories don’t always translate well to the big (or the small) screen. In regard to Salem’s Lot, I do like the original television adaptation, starring Hutch himself-David Soul. Though perhaps more faithful to the book, I’m not so enamoured with the remake.

As for It, I last watched this years ago. I don’t recall much about it except that I was disappointed. Well, now a new, two-part movie is being made. The first movie is about the children, The Loser’s Club, who come together to fight the evil presence that resides in Derry. The second film will depict the next confrontation, when the children are now adults.

I’m looking forward to seeing a fresh perspective of King’s great novel. Today, I saw the first glimpse of the new, evil Pennywise. I shared it today on Facebook, tagging in the picture two of my friends ostensibly because they are King fans, but also because they are afraid of clowns.

You’re welcome. I’m that kind of friend.

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Daisy, Daisy, Give Us Your Answer Do

Imagine that you want to be an actress, so you go to a school for performing arts, and on qualifying your first real movie role just happens to be a major blockbuster and the biggest film of the year. When suddenly you can’t even pop into your local superstore to pick up a loaf of bread without being reminded of it.

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This is precisely what happened to Daisy Ridley, an unknown suddenly thrust into the limelight after landing a starring role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

How did she cope with this life-changing event? How would you?

I’m not sure, but I wanted to share this with you guys. It is a three minute clip of an interview that she did on The Tonight Show, and it includes something that I both laughed at and loved: it shows Daisy, lay in bed while staying at a B&B, watching the trailer for the movie.

Witness the emotional reaction of a girl seeing for the very first time the fruit of everyone’s hard work in creating something wondrous, looking on a realised dream as she is on the cusp of becoming a star.

I wonder if she has gotten used to it yet? Daisy, please give us your answer, do.

Where In The Tree Is Vivien?

I recently finished reading a biography about possibly my country’s greatest actress: Vivien Leigh. Triumphant and tragic, always lovely, ever fragile, her most difficult part was that of her own life.

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My post on an old movies site on Facebook provoked a conversation about her being England’s greatest actress. I was asked what it was about her that made me of this opinion, and how she faired in comparison to the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren. (The question was asked in all innocence, purely out of curiosity, as it was posed by a fan of Vivien’s who was curious as to why I hold her in such similar esteem.)

I replied that both Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are fine actresses, (Elizabeth Taylor too), but to me there seems a certain gravitas in both Leigh’s performances and in her attitude towards her craft. Most of her performances were on stage and not before a camera, and she would often say that she was an actress, not a film star. Two Oscars not withstanding.

If only her Lady Macbeth, among other roles, had been recorded!

She brought both beauty and art to her roles, but she thought that her looks obscured her abilities as an actress.

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Responding to the original question in making a decision about where she ranks, we can only go off anecdotes, regard, performances and achievements.

There was a firm courage that underscored Leigh’s sometimes fragile demeanour, which becomes apparent when you learn of her long struggle with both tuberculosis,(which ultimately would claim her), and mental illness. There are accounts of her appearing on stage after undergoing electric shock treatment, burn marks still visible on her temples.

When she was making her final film, Stanley Kubrick said that it was obvious she was ill. About to shoot a scene, she would be shaking on set. Leigh would take herself off to the side, master control of herself, then come back and complete a perfect take, her trembling  returning on finishing.

This final indication of dedication and braveness underlines her greatness. One man’s meat and all that, but when considering the pantheon of our great actors and actresses, for me Vivien Leigh is up there at the very top.

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VIVIEN LEIGH holding her Academy Award for Best Actress for Gone With Wind. 1940.