Quality Concerns Over The Avengers, 'Tunnel Of Fear' DVD Released By Studio Canal On April 9th 2018 [Review]

This week should have been one with a purely celebratory mood with the release by Studio Canal of the previously missing series 1 episode of The Avengers, 'Tunnel of Fear'. It's great that it's now available and I know many people have enjoyed seeing it for the first time.

And I contributed a significant amount of time and content to try and help the team at Studio Canal make this as high quality a release as possible.

But there are a number of issues which could have been avoided with greater care and attention to detail by Studio Canal. And that has cast a bit of a cloud over proceedings this week, as I have tried to focus some minds on the various issues at hand.

This article focuses more on the known issues. For an in-depth review of the episode itself, I can thoroughly recommend Richard McGinlay's article.

Firstly, however, I want to provide some context on exactly why the discovery of Tunnel of Fear episode is so important and a brief 'potted history' on The Avengers and the ABC TV archive.

Some Background On Series 1 - And Why Tunnel Of Fear Is Such An Important Find

Series 1 of The Avengers has, for a long time, been the Cinderella of all the six series made of The Avengers. One of the key reasons for this is that for many many years, only one episode was known to have survived from the 26 episodes originally made back in 1961. That episode, The Frighteners, was used to provide the clip used in Ian Hendry's This Is Your Life, broadcast in March 1978. In the early 200os, more episodes were rediscovered on 16mm film, this time at the UCLA archive in Los Angeles, including Girl on The Trapeze, another copy of The Frighteners and the first act of Hot Snow [c.15 minutes].  That still only made it 2 and a bit episodes out of 26. So no wonder the focus always remained on series 2-6 for the simple reason that they were available and viewable.

Fast forward to autumn 2016, a surprise announcement is made that another episode has been rediscovered, Tunnel of Fear. It was in the US until about 20 years ago when it was returned to the UK and into the collection of a private collector. And it remained there, forgotten about in a box, until the collector was informed that it might be quite rare and a much sort after missing episode. Kaleidoscope negotiated for it's acquisition and the rights holder, Studio Canal were then able to add their own copy to their archive.

The Avengers - A Production/ Archive History In Brief

The Avengers was produced by ABC TV from 1961-1969. When they lost their ITV broadcasting franchise in 1968,  ABC TV's parent company Associated British Picture Corporation [ABPC], was asked to form a new television company along with Associated-Rediffusion/ Redifusion London's parent company BEP - for the London weekday slot. Both ABC TV and Associated-Rediffusion/ Redifusion London would then cease to exist as production/ broadcasting entities in their own right.

The newly formed company was, of course, named Thames TV. But ABPC still retained the ABC TV archive, which included The Avengers, along with all the rights.

Warner Bros. owned  a 40% stake in ABPC, purchased back in 1940 following the death of John Maxwell. Maxwell, a Scottish solicitor, founded the company in 1927 after he had purchased British National Studios and its Elstree Studios complex and merged it with his ABC Cinemas circuit, renaming the company British International Pictures [BIP].

[Note: The Wardour Film Company, with Maxwell as chairman, was the distributor of BIP films. The company was renamed Associated British Picture Corporation in 1933 and was now in a position to vertically integrate production, distribution and exhibition of films. Under Maxwell's paternalistic management the company prospered and during 1937 it acquired British Pathé, which as Associated British Pathé now functioned as the distribution division.]

In 1967, Seven Arts, the new owners of Warner, decided to dispose of its holdings in ABPC - with the 40% stake being purchased in 1968 by EMI. 

In 1969, ABPC was bought out completely by EMI and The Avengers, along with the rest of the ABC TV/ ABPC archive became 100% EMI owned. How much of The Avengers archive was still intact at that time and where it was being archived is not fully known and open to much conjecture, particularly with regards to series 1, but suffice to say it is a complex story with various theories and facts - often interwoven with one another.

In April 1970, EMI struck up a co-production agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The Hollywood studio announced they would sell their Borehamwood facility and move their equipment to EMI's Elstree studio. MGM and EMI would then distribute and produce films in co-operation through a joint venture to be called MGM-EMI and MGM began to finance some of EMI's productions. EMI's studio complex was renamed EMI-MGM Elstree Studios while a film distribution company MGM-EMI Distributors Ltd. was formed as part of the co-production agreement. This company, headed by Mike Havas would handle domestic distribution of MGM and EMI-produced films in the United Kingdom.

MGM pulled out of the amalgamation in 1973, and became a member of CIC, which took over international distribution of MGM produced films. At this point the distribution company became EMI Film Distributors Ltd., and EMI-MGM Elstree Studios reverted to EMI-Elstree Studios.

In October 1979, EMI merged with Thorn Electrical Industries to form Thorn EMI. Aside from the merger and name change, nothing much appears to have changed structurally.The archives and their locations remained as they were.

It is known, however, that Thames TV despite being a separate company, still held significant amounts of ABC TV material in it's archives in the 70s. Should they have had this material? No, but it was time when television companies had material stored in many locations across London and cataloguing and archiving systems were much less sophisticated. Things are clearly very different today and Fremantle - who now own the Thames TV archive - have thoroughly checked their holdings to ensure that no ABC TV material is still in their possession.

For a more detailed account on this period and series 1 as a whole, I can recommend Two Against The Underworld, by Richard McGinlay, Alan Hayes and Alys Hayes.

Thorn EMI later sold its film production and distribution arm [Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment], home video [Thorn EMI Video], and cinema [ABC Cinemas] operations to businessman Alan Bond in April 1986. Bond, in turn, sold it to The Cannon Group a week later. A year after the purchase, a cash-strapped Cannon Group sold the film library to Weintraub Entertainment Group. The Cannon Group, however, retained ownership of Elstree Studios, Shemley Road, Borehamwood and in 1988 sold it to the property company Brent Walker. Most of the backlot and several facilities were demolished to build a Tesco superstore. A "Save Our Studios" campaign led to the site being purchased by Hertsmere Borough Council in February 1996 and management company, Elstree Film & Television Studios Ltd was appointed to run the studios in 2000.

So the ABPC/ ABC TV archive had to find a new home. And in 1988, it was relocated to Pinewood Studios where it still remains to this day.

The Weintraub Entertainment Group went bankrupt in 1990, with ownership of the archive then passing into the hands of Lumiere Pictures and Television.

Lumiere Pictures and Television was then bought by European cinema operator UGC  in 1996, who were in turn bought by Studio Canal's parent company, Canal+ Group. 

So after a long and fairly complex history, what remained of the The Avengers and ABPC/ ABC TV film archive finally ended up with it's current custodians, Studio Canal, formed by the Canal+ Group in 1998.

The Big Issue

With that background in place, here is the nub of the issue for me:

"Given the long and complex history of the archive and it's various owners and given the rarity of The Avengers Series 1 episodes,  I think we all hoped that Studio Canal would then treat Tunnel of Fear with 'kid-gloves' and give it the 5 star treatment the episode - and the fans - deserve. Studio Canal spent a lot of time and effort on the booklet, sourcing extras etc. So why not spend a bit more effort on the quality of the episode's digital transfer?"

"And that is one of the main reasons for my frustration. Having waited for over 55 years for this episode to reappear and then a further 18 months for Studio Canal to release it - the final product could and should have been better with more attention to detail, especially with regards to the audio quality of the 16mm film to digital transfer.."

Quality Control Issues

I have been made aware of several quality control issues with regards to Studio Canal's DVD release of the rediscovered episode, 'Tunnel of Fear'.

- Poor audio quality
- Missing scripts [one of the Extra items]
- Incorrect credits for actors/ billing order
- Incorrect order of Reconstructions [Extra item]

There are a couple of other issues as well, but I think that the above are the key ones that I want you all to be aware of at this time.

The defects list clearly raises several concerns about Studio Canal,  the way in which they handle their archive and their attitude towards their customers when delivering products to their target audience. Especially, with regards to their diligence, technical expertise and the quality control required to ensure that their products are complete and of a satisfactory standard. For a company like Studio Canal, one would hope that they aspire for their products to be more than just 'satisfactory'. But in this instance the ommission of material and poor audio quality suggest that they haven't even achieved that with certain aspects of this release.

I have been in contact with Studio Canal and have flagged these issues up to them and made my position clear - in no uncertain terms.

Picture Quality

This is not to say that the product is without merit or the episode unwatchable. It is neither of these. The picture quality is good, but some have suggested that it is a bit 'flat' which may be a result of insufficient post-processing and adjustment in certain qualities such as contrast. It seems that no post-transfer processing work was carried out to improve the image quality. Or if any work was carried out it was cursory.

Audio Quality Issues

The audio is certainly audible but suffers from significant background noise. I listened to a 40 second sample which was sent to me and the defects were obvious. Using headphones, the defects became even more apparent. The sound quality was, in my opinion, extremely poor.

And my view is not an isolated one. Another comment received:

“There's a noise on the soundtrack running variously through the entire episode. I watched listening on headphones which are BOSE and fairly sensitive. The sound reminded me of the type of effect caused in projection by imperfect loop near the sound head (vibration) or sometimes in film transfers the soundtrack is over scanned.

I doubt it is a fault in the 16mm film recording, though if it was it might have been a rejected print. I took a sample for you. About 38 mins in as the third act starts. I think the 'motorboat' effect is more obvious here, perhaps on a splice. Have to confess it ruined the experience for me. The actual transfer is not as well-defined as I hoped and doesn't look as if any dirt removal has been attempted. Highlights possibly blown out.”

Again, it seems that no post-transfer audio processing work was carried out by Studio Canal to improve the audio quality. Or if any work was carried out it was very limited and executed poorly. So the end product reflects that lack of attention to detail.

Question: Can you hear the dialogue? Answer: Yes.

Question: Is it muffled at times and with plenty of background noise/ interference? Answer: Yes.

Question: Could it have been much better? Answer: Yes.

Question: Do you think the post-16mm transfer audio received any enhancement by a sound engineer? Answer: No

Question: Should it have? Answer: Yes, most definitely.

In a test, I was surprised that I was able to significantly improve the audio quality of the sample using Audacity audio software - available for free online. And I know next to nothing about sound engineering. So if I can improve the audio significantly on a sample using software I know very little about, in about 15 minutes, then can you imagine what a good sound engineer might be capable of doing with the whole episode?

Studio Canal - Original DVD Audio Sample From 'Tunnel Of Fear'

Versus

Neil's 'Enhanced' Version - Based On The Original DVD Audio Sample By Studio Canal From 'Tunnel Of Fear'

I say it's 'enhanced' - which I think it is - but it's obviously still pretty 'rough and ready' as I really don't know what I am doing with this Audacity audio software. I just used some simple presets.

So if I can improve the audio in a few minutes and I really don't know what I am doing, one has to then ask the following question:

"Why was more care not taken by Studio Canal to improve the quality of the audio before this DVD was released?

 

Booklet

I was asked to contribute the Foreword to the 64 page booklet and Alan Hayes provided an excellent in-depth essay. In addition, I located a significant number of images from my own collection to help visually enhance the booklet. Although I say so myself, it is a very nice addition to the release and is well produced.

Extras

As mentioned above, one of the Extra items is missing altogether. This is the pdf collection of scripts from the first series which is promised on the back cover. Purchasers of the product would have only expected to find one mystery on the inside of the DVD case, that of the Tunnel of Fear. There is now a second mystery to solve, that of how to find the missing Extra/ scripts. Without wishing to spoil your fun, I understand that Studio Canal can help you with that if you contact them.

The other extras have been well-received and include:

  • Big Finish Audio Play Series 1 Reconstruction - Tunnel of Fear
  • New Interview with John Dorney – writer of the Big Finish episode
  • Ulster TV interview: Ian Hendry (1962)
  • Ulster TV interview: Patrick Macnee (1964)
  • Reconstructions - Series 1 – Slideshows
  • 64 page booklet mentioned above

Summary

In summary, this release falls in the 'could do much better category' and in the interests of transparency, it is only right that I bring these issues and concerns to your attention. It's great that the episode has been discovered and is now available. The extras have been well received and the booklet has a lot of very good original content.

But given that we have had to wait 57 years to see it again, it would have been nice if  Studio Canal could have taken more care in the product's overall delivery - especially with the audio quality of the actual episode itself - and that the release was complete with all the Extras which were promised.

"Remember the saying that 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'? Well this particular pudding is lacking in certain ingredients and is slightly undercooked."

Studio Canal have responded to me pointing out that despite the various issues, many people have been very happy to see the episode this week. And I have no doubt about that and I am glad that they have had a chance to see it.

"But they would probably have been glad to see 'Tunnel of Fear' if it had been presented to them on an old VHS tape cassette, handed over in a brown paper bag".

So that is not the point I am trying to make here or the point I have been trying to make to Studio Canal.

Studio Canal may own the rights to The Avengers but that does not then give them the right to try and pass off sub-standard or incomplete goods to fans that love the series.

"Studio Canal are custodians of television history and, to use a museum curation analogy, you wouldn't expect the British Museum to treat their acquisitions poorly and their visitors with contempt."

With 'Tunnel of Fear' I think they could have presented it much better. Some proper restoration before presentation, as a precious rare artefact would be displayed by a reputable museum.

"But that comes down to having a vision and some aspiration. If the aspiration of Studio Canal is only to 'get it out there so people can see it' type mentality, then we can all forget about quality.

But that would also says something pretty fundamental about how they value their acquisitions and how they also value you, the fan and customer. And that for me is the real concern here. I think we all deserve a lot better than having to accept the minimum standards or the minimum viable product [MVP] as they call it these days."

Studio Canal performed a basic digital transfer and then made no real effort to improve the sound quality before release, which would have been relatively easy to do. Another symptom of malaise from a company that doesn't appear to care too much about quality. Their approach seems to be:

....get it out there, people can watch it, what's the problem?

And it's really not a problem if you have a slack approach of quality and don't care that much about the customers. Which is currently my perception of Studio Canal as an organisation.

Studio Canal are now fully aware of all these issues. But it appears that they plan to keep on selling the original version 1 - warts and all - for now at least. I think that alone speaks volumes.

A recent comment by P.J. on the Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page sums it all up very well for me:

"This is why I never buy a 1.0 DVD release from Studio Canal"

Perhaps that quote should be printed out and framed?

And L.P. also commented to me on the Facebook page that:

"The sound on the DVD is appalling. It's really not on. Thanks for pursuing with this. Really annoyed at the moment"

And others have felt the same way. P.O. on Twitter said:

"Well said, sloppy audio transfer from them..."

and:

"Shame it was not Network... I'm sure would have made a better job"

Studio Canal are now talking about a version 2 of this release which will rectify these errors.

"But Studio Canal haven't yet confirmed that they will address the audio issues"

Given that version 1 has only been out for 4 days, at the time of writing, it's a clear admission to me that they've got many things wrong. Exactly how long we will have to wait for version 2 to be released is not yet known.

Hopefully, it is significantly less than another 57 years.

I'll keep you posted on any breaking news.

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page


Happy 5th Birthday! The Official Tribute To Ian Hendry - Website Celebrates It's 5th Year Online

Picture above: Ian Hendry

It all started as an idea back in 2011. I decided to do a bit of research into Ian's life and Google was my first port of call.

The internet was, of course, well established by then and you could find out information and discover material that had previously been scattered to the four corners of the earth.

I found memorabilia in the States, Canada, South America, Australia, all across Europe and, of course, in the UK. I ordered old original film posters, lobby cards, press booklets, magazines and stills and soon became inundated with cardboard tubes and envelopes, full of musty smelling card, printed paper and black and white photographs.

Picture: Ian Hendry. Probably taken on his houseboat in Chiswick c.1962.

Then came the idea of a website, which could become an online hub for his life. Somewhere to bring the various disparate elements together and to try and help understand more about Ian and his somewhat turbulent life and career. Out of curiosity, I searched to see if a domain name might be available. There seemed little point in me collecting all these things, if I couldn't then share them with others. And to my surprise, ianhendry.com was there on the registrar, waiting for me to take ownership. The first steps had been taken.

 

Video: A short tribute to Ian Hendry

Ian's Wikipedia page was a bit like an unkempt garden, with a few random snippets of information, some factually incorrect, no real details and no photograph. It's still a work in progress, but the framework is there and I try and update the appearance credits when I discover new TV programmes or plays that he appeared in. The following is a case in point.

Only a few days ago, I was contacted by a collector of theatre memorabilia who had a copy of the 'Dinner With The Family' programme, dated October 1957, Theatre Royal, Brighton.

It was originally believed that the production had transferred directly from the Oxford Playhouse to the New Theatre in London's West End in December 1957. We now know from other recent finds, that it was also performed for short week-long  runs at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Theatre Royal, Brighton, then back to Scotland to the King's Theatre, Glasgow, before finally transferring to London. This production is significant for a number of reasons, as it led to events that would dramatically change the course of Ian's life.

In the audience, on at least one occasion in London, was Julian Bond. Bond was the co-creator and producer of the first few episodes of Police Surgeon, the series that ultimately led to the creation of The Avengers. He had come up with the idea for the series after meeting a GP in the Notting Hill area of London whilst working on another television series.

Picture: Ian Hendry as Dr. Geoffrey Brent and John Warwick as Inspector Langdon

When it came to casting the leading role of Dr. Geoffrey Brent, it was Ian's performance as Jaques in 'Dinner With The Family', that helped Bond to persuade others at ABC TV that, although relatively unknown at the time, Ian was the right man for the job. When Police Surgeon ended, The Avengers was created by ABC TV as a new vehicle for his talent and it was the part of Dr. David Keel that would significantly raise Ian's public profile and popularity.

A protracted equity strike in 1961 put the production of the second season of The Avengers on hold for several months. During this time, Ian was receiving offers to play the lead in several films; the timing of the strike combined with the opportunity to work on 'big screen' productions, were the two key reasons for his decision to leave the series.

Returning to more recent times, I received a message from Gabriel Hershman in late 2011.

A long time fan of Ian's work, he was curious as to why Ian's story had never been told, aside from in the tabloids, where a headline and some gossip seemed to be the order of the day.

Over the course of several months, spanning much of 2012, we exchanged hundreds of messages and shared any research and anecdotes we could both find. So much time had already passed since Ian's death, but Gabriel was still able to contact and interview many of the key people in Ian's life.

Picture: 'Send In The Clowns, The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

With the biography nearing completion, the creation of the website became the next priority. It was clear that the launch of the book should coincide with the launch of the website. And on 23rd March 2013, the very first article was posted:

Welcome To The Official Website Of Ian Hendry

Since then, I have been fortunate to have been contacted by many people who knew Ian at various stages of his life.

The daughter whose 'Mum' once shared digs with Ian in London in the 50s, actors who worked with him throughout his career, camera and sound crew who shared sets together, sons of producers who worked on some of his biggest films - as well as school and National Service army friends who knew Ian when he was much much younger. So a big thanks to all of them too. By sharing something about their own lives, we have also been able to find out more about Ian's life, career and the times in which he lived. And it's that discovery of the social history, that also fascinates and inspires me to research and share much more going forwards.

There have also been some great finds over the last five years, with the most significant clearly being The Avengers series 1 episode, 'Tunnel of Fear', which had been missing for over 55 years; spending much of it's life in the States before being returned to the UK some 20 years ago. Studio Canal will be releasing the episode shortly on DVD on 9th April 2018:

The Avengers 'Tunnel of Fear' - Released on DVD 9th April 2018

And finally, I'd like to say thanks to you for following this website and the Facebook page, for your feedback and your encouragement. You help to make this whole 'project' so worthwhile.

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

 

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Repulsion [1965] Original Stills Discovered In Paris

Picture above: Ian Hendry and Yvonne Furneaux, Repulsion [1965]

On The Set, Repulsion [1965]

A few rare stills, recently discovered in Paris.

Repulsion is a 1965 British psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski, and starring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. The screenplay was based on a scenario by Gérard Brach and Polanski. The plot focuses on a young woman who is left alone by her vacationing sister at their apartment, and begins reliving traumas of her past in horrific ways. Shot in London, it was Polanski's first English-language film and second feature-length production, following Knife in the Water (1962).

The film debuted at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival before receiving theatrical releases internationally. Upon its release, Repulsion received considerable critical acclaim and currently is considered one of Polanski's greatest works. The film was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Gilbert Taylor's cinematography.

Picture: Ian Hendry and Yvonne Furneaux, Repulsion [1965]

 

Picture: Ian Hendry and Yvonne Furneaux, Repulsion [1965]

Picture: James Villiers, John Fraser and Hugh Futcher, Repulsion [1965]

Picture:  John Fraser and director Roman Polanski, Repulsion [1965]

Picture:  Catherine Denueve, director Roman Polanski and John Fraser, Repulsion [1965]

Picture:  Director Roman Polanski, Repulsion [1965]

 

High Futcher

Hugh Futcher (born 29 October 1937 in Portsmouth, Hampshire) is an English actor in theatre, television and film. He was a member of the stock company of the Carry On films, with notable parts in Carry On Spying, Carry On at Your Convenience, and Carry On Behind. Other films include Roman Polanski's Repulsion (as Colin's pubmate Reggie) and the Herman's Hermits musical Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter.

In television, Futcher had a recurring role in the adventure series Orlando as "Hedgehog." He has also appeared on The Saint, Z-Cars, The Sweeney, Minder, and Casualty. In 1972 he appeared in the Doctor Who serial "The Sea Devils". Fifteen years later he was considered for the role of the Seventh Doctor, but accepted other work that precluded taking the part. He appeared with Brian Murphy and Maureen Lipman in the 1985 television drama On Your Way, Riley.

James Villiers

James Villiers and Ian became good friends. Villiers was a guest at Ian's wedding to Sandy in 1975 and also, if my sources are correct, backstage/ in the Green Room for Ian's This Is Your Life in 1978.

James Michael Hyde Villiers (29 September 1933 – 18 January 1998)  was an English character actor and a familiar face on British television. Villiers was particularly memorable for his plummy voice and ripe articulation. He has been credited with originating the use of the word "luvvie" to describe members of the acting profession.

Villiers was born in London, the son of Eric Hyde Villiers and Joan Ankaret Talbot; he was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art'Gentleman Jim' Villiers (pronounced Villers) was from an upper-class background, the grandson of Sir Francis Hyde Villiers and great grandson of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon; his mother was descended from Earl Talbot. His aristocratic ancestry was often reflected in the types of role he played, such as King Charles II in the BBC series The First Churchills (1969), the Earl of Warwick in Saint Joan (1974), and Lord Thurlow in The Madness of George III.

Through his father, Villiers was a relative of Thomas Hyde Villiers, Charles Pelham Villiers, Henry Montagu Villiers and the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers. Through his mother, he was distantly related to Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 22nd Earl of Shrewsbury.

Villiers made his film début in 1958 and appeared in many British films over the years, including Joseph Losey's The Damned (also known as These Are the Damned), shot in 1961 but not released until 1963; Seth Holt's The Nanny (1965), Joseph Andrews (1977), For Your Eyes Only (1981), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), Mountains of the Moon (1990) and The Tichborne Claimant (1998), along with numerous other projects. He often specialised in playing cold, somewhat effete villains.

He played the role of Colonel Hensman in the television adaptation of Brendon Chase and was heard on BBC Radio 4 as the voice of Roderick Spode in The Code of the Woosters and several other adaptations of the Jeeves stories of P. G. Wodehouse, which starred Michael Hordern and Richard Briers.

Villiers was married twice: in 1966 to Patricia Donovan (marriage dissolved 1984), and in 1994 to Lucy Jex; his second marriage lasted until his death. He and his first wife adopted a son, Alan Michael Hyde Villiers (born Alan Donovan).

James Villiers died on 18 January 1998 at Arundel, Sussex, of cancer.

______________________________________

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

 

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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Ian Hendry - This Is Your Life 40th Anniversary - First Broadcast On 15th March 1978 [Thames Television]

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Ian Hendry's This Is Your Life, hosted by Eamonn Andrews, produced by Thames Television and first broadcast  on 15th March 1978. It was recorded just one week before, on 8th March 1978.

And on Radio 4 today, they announced that they're bringing TIYL back after a break of 15 years! The last show was in 2003 and Jonathan Ross will be hosting it. Funny that it should be announced today of all days...

The following is a guest article that I wrote for the excellent Big Red Book website, an authoritative guide on This Is Your Life. It has detailed entriess on the many famous names that were surprised over the years and is packed full of anecdotes - well worth a visit.

"I was 10 years old when my parents took my two sisters and I to one side and said that what we were about to be told, must be kept a complete secret! In one week’s time, we were all to travel by train to London, for the surprise filming of my uncle Ian Hendry’s ‘This Is Your Life’.

Of course at that age such a responsibility seemed huge, but I was also told that if word did get out, then the whole thing would be called off and I would have to go to school instead. That was certainly all the persuasion I needed.

We travelled up to London the day before the show with my Grandparents and were met by a Thames TV driver who then took us to our hotel. We checked in under the cover name of McNaughton - all part of the careful plan to ensure that no-one could guess who that week’s guest star would be. The hotel was probably used frequently by Thames TV, whose Euston Road studios were located nearby.

On the day of the recording, we had to be at the studios in the morning for the rehearsal. We passed security and met with the ‘This Is Your Life’ team who gave us a warm welcome and showed us to the Green Room for refreshments. Patrick Macnee was there along with a few other guests that I recognised - including the show’s inimitable host, Eamonn Andrews. My cousins were also there and all the children present were given a small ‘This Is Your Life’ autograph book, replete with the red cover and gold lettering. It was a lovely touch and exemplified the attention to detail and professionalism of the show and all those involved.

The ‘dry-run’ was scheduled for around midday, when we all assembled at Studio No. 5 which had already been set up with a large black and white picture of Ian - revealed as the sliding doors opened. Eamonn Andrews was there too, to help guide things along as we practiced our entrances and those who were to speak practiced their lines. Timings were all checked as the crew practiced camera angles and audio.

 

Ian was quite ill on the day of recording and there was even concern as to whether he would be well enough to make it or not. A ‘Red Flu’ epidemic was sweeping across the country in 1978 and Ian was suffering from the full force of it’s effects. He had no clue, of course, about the show and was scheduled to head across London with a friend, for what he thought would be an interview with a Sunday newspaper. That was of course all part of the plan to get him in place for the ‘interception’ by Eamonn Andrews and his ‘partner in crime’ Patrick Macnee - both dressed as that famous character from The Avengers, John Steed!

Picture: A young Neil Hendry greets his uncle Ian. My one [and only] screen credit!

As the evening approached, the nerves began to increase. We all went off to change into our clothes and I remember that I’d been bought a pair of flared black trousers, wide-collared shirt and a tie for the occasion; I was the epitome of 70s fashion as I emerged again from the changing room. I think we then all gathered again in the Green Room, before heading off to the studio - lining up in the order with which we were to go up on stage. The lights were low, except for one large red lamp which remained on until the cue came for the next group of people to go on. As we stood there waiting in a dimly lit corridor, I noticed a very large man seated to my left. I glanced at him, caught his eye and we said hello. I then took a double-take, looked back again and we both smiled at each other. It was Tommy Cooper.

The show itself is all a bit of a blur, but I remember vividly the trademark ‘This Is Your Life’ music - which still gives me goosebumps to this day - the bright studio lights, hearing the audience’s applause, hugging my uncle, finding my seat and then quickly sitting down. I remember some of the guests speaking and the retelling of anecdotes, some of the jokes and one-liners - before the red book was finally handed to Ian and the closing music and credits began.

It was a day that neither I - nor my family - will ever forget and a fitting tribute to my uncle, his life and his many achievements."

This Is Your Life - Extract Of Original Camera Script

 

&nbsp

 

Ian Hendry - This Is Your Life - Photographs

 

 

 

 

Programme Details:

Edition No: 484
Subject No: 482
Broadcast: Wed 15 Mar 1978
Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
Recorded: Wed 8 Mar 1978
Venue: Euston Road Studios
Series: 18
Edition: 17
Code name: Lotus

Appearances:

Patrick Macnee
Sandy - wife
Sally - daughter
Corrie - daughter
James – father
Enid – mother
Don – brother
Valerie – sister-in-law
Karen – niece
Susan – niece
Neil - nephew
Patrick Powell
Murray Robb
Valentina Poliakoff
Ronald Fraser
June Ritchie
Ian Bannen
Neil McCarthy
Ian Ferguson
Anouska Hempel
Wanda Ventham
Maurice Denham
Tommy Cooper
Emma – daughter
Filmed tribute:
Heather Sears

Production Team:

Researchers: John Viner, Maurice Leonard
Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
Producer: Jack Crawshaw

______________________________________

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

 

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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Ian Hendry + Janet Munro - Rowing On The Thames Near Their Home Called, 'Sphinx', Located On Pharaohs Island, London [c.1963-1965]

 

Another great find from the 1960s, Ian hendry and Janet Munro rowing on the River Thames. If you look closely, you can also see their pet poodle on the riverside!

 

Picture: Ian Hendry + Janet Munro, rowing on the Thames near their home on Pharaohs Island [c.1963-1966]

Pictures above: 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island, River Thames, Shepperton, London

 

Further Reading:

You can read more about Ian Hendry and Janet Munro and their time living in 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island in the articles below:

Ian Hendry + Janet Munro - Engagement + Wedding Photographs [1963]

Ian Hendry - Rowing Home Across The Thames [1966]

______________________________________

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

 

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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Ian Hendry + Janet Munro - Engagement Party, Wedding Pictures + News Reel Film Footage [1963]

Picture above: Ian Hendry and Janet Munro on their wedding day. Arriving by boat to their new home, named 'Sphinx', on Pharaohs Island, River Thames, London.

Every so now and then some interesting memorabilia surfaces, giving us some further insight into the life of Ian Hendry. I've recently come into possession of a small batch of photographs and press articles from the 1960s and 70s, which I will share on the website. The photographs below, show Ian Hendry and Janet Munro at their engagement party held at Claridges Hotel, Mayfair, London, on February 13th 1963. And then, further down, two photographs taken by the press at their reception and as they arrived at their new home named 'Sphinx, located on Pharaohs Island on the Thames. I suspect that that particular picture may have been 'staged'!

An article featuring Janet Munro in which she discusses the wedding, can be seen in the article below. It tells the story of how the two met, the romance and events that followed as well as the wedding held at the Presbyterian Church at Bayswater, London on 16th February 1963.

Janet Munro - 'I'm getting married in the morning'  [Magazine article - February 1963]

Picture: Ian Hendry and Janet Munro at their engagement party held at Claridges Hotel, Mayfair, London, 15th February 1963.

Wedding of Ian Hendry + Janet Munro - 16th February 1963

Video: Newsreel film footage of Ian Hendry + Janet Munro's wedding - 16th February 1963

Picture: Ian Hendry and Janet Munro at the reception on their wedding day.

Picture: Ian Hendry and Janet Munro. Arriving by boat on the River Thames to their new home on Pharaohs Island, called 'Sphinx'.

Picture: View to 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island, River Thames, London

Picture: View to 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island, River Thames, London

 

For more articles and original photographs of Ian Hendry and Janet Munro at home on Pharaohs Island, please click on the link below:

Ian Hendry + Janet Munro - 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island, London [1964]

Then and now pictures - Ian and Janet at home in the 60s; 'Sphinx' today and some history of Pharaohs Island:

Ian Hendry - Rowing home across the Thames to 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island [1966]

______________________________________

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

 

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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The Avengers 'Tunnel of Fear' [1961] Lost Episode - Studio Canal DVD Pre-Order/ Release Date Set For 9th April 2018

The Avengers 'Tunnel Of Fear' - Series 1 Episode 20 

Published 6th February 2018: Today's announcement by Studio Canal also coincides with what would have been Patrick Macnee's 96th birthday; born on this day 1922. So today we also remember and pay tribute to Pat.

After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, it's good to finally be able to announce the forthcoming release date as 9th April 2018.

The artwork for the DVD is now complete, as is the accompanying 64 page booklet. The booklet includes a foreword by myself and a new essay by Alan Hayes, co-author of two  authoritative books on the first series of The Avengers and Police Surgeon, the short-lived but influential series which ultimately led to the creation of The Avengers. The booklet also includes many excellent black and white stills from the Tunnel of Fear as well as promotional and studio photographs.

The extras include the Tunnel of Fear audio play reconstruction, produced by Big Finish, who have recreated all 26 episodes of the original series superbly in this format. The fact that this version of Tunnel of Fear was made before the original television episode was rediscovered, makes it an ideal companion for fans to experience an alternative but complimentary interpretation. The writer for this Big Finish reconstruction, John Dorney provides an exclusive interview in one of the DVD extras.

The other extras include two rare interviews which were discovered recently in Northern Ireland. Ulster Television interviewed  Ian Hendry in 1962 and Patrick Macnee in 1964, during which they both talked about The Avengers. By then, Ian had already left the series to pursue opportunities in film and in this interview he discusses his reasons for that decision. Given that there is so little footage in which Ian appears 'as himself' - with many of those being on Pathe newsreels with accompanying voiceovers - this interview provides a rare candid glimpse of Ian.

The final extra is the inclusion of the 14 slideshow reconstructions of missing series 1 episodes, produced by Alan Hayes,  using all of the surviving source material.  These slideshows give another excellent interpretation of the missing episodes, that we hope can be recovered one day.

 

 

 

Picture: Ian Hendry [as Dr. David Keel] and Patrick Macnee [as John Steed]. Patrick Macnee, born on this day, 1922.

You can  pre-order on Amazon UK - click on the link below:

The Avengers  Tunnel of Fear [Released on 9th April 2018]

 

The Avengers 'Tunnel of Fear' [1961] Series 1 'Lost Episode'

Ian Hendry as Dr. Keel and Patrick Macnee as John Steed - Reunited Once Again

Lost episode rediscovered after 55 years and avaliable on DVD for the first time

TUNNEL OF FEAR is the twentieth episode of the first series of the 1960s cult British spy-fi television series The Avengers, starring Ian Hendry, Patrick Macnee and Ingrid Hafner and was broadcast by ABC Television on 5 August 1961. It's one of only three known complete season 1 episodes to have survived since the original broadcast. Lost for 55 years, the episode came to light in a private film collection in 2016 and was recovered by the British television preservation group Kaleidoscope.

Now for the first time ever Avengers fans will be able to own the episode its entirety on DVD with a host of extra content.

Harry Black, an escaped convict, bursts into Dr David Keel's surgery wounded. He claims to have been framed for a crime that he did not commit - and begs the doctor not to hand him over to the police. Steed arrives and ascertains that Black has links to Southend-on-Sea which might well tie in with an investigation currently being undertaken by his department. They are aware that top government secrets are being leaked from a fun fair in Southend, and Black's story, if true, could possibly lead them to the source of the operation.

Can Steed and Keel bring down the operation, prove Harry's innocence and get out of Southend with their lives?

Bonus Content:

  • Big Finish Audio Play Series 1 Reconstruction - Tunnel of Fear
  • New Interview with John Dorney - writer of the Big Finish episode
  • Ulster TV interview: Ian Hendry (1962)
  • Ulster TV interview: Patrick Macnee (1964)
  • Reconstructions - Series 1 - Slideshows
  • Series 1 Surviving Scripts
  • 64 Page Booklet

Cast

  • Ian Hendry as Dr. David Keel
  • Patrick Macnee as John Steed
  • Ingrid Hafner as Carol Wilson
  • John Salew as Jack Wickram
  • Anthony Bate as Harry Black
  • Miranda Connell as Claire
  • Douglas Muir as One-Ten
  • Morris Perry as Sergeant
  • Stanley Platts as Maxie Lardner
  • Nancy Roberts as Madame Zenobia
  • Doris Rogers as Mary Black
  • Douglas Rye as Billy
  • Julie Samuel as Rosie

 

Format: PAL
Language: English
Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
Number of discs: 1
Classification: To be announced
Studio: Studiocanal
DVD Release Date: 9 April 2018

You can  pre-order on Amazon UK - click on the link below:

Pre-order DVD: The Avengers  Tunnel of Fear [Released on 9th April 2018]

 

______________________________________

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

 

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry
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Get Carter [1971] 'Shotguns, Coal And Sex' - Original GQ Magazine Article from The 90s

Picture above: Get Carter [1971] Original film poster designed by the Italian artist, Arnaldo Putzu.

The article below is reproduced from GQ Magazine and dates from the 1990s;  possibly the November 1997 edition which contained a special feature on the making of the film, but this is, as yet, unconfirmed.

It's a fascinating article, with several recollections by director, Mike Hodges. Perhaps the one that  stood out most for me was the one connected with Dryderdale Hall, County Durham, which was rented for several scenes in the film. When the crew arrived and were setting up for their first shoot, they found an old  school exercise book with a child's handwriting inside, with the seemingly prophetic message:

"Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

Right Now"

A strange case of fact and fiction blurred. Almost as haunting as the film's soundtrack theme by Roy Budd.

There are some good stills from the film on the official Dryderdale Hall website and on this excellent Get Carter website dedicated entirely to the film, detailed accounts of the locations and related news. 

Picture: Dryderdale Hall, County Durham. Used for filming of several scenes in Get Carter, minus the snow!

 

Get Carter 'Shotguns, Coal And Sex'

- Original GQ Magazine Article from The 90s

Here is the original GQ article in full, complete with an advert for the Star Wars version of the Monopoly Game and a battery charger by Tandy *batteries not included!

 

 

Main Theme 'Carter Takes a Train' by Roy Budd

If you are now in a Get Carter frame of mind, you can listen to the film's main theme, 'Carter Takes a Train' by Roy Budd, below:

______________________________________

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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Nicol Williamson 'Black Sheep' The Authorised Biography By Gabriel Hershman

Picture above: 'Black Sheep' book cover and  Ian Hendry and Nicol Williamson - The Jerusalem File [1972]

Gabriel Hershman's third biography is now set for release on 1st February 2018, published by The History Press.

'Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson' is a detailed study of the life and work of another gifted character actor, whose career spanned several decades, included many masterful performances, reached great heights but as Gabriel describes him, Nicol was also 'a mysteriously elusive figure'. With his trademark forensic research and numerous interviews, Gabriel has now produced the first official biography of this enigmatic actor.

His previous two books covered the life and work of  Ian Hendry and Albert Finney.

So I was curious. I asked Gabriel to explain why he had chosen Nicol Williamson as his next subject and what were the key similarities and differences between the three actors he has now written about.

The following is Gabriel's response:

Gabriel Hershman - On Nicol Williamson......Ian Hendry and Albert Finney

"Why did I choose Nicol as the third subject of my biography? I had long since decided that I would only write about great actors. (I admit that's all a matter of opinion, of course.) And Ian, Albert Finney and Nicol were all great actors."

I was also attracted to writing about Nicol for a number of reasons. Firstly, no one had ever written his biography before. Secondly, he was a mysteriously elusive figure, a superstar of the late Sixties –especially on the back of his superb stage roles in Hamlet and Inadmissible Evidence – who seemed to vanish from view.

In fact, Nicol never appeared on the London stage between 1978 and 1994 – a 16-year gap that was a tragic omission for British theatregoers. It was clear he was woefully under-used. He should have been a regular on the West End stage or at the National but directors were wary of working with him because he had a 'difficult' reputation. And reputations are very difficult to shift. Of course, Nicol did some fine work on Broadway in the 1980s but his absence from the London stage was keenly felt. So it is that I regret not seeing him on stage. (Whereas, for example, I was fortunate enough to see Finney on stage five times.)

Picture: Nicol Williamson

When I saw a few You Tube clips of Nicol's performance as Bill Maitland in the original 1965 Broadway production of Inadmissible Evidence, I knew I had found my third subject. The pounding passion, the ferocity of the character's self-loathing, the emphasis on raw emotion rather than enunciation – this was not acting as such but, rather, BEING. And I think this is what made Nicol so great. Even with some other reputedly 'great' actors you sense sometimes that they're going through it by rote, almost phoning it in. You see the wheels turning. With Nicol, on the other hand, each performance took you to the brink. He was, in the words of another performer who worked with him, 'paddling for his life'. No wonder Nicol sometimes suffered from exhaustion after bearing the burden of such titanic roles.

I felt that Nicol was sorely underrated and that no one really knew very much about him. Rather as with Ian, what struck me was that so many of his obituaries were totally inadequate, even inaccurate. Everything from his date of birth through to his place of residence was reported wrongly. I simply felt that Nicol deserved better and so I hope my biography has done something to rectify the dearth of coverage, and the misinformation.

I will, however, qualify my tribute to Nicol by saying that I still believe that Ian Hendry was the greatest television actor Britain ever produced. He had a style of acting that was especially suited to the small screen – conveying deep emotion and thoughts with a sometimes quizzical look or a grunt of pained resignation. 'Think it through and it will show' was Ian's tip to other actors and he was simply the best practitioner of his own advice. There was also a special charismatic quality to Ian. Sabine Muir, a great friend of Ian's, once told me that Ian could always lift a room when he entered it. I know exactly what she meant. That's God-given and certainly not something to be learned at drama school!

Going back to Nicol, his style of acting was more bravura than Ian's. Not from a desire to overwhelm as such, but simply to offer more than audiences usually saw. In the words of Nicol's son, Luke, 'he didn't want to dazzle - he wanted to immolate.' Not better or worse – just different. But I would say that both Ian and Nicol were truly great actors. Finney was also a great actor, of course. He also perhaps more of an all-rounder than either Ian or Nicol in that he straddled all mediums equally successfully: films, TV and stage. He was also more durable and less self-destructive and had a more equable temperament. That really helped Finney throughout his career and proof of the old dictum that talent is just one part of the story . . .

But, to conclude, three great actors and, hopefully, three interesting biographies. If these books make you stop and think and appreciate their work a little more, then I will feel I have achieved something.

By Gabriel Hershman

Official Website of Gabriel Hershman : Gabriel Hershman

'Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson' By Gabriel Hershman is released on 1st February 2018.

Available to order on Amazon or to buy in store at Waterstones, Blackwells and all other good high street bookshops!

Amazon UK [View/ Order] - Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson

 

 _______________________________

The Jerusalem File [1972]

Fortunately, with the help of Gabriel, we managed to locate a copy of the complete film (albeit with Finnish subtitles!). We've included a couple of the key scenes from the film in this post - which feature Ian Hendry - but If you want to download the full film, you can do so from the link below:

Download (Secure Dropbox File) > The Jerusalem File (1972)

Set in the months following the 6-day-war this is the story of an attempt by young Israelis and Arabs to meet for a free political discussion. Interwoven are a love story, intrigue, strife and killings.

Video: The Jerusalem File (1972) Scene #1 | Donald Pleasence, Ian Hendry, Nicol Wiliamson + Bruce Davison

Much more background on this film, including many stills, in another one of our articles below:

The Jerusalem File ['72]  Ian Hendry, Nicol Williamson, Bruce Davison and Donald Pleasance

 _______________________________

'Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson' By Gabriel Hershman is released on 1st February 2018.

Available to order on Amazon or to buy in store at Waterstones, Blackwells and all other good high street bookshops!

Amazon UK [View/ Order] - Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson

 

Thanks to Gabriel for his contribution to this post;  I'm really looking forward to reading this biography and adding it to the Hershman collection!

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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Peter Wyngarde - In Memory Of The Man Who Would Be King [ 1926/1927 - 2018]

Picture above: Peter Wyngarde, Jeanette Sterke and Ian Hendry - The Crossfire [1967]

Peter Wyngarde

A couple of years ago, I received an email from Tina Hopkins, Peter Wyngarde's devoted friend and personal assistant.

Peter and Ian worked together back in the 60s, in a television play called The Crossfire which also featured Eric Portman, Jeannette Sterke and Roger Delgado. Set during the Algerian War, it was first broadcast as part of  ITV's Play Of The Week, on  7th February 1967.

And it was that play that first inspired Tina to get in contact with me, some five decades later, to see if I had a copy.

By lucky coincidence, I had been sent a message a year or so earlier, by someone who had found a copy of the play, which included Anglia TV's famous 'knight in armour on horseback' opening.

I was also fortunate to be able to exchange a few emails with Peter. He remembered working with Ian, but could not recall any specific details from the production itself, but was hoping that the recording would help to jog his memory! I made a copy of The Crossfire and posted it off to them both.

 

 

Picture: Peter Wyngarde as the iconic Jason King

For someone who was so young at the time, in the early 70s, I didn't realise that I was corresponding with THE Jason King, until a short while after when I read more about his life and career. And what a wonderful, colourful and varied life he has had, including being kept captive in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre - a  Japanese internment camp in Shanghai, during the second world war.

A fellow detainee at that time, was J.G. Ballard, who famously retold the events in the biographically influenced, Empire of the Sun; subsequently made into a film by Steven Spielberg.

In an interview with Tina Hopkins from 2017, Peter reflected on that time in the Japanese interment camp, when still just a young boy. Tina wrote:

"However, when the Japanese forbade prisoners in one block from communicating with those in another, Peter was used as their runner to spread the radio news through the camp. But then one day he was caught by a guard, who broke both his feet with rifle butts to stop him ever running again. He was then thrown into solitary confinement for a month. When he came out, he could barely walk and had to rely on crutches. His feet still show the signs of that beating to this day."

I understand that Peter was still active until relatively recently, appearing at special events and reunions, related to the various shows that he appeared in.

Robert C. contacted me via this website in the Spring of 2017 and mentioned that:

"Hope to meet Peter Wyngarde at Portmerion for The Prisoner's 50th.

If I get the chance that is I will ask him about working on Crossfire with Ian Hendry".

You can watch Peter in the The Crossfire  below:

 

Video: The Crossfire [Anglia TV - 1967] - Peter Wyngarde, Eric Portman Ian Hendry, Jeanette Sterke.

Peter Wyngarde - In Memory

 

Video: Peter Wyngarde and Dennis Price in an episode of Jason King

 

Picture: Peter Wyngarde in a scene from the film Burn, Witch, Burn, 1962

 

Picture: Carol Cleveland and Peter Wyngarde in The Avengers, 1966

The Guardian's original obituary was  mean spirited and quite frankly, nasty. In my haste to publish an appreciation following a 24 hour domestic power cut, I used a source that I had always relied on previously. On this occasion, I should have been more careful as what I consider to be reputable paper was clearly  lacking in editorial control. I have since removed that text from this article and apologise for any offence cause by it's easier inclusion.

The Guardian subsequently published an appreciation by Toby Hadoke, it seems to to try and rectify their earlier mistake and also to add detail on a number of key omissions:

Appreciation: Peter Wyngarde obituary

The obituary of Peter Wyngarde overlooked a number of the talents and successes of this suave and charismatic performer who never lost his ability to inspire fascination.

Before Jason King he had an early television success as Will Shakespeare (1953) – a taxing part that earned him the admiration of the production’s pioneering producer/director Rudolph Cartier. By 1965, when lured to play the arrogant and dangerous Baron Grüner in an episode of Sherlock Holmes, he had enough clout for the producers to accede to his agent’s stipulation that on foreign sales prints he – uniquely – be inserted into the opening titles and credited alongside the leads Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock, both of whom he was also paid considerably more than).

His quirky tastes embraced cult shows which showcased his versatility and zeal – he is glorious in both of his episodes of The Avengers (1966-67) and a cunning and aloof Number Two in The Prisoner (1967). As the religious zealot Timanov in the 1984 Doctor Who story Planet of Fire he imbues a flawed character with a tremendous tragic dignity.

His non-speaking role in the film The Innocents (1961) is no glorified bit part. He is a memorably spooky, spectral presence and gets second billing, a year after his effective turn as a ruthless gang leader in The Siege of Sidney Street.

His extensive theatre work attracted many good notices from the outset and included Shylock and King John, via Jack Pinchwife (The Country Wife) and more than 200 performances as the lead in The King and I (Adelphi theatre and tour, 1973-74). He also directed productions at the Bristol Old Vic and the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, Guildford.

Picture: Peter Wyngarde and Sally Anne Howes, The King and I.  British theatre tour [1973]

In later years he was gracious with fans and a writer of detailed and helpful letters crafted in attractive – if minute – handwriting, generously extolling the virtues of colleagues he admired such as Cartier, Wilfred Lawson and Patrick McGoohan: unpredictable talents all, who should give some clue as to where his sensibilities lay.

A perfectionist, he was doubtless sometimes difficult, but the scandal that dented his career should not overshadow the many fine qualities of a charming, seductive, watchable leading actor with an offbeat streak.

In closing...

My heartfelt condolences go to Tina Hopkins who spent much of her life devoted to Peter. I know she was very close to him and will be feeling a great sense of loss. And to Peter's agent, Thomas Bowington.

Thomas Bowington describes Peter with great affection:

He was one of the most unique, original and creative actors that I have ever seen. As a man, there were few things in life he didn’t know. I sometimes nicknamed him ‘the King’ because he simply knew everything. He was a mentor on everything you can think of, from sports cars to how to make a good cup of tea and how to do a tie and shirt. 

He died at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital [in London], and even then he was saying that you shouldn’t button the upper button on a shirt. As a person he was the most exceptional person I met in my life and a great mentor and teacher.”

Our thoughts and condolences also go to Peter's many friends and fans around the world.

For those wishing to find out more about the life of Peter Wyngarde,  I can really recommend this excellent and authoritative interview from 2017, by Tina Hopkins:

The Ultimate Peter Wyngarde Interview by Tina Hopkins

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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Get Carter [1971] 'Eyes Look Like...Piss-Holes In The Snow' - Tony Klinger Reveals The Story Behind THAT Famous Line

Picture above: Michael Caine [as Jack Carter] and Ian Hendry [as Eric Paice] at the races.

Another post containing some more fascinating anecdotes, this time from Tony Klinger who first met Ian Hendry during the filming of Repulsion [1965] and then again, on the set of Get Carter in 1971! Tony is a Film and TV Director and son of the late Michael Klinger, the producer and driving force behind bringing the novel 'Jack's Return Home' by  Ted Lewis to the big screen:

"An uncompromising novel of a brutal half-world of pool halls, massage parlours and teenage pornography, it was memorably adapted into the cult film Get Carter.  The novel starkly portrays a subsection of society living on the borderline between crime and respectability; and was a major influence on the noir school of English crime fiction."

Much more on Tony and Michael below, but first a little background story and some context.

Films And Famous Lines

When I first arrived in Hong Kong to start work, back in 2001, I was introduced to the Directors at my new company. They were a few years older than me, British expats who had already been based there for some time. Two Scotsmen and a Welshman. Dave Allen could probably have told you a joke about that encounter.

When they found out my full name they said:

'Oh, Hendry...like the actor, Ian...'

To their surprise, I mentioned that he was, or had been, my uncle. And the first thing they said to me in reply was:

"Ah yes, we should have guessed....your eyes....they're like piss holes in the snow!"

The history of film is often recalled through the famous lines and passages of dialogue that reminds us of a memorable moment or defines the essence of the story.  They have often entered into the public's subconscious, affectionately recalled at times when events in our own lives, seem to resonate with those that we have seen on the big screen. And perhaps that is one of the reasons that film has become so loved as a medium and remained so popular throughout it's history. At times it can feel like a mirror is being held up to our own lives .

Sometimes, however, it is just a simple case of everyday language being taken and used in a film, to reflect the era and the society in which it is set.

And Get Carter is such a case in point.

 

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Note: This ended up being quite a  long post, as I wanted to include some new information that I've recently discovered about Get Carter, as well as providing some biographical background and anecdotes about Michael Klinger and from Tony Klinger.

But some of you may want to get to the key answers straight away, so here are some quick page jump links that you can use to get to the relevant sections:

Click link to go to: Tony Klinger reveals how THAT line became part of Get Carter

Click link to go to: An explanation of where THAT line originated

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Get Carter [1971]  

A year or so ago, I carried out a study of the racecourse scene in Get Carter [1971]. I was intrigued by the cinematography and the way that the tension gradually builds as the scene unfolds.

You can read that article here:

Get Carter - The Racecourse Scene [1971]

But the other factor that drew me to this scene was undoubtedly the dialogue and THAT famous line.

"Do you know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes look like, they're still the same, piss-holes in the snow."

-  Jack Carter [Michael Caine] to Eric Paice [Ian Hendry]

 

To really appreciate it, though, I suggest you watch the whole scene to see and hear the build-up and context in which it was delivered:

 

Video above: The Racecourse Scene - Get Carter [1971]

Dialogue - Script Extract

Jack Carter: So you're doing alright then Eric...you're making good.

Eric Paice: Making a living.

Jack Carter: Good prospects for advancement is there...a pension?

Ian Hendry Get Carter (1971) 2

Picture: Eric Paice (Ian Hendry) - sunglasses removed!

Then the classic line! Jack Carter slowly removes Eric's sunglasses, hands them back to him and then stares straight into his eyes:

Jack CarterDo you know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes look like, they're still the same, piss-holes in the snow.

Eric Paice: Still got a sense of humour.

Jack Carter: Yes, I retain that Eric.

Tony Klinger - On His Father, Michael Klinger, Repulsion, Catherine Deneuve, Get Carter And THAT Famous Line

A few weeks back, Tony Klinger, 'dropped by' on the Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page and shared a unique insight into the film and THAT  famous line.

TV and film seems to be synonymous with the Klinger family.

His father, Michael Klinger, was the producer and the driving force behind what many regard as the greatest British Gangster film of all time, Get Carter.

 

Picture [l-r] Mike Hodges [Director], Michael Caine and Michael Klinger [Producer].

Ian Hendry had first met both Michael and Tony a few years earlier, during the filming of Repulsion [1965], directed by Roman Polanski. Tony was just 15 years old at the time.

The Michael Klinger Papers are held by the University of West England. On their website they mention that:

Born in 1920, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants who had settled in London’s Soho, Klinger’s entry into the film industry came via his ownership of two Soho strip clubs, the Nell Gwynne and the Gargoyle - that were used for promotional events such as the Miss Cinema competition and by film impresarios such as James Carreras - and through an alliance with a fellow Jewish entrepreneur Tony Tenser, who worked for a film distribution company, Miracle Films.

Klinger and Tenser were both highly ambitious, but culturally divergent. Characteristically, when Roman Polanski arrived in London and approached the pair to obtain finance having failed elsewhere, it was Klinger who had seen Knife in the Water (1962) and therefore gave him the opportunity, and the creative freedom, to make Repulsion (1965) and the even more outré Cul-de-sac (1966). Although Repulsion in particular had been financially successful, and both films won awards at the Berlin Film Festival that conferred welcome prestige on Tekli, Tenser, always happier to stay with proven box-office material, sex films and period horror, saw Polanski as at best a distraction and at worse a liability. These differences led to the break-up of the partnership in October 1966.

Klinger set up a new company, Avton Films and continued to promote young, talented but unproven directors who were capable of making fresh and challenging features: Peter Collinson’s absurdist/surrealist thriller The Penthouse (1967); Alastair Reid’s Baby Love (1968), another film that focused on a sexually precocious young female, but with an ambitious narrative style that included flashbacks and nightmare sequences; and Mike Hodges’s ambitious and brutal thriller Get Carter (1971). Although Get Carter is now routinely discussed as Hodges’ directorial triumph, it was Klinger who had bought the rights to Ted Lewis’s novel Jack’s Return Home because he sensed its potential to imbue the British crime thriller with the realism and violence of its American counterparts and who had succeeded in raising the finance through MGM-British all before Hodges became involved.

In his excellent interview with Cinema Jam, Tony explained:

"He [his father, Michael Klinger] learned to be a producer on the job and it was this and the many productions of a huge variety of films that culminated in Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac with director Roman Polanski that, as a result gave him the launch pad to become a fantastic international producer, probably the most successful in the country for about fifteen years. My dad and I came into film making from opposite ends and for years there was a general lack of respect for each other. I’d come from the floor of film sets and knew all the technical grades whereas he’d learned the industry totally from the other end. It was only when someone suggested we work together and as a result gained a lot of respect."

Picture: Tony Klinger

Tony Klinger began his career as an Assistant Director on The Avengers TV series. In his interview with Cinema Jam, Tony retells some wonderful tales about his life in show -business and gives some tremendous insights into his father, The following extract is from the interview in Cinema Jam:

"I know I was working on the best and biggest budget show in the world. We were an American show and often ABC executives would come over. The directors on the show were either the greatest coming up like rockets or the veterans on a gentle slope down. People like Peter Yates, Charles Crichton, John Hough, Don Chaffey and Leslie Norman.

My partner, Mike Lytton and I used to borrow equipment from series we were working on at the weekends, well borrow without asking but returning it all in one piece before anyone noticed. I was on The Avengers and he was on Department S or Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased). Without thinking about it we created the best film school in the world. On The Avengers we sometimes had five units shooting to keep up with the broadcast scheduling requirements out of New York. So when someone on staff fell ill, you’d be told to take their place and you either learned what to do really fast or someone would take your slot and you went back down the ranks. It was an incredible experience.

Suddenly from being a third assistant director I could do the odd day as a camera assistant or help out with the sound department which proved invaluable for me later as a film maker. And at nights and weekends, whenever no one was around we would be taking cameras out of the studio and shooting our own tiny films and editing them overnight in the studio cutting rooms. I don’t think anyone ever found out or maybe people just turned a blind eye to our nocturnal activities!"

The following two questions and answers come from the Cinema Jam interview:

How much has the industry changed in terms of securing the kind of deal that got a film like Get Carter made?

"Get Carter still could happen today. It was a medium budget film for its’ day and decisions like that could still be made by a brave executive like Bobby Litman who was then the newly appointed head of MGM Europe and we were lucky to know from his time as an agent. The timeline is impressive. From the day we first had the book, Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis in galleys to when the film was first released in cinemas was a total of 37 weeks. It was a classic case of the stars aligning and the perfect storm.

The flat you see in the opening shot in Get Carter was found through a girl I was dating who knew a British gangster who owned the place and was OK with our using it to film in. Euan Lloyd was not the same type of man as my father. That’s not meant to be a critique of Euan but if you read Andrew Spicer’s fine book about dad, The Man Who Got Carter, you’d soon discover their many differences. Michael Klinger was the best Script Editor and Producer and had a tremendous ability to sell. Producers today have become more supplicant in their approach and there were only a handful in my father’s day that had that gift, even less today. It’s no accident that my father made so many fine films when he was left to his own devices. He also could pick talent and nurture it. People financing films today tend to think in terms of the tax deals and soft money being the key to making a film."

Get Carter is the yardstick by which all subsequent British Gangster films are compared. Why do you think it has endured today?

"Attitude. My old man came from Soho, which was a tough area at the time he was growing up in the 1920s. It was effectively a Jewish village, next to an Italian village next to an Irish village, much like New York. Some people said that it would be fine in one area, but if you tried crossing the street to the next area and you would have to fight. My father encountered a lot of gangsters between engineering and Film and at one point, when he ran a nightclub, some gangsters came along demanding protection, but he chased them away. Real gangsters don’t threaten, they just do. When I worked as a projectionist at fifteen, I was being threatened, but this one gangster came up to the guy doing it, whispered something in his ear and the guy’s face turned pale and the trouble stopped. Scorsese has that attitude in Goodfellas and it’s that attitude that has come across in Get Carter. It had never been covered in British Cinema up to that point, although there were examples like Brighton Rock that covered similar ground. Get Carter also touched on Child Pornography and other pornography.

It was shot in Newcastle and I was up there for two weeks. Part of the appeal was Newcastle and how it was, that was exciting and kind of untamed and very different from London. I had the best time while filming our own locations for our documentary, Extremes. But being close to the filming of Get Carter confirmed me as a huge admirer of Michael Caine and a firm fan and friend of director Mike Hodges. When it was first screened on BBC they cut it telling us they were doing the filmmakers a favour. The attitude was the big mistake with the Stallone remake, because that film was about redemption, which is the complete opposite to what the original film was. An interesting footnote to the film is that in the climactic scene, there is a ship in the background. Somebody actually tracked that ship afterwards, it’s entire history right up to four decades later when it was demolished for scrap. That’s what the word fan really means!"

Klinger

And THAT Famous Line From Get Carter? Tony Klinger Explains How It Came To Be Included In The Script...

As mentioned above, Tony visited the Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page and, unprompted, posted this:

"The famous line from my dad's production, "Get Carter" about Ian, "eyes like piss holes in the snow" was the way my grandmother used to describe me, which was then lent to the wonderful script written by my friend Mike Hodges."

So there you have it from the 'horse's mouth'! It was Tony's grandmother who provided the inspiration for what has become the memorable line from the film.

I asked Tony if he remembered Ian and if he had any recollections from being on the set of Repulsion. His answer was candid and made me smile; it seems that he did remember meeting Ian, but at the time his main focus was elsewhere!

"Ian wasn't a good actor, he was, sadly for him, a great actor. That plus his love for a little something to drink and his penchant for speaking his mind, meant he was a triple threat. I'm pretty sure there were "stars" who didn't want to work with him because he'd act them off the screen. But yes I knew and liked him from the set, but in Repulsion I have to admit that even as a kid I only had eyes for Catherine Deneuve!"

I replied:

"Thanks for sharing that, Tony - appreciate your insight. And I can understand how you might have been distracted a bit by Catherine Deneuve! Were you on location for the duration of the filming of Repulsion and Get Carter? And have you written about those experiences and, if so, could you share where? It's quite something to have been on set for two films that both became classics I've come across some good pictures of your Dad on set, this is one of my favourites..."

Picture [l-r]: George Sewell, Michael Klinger, Ian Hendry and Michael Caine.

Tony expanded a little more:

"I am trying to limit my inputs about all the film set experiences I've had on both my own and my dad's productions because, amongst other things, I have to keep some stuff for my own memoirs which I have recently started to write. Suffice it to say I was on the set for a week or so while I was filming my own documentary called Extremes in the same wonderful city of Newcastle. We were very busy having a great time. I was about 19 at the time and was easily distracted. Besides which our financier and distributor and executive producer thought we were in Glasgow. On Repulsion I was about 14 or 15 and was purely a visitor."

I shared a few more picture with Tony; of Ian with his father, Michael. They seemed to get on very well:

Picture [l-r]: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry and Michael Klinger.

Picture [l-r]: George Sewell, Michael Klinger, Ian Hendry and Michale Caine.

Picture: The chairs - Get Carter [1971]

And Tony's closing thoughts to me were:

"Great photos by the way. My dad really liked and appreciated your uncle."

Origins

And The Origins Of THAT Line..?

Piss-holes In The Sand [and Rissoles In The Sand!]

I dug a little deeper to try and find out more and it's not quite as straight forward an answer as you might expect. But let's start with Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas [27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953] spent much of his last few years reading his poetry, writing film-scripts and consuming vast quantities of alcohol on lecture tours across the United States. Just before he set off on his last trip across the Atlantic – he died in New York aged 39 – he wrote a comic, caustic account of the U.S. lecture circuit entitled ‘A Visit to America.’ It is from a little-known collection of Thomas’ broadcasts for the BBC called ‘Quite Early One Morning’ and is a gem of a piece.

It was eventually broadcast by the BBC on 30th March 1954, some five months after his death.

Extract:

"And, in their diaries, more and more do such entries appear as, ‘No way of escape’ or ‘Buffalo!’ or ‘I am beaten,’ until at last they cannot write a word. And, twittering all over, old before their time, with eyes like rissoles in the sand, they are helped up the gangway of the home-bound liner by kind bosom friends (and all kinds and bosoms) who boister them on the back, pick them up again, thrust bottles, sonnets, cigars, addresses, into their pockets, have a farewell party in their cabin, pick them up again, and snickering and yelping, are gone: to wait at the dockside for another boat from Europe and another batch of fresh, green lecturers."

Rissoles in the sand? I was confused.

From Wikipedia:

A rissole (from Latin russeolus, meaning reddish, via  in which "rissoler" means "to [make] redden") is a small croquette, enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried.

So perhaps Dylan Thomas was referring to the eyes as being reddened and dry, as opposed to having any resemblance to pastry?!

Whilst it works in the literary sense, it is clear that it is a euphemism for what Thomas probably wanted to say,  to soften the words, which, after-all, were to be broadcast on the BBC.

Thomas had written a letter several  years earlier [c.1932] which mentioned that:

"I have the villain of a headache, my eyes two piss holes in the sand, my tongue like fish and chip paper...."

So here is a clear reference to a similar phrase, which describes feeling and looking unwell. And piss-holes was used, not rissoles!

What is not clear is whether Thomas had created this phrase himself or whether he was merely repeating one that was in common use at that time. This theme and a theory is is returned to again below.

What is clear, though, is that the quote he used related to sand and not snow.

 

Piss-holes In The Snow

The first literary reference I could find for a similar phrase, that mentioned snow, was in 'Prince Bart - A Novel Of Our Times' written by Jay Richard Kennedy and published in 1953.

Kennedy writes:

"Like the welcome?" Mills asked. "Isn't worth a pisshole in the snow."

This alludes to value, something being of little worth.

Some have suggested that the phrase may have a military origin. That was certainly the view of one comment I saw on a forum online:

"Piss-hole in the snow" is a negative assessment of value (around World War II) much like "rat's ass" [which referred to 'not giving a damn']. And "rat assed" also evolved to mean drunk, as did 'piss-holes in the snow'. 

And that idea is further supported by a comment from Judy on the Facebook page:

"Goes back at least to WW2, maybe even WW1, as a description of battle fatigue."

Others have suggested that it was a British street-culture adaptation of a WWII expression that got picked up by writers and introduced into mainstream media. More likely, though, is that it entered into everyday use in it's original unaltered form.

We also know that Tony Klinger's grandmother was fond of using this expression with Tony, when he was a child growing up in London in the 50s. So whilst it was popular in the military during WWII, it is also quite possible that it's origins predate that.

 

Piss-holes In The Sand + Piss-holes In The Snow

- Both Of Military Origin?

Thomas mentioned this phrase in a letter, so it seems unlikely that he created it and that it then entered into everyday use; his letters were only published many years later. It seems more likely that he took a phrase which was in everyday use at the time to describe his own condition. If it was in common use, then, I wonder whether it could have had a military origins too? Perhaps with the reference to sand, being used to describe a soldier's battle fatigue from desert warfare?

Given that Dylan Thomas was using it c. 1932, if it's roots were in the military, one theory is that it might have originated or been used extensively during the desert campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa in WW1. Some more 'digging' would be required, though, before we could be sure that that was the case.

So just to recap, piss holes in the snow has been used to describe something of low value, but also has the meaning of looking unwell/ suffering from battle fatigue.

It appears that it was a key phrase in the military and very similar to the expression used by  Thomas c.1932; and quite possibly amended to refer to  battle fatigue in colder climates.

At some point, then, it's likely that the two expressions were both in common use:

  • 'Piss holes in the sand', as used by Dylan Thomas in his letter c.1932 [when clearly referring to feeling unwell, quite possibly from drink!] was probably already in common use at that time; gradually becoming the less well-known and used version.
  • 'Piss holes in the snow' also referred to feeling tired/ battle fatigued and looking unwell [as well as something of low value]; but over time, it slowly won in the 'popularity contest' and became the phrase of choice.

And then later on, possibly sometime after the second world war was over, it's usage changed again or rather evolved. It was still used to describe someone feeling unwell/ looking tired, but rather than the cause being battle fatigue, it was the result of a hangover!

 

One thing that we can be sure of, though, is that in the film "Get Carter" (1971), the expression finally entered into the mainstream.

And has remained there ever since.

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Michael Klinger + Tony Klinger - Golan Heights In '73

Picture: "This was dad and me on an old burnt out tank trying to make the biblical love story of Rachel and Jacob just after the '73 war on the Golan Heights. Not the best choice of venue for that particular production and one day worth at least one chapter in my memoirs."

 

A big thanks to Tony for 'dropping by' and sharing some of his memories. His memoirs will undoubtedly be fascinating and compelling reading. I'll let you all know when I hear any news on their publication.

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You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 

and:

Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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