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Thread: Carol Reed

  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    I think it's unfortunate that the amazing Third Man overshadowed everything he did in the following decades.

    I have so many queries about those later films�

    What was the special relationship he obviously must have had with Trevor Howard?

    Why was he sacked from Mutiny on The Bounty?

    Where was Outcast of the Islands filmed? There seems a great variance in the vegetation and costuming. Did Ralph Richardson actually go on location?

    Can you recommend that 1994 biography by Nicholas Wapshott? Its reviewers described it as meticulous but dry ; Carol Reed as taciturn and secretive private and his work as impersonal.

  2. #22
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    I feel sure they have the date wrong on that blue plaque. As far as I know, Sir Carol passed away in April, 1976.
    That's what happens when badly organised groups start erecting plaques. That one doesn't seem to say who erected it. Most do. That one certainly wasn't erected by English Heritage, the LCC, GLC or the Royal Society of Arts

    Steve

  3. #23
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    That's what happens when badly organised groups start erecting plaques. That one doesn't seem to say who erected it. Most do. That one certainly wasn't erected by English Heritage, the LCC, GLC or the Royal Society of Arts

    Steve
    Well, whoever erected it, Steve, they should have put up a corrected one years ago. Surely, they must know by now they made a mistake. It's great news that there is going to be a blue plaque for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Along with Sir Alexander Korda, they were among the giant and legendary talents of British cinema.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    I think it's unfortunate that the amazing Third Man overshadowed everything he did in the following decades.

    I have so many queries about those later films—

    What was the special relationship he obviously must have had with Trevor Howard?

    Why was he sacked from Mutiny on The Bounty?

    Where was Outcast of the Islands filmed? There seems a great variance in the vegetation and costuming. Did Ralph Richardson actually go on location?

    Can you recommend that 1994 biography by Nicholas Wapshott? Its reviewers described it as meticulous but dry ; Carol Reed as taciturn and secretive private and his work as impersonal.
    From what I have read, Reed and Brando battled from the beginning about the interpretation of Christian and Bligh as well. Brando's eccentric dandy was his own interpretation and Reed disagreed. Brando wanted Bligh to be a more clearly cruel and hard figure than he was in reality. Reed was eventually fired by MGM. Brando clearly had his way - and Bligh turned into a sadist.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR View Post
    ... Reed and Brando battled from the beginning about the interpretation of Christian and Bligh as well. Brando's eccentric dandy was his own interpretation and Reed disagreed...
    Well, I think that eccentric dandy sank that particular ship. And how impertinent of Brando with his 'mulatto-heritage' telling his English director how an 18th century Englishmen should speak!

    I'm thinking that Reed would have been conscious of all this— especially as how his Outcast of the Islands was, to my mind, made slightly ridiculous by the presumably-small Malayan girl being impersonated by this statuesque Algerian woman wearing such heavy make-up—

    260full-.jpg
    Last edited by lllIIlllIIlllIIl; 23-11-13 at 02:08 AM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    Well, I think that eccentric dandy sank that particular ship. And how impertinent of Brando with his 'mulatto-heritage' telling his English director how an 18th century Englishmen should speak!

    I'm thinking that Reed would have been conscious of all this— especially as how his Outcast of the Islands was, to my mind, made slightly ridiculous by the presumably-small Malayan girl being impersonated by this statuesque Algerian woman wearing such heavy make-up—

    260full-.jpg
    I agree. There are aspects of Brando's performance that I thought were interesting, but it is really an interesting failure. He was attempting to show the effect of class and the role of class in the hatred of Bligh and the slow transformation of Christian. But it was too flamboyant and his timing and behavior seemed slightly off all the way through. It seemed that Brando had decided to play a complicated and subtle game but didn't know the rules.

    Reed would have made a very different film. He had a gift for making drama and action comprehensible and clear without obvious effect. I wonder if he is somewhat under-rated because of that. He and Michael Powell are, in my opinion, the two greatest British directors. I have not seen Outcast of the Islands. I should make up that deficit.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    51n6ef9UExL.jpg

    I�ve enjoyed reading this 1990 biography, especially these tid-bits

    � his father installed the family at an unusually-shaped pavilion-type house at Putney Heath which was originally built for a painter named John Brett [Google Earth suggests it has since been demolished]

    � two of Carol�s brothers were named Robin and Vivian Guy

    � he advocated filming away from the studio right from the beginning, shooting on location in Dorset and Switzerland in 1934-35

    � he and Michael Redgrave made three films in 1938-1941 and shared a flat together [which may, or may not, have been 20 Grosvenor Gardens London]

    � Gainsborough Pictures announced in June 1938 that Reed, Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood would make The Blue Lagoon and Rob Roy (in colour)

    � Bobby Henrey was paid a base fee of �1000 for The Fallen Idol [which may conflict with the figure given in the thread here devoted to that film]

    � he and his second wife lived first at her flat at Albert Hall Mansions and then at 213 [!] Kings Road with three staff which was �linked via a vast studio� to another house in the adjoining Glebe Place where the children lived with a nurse and another two staff

    � he, it seems, had an irregular home schedule, a poor sense of nutrition, gallstones and loved eating ice cream

    � he and Evelyn Waugh worked on a script which came to nothing in 1952 [which reminds me I�ve heard that Nancy Mitford contributed to the script of Kind Hearts and Coronets]

    � he made The Man Within in 1952 (which was too similar to The Third Man) and for some unknown reason chose an unfamiliar American scriptwriter named Kurnitz. He soon lost control, taking Benzadrine and patching over the script as they filmed

    � he wanted Jean Seberg to play the troublesome daughter in the already-starry Our Man In Havana

    � Marlon Brando was paid half a million dollars for the fiasco that was Mutiny on the Bounty while his captain (Trevor Howard) received only $100,000.

    Two years were spent on pre-production building the over-sized replica ship. It seems Reed spent 3 months from November 1960 shooting in Tahiti and accommodating Brando�s rudeness before he followed Eric Ambler in resigning. Eleven more scriptwriters and a Hollywood journeyman finished the production as its cost rose from five million to 77 million.

    � he objected to Columbia Pictures asking Peter Sellers to play Fagin in Oliver but he did want Shirley Bassey as Nancy.
    His directorial contribution to Oliver was much prescribed by the musical score and the choreography (both of which were controlled by Columbia Pictures� two Hollywood imports)


    I must say that, even though I enjoyed this biography, it does seem rather second-hand. It is bereft of original documents.

    We hear a great deal of romantic fiddle-faddle about the two alleged romances with Daphne Du Maurier and Jessie Matthews. The biographer talked to Carol Reed�s son Max but it seems a great veil has been drawn over his stepmother, the first Mrs Reed� Dorothy Cox (aka Diana Wynyard) and their fifty-three months of marriage.

    IMG_8996.JPG

    (the first Mrs Reed at Grauman's 'Chinese' Theatre in Los Angeles in 1933)

  8. #28
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    It looks like an interesting book and worth reading.

    I would like to know what it was like collaborating with Evelyn Waugh on anything. That saga of Mutiny on the Bounty production is high on the list of hysterical melodramas of expensive excess, along with Cleopatra - the gold standard - and made at about the same time. Apparently Brando is the central figure in all of the carrying on.

    I'm very glad Ron Moody recreated his Fagin, but Shirley Bassey in Oliver? That film is outstanding. She would have thrown it off balance in more ways than one. I would have cowered under my seat every time she sang, and any fight with Oliver Reed would have ended in a draw with her in the role.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    As far as I know, Bobby Henrey was initially paid �1,000, free of tax, for his role in The Fallen Idol (taking inflation into account since 1947, that would be over �30,000 at today's prices), with the proviso that if the filming wasn't completed within ten weeks, he would be paid an extra �100 per week until the filming was completed. As the filming eventually went on for many months, Bobby finally earned �5,000 (around �150,000 at today's prices).

  10. #30
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR View Post
    ...I would like to know what it was like collaborating with Evelyn Waugh on anything...
    I think it would have been fascinating.

    Unfortunately the biography mentioned above has no sources other than Evelyn Waugh's published journals and letters which dismissively treat Alexander Korda's commission solely as a moneymaking venture. But I can understand why Korda would choose Waugh for a script. Waugh and Carol Reed's former collaborator Graham Greene were both pigeonholed as successful English Catholic novelists. Waugh was seen as especially successful at this time as he had recently returned from Hollywood negotiating a deluxe version of his best-selling Brideshead Revisited with Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

    But I don't believe that the idiosyncratic Waugh collaborated with anyone during his long career. But he would have made a good scriptwriter— he wrote letters to his friend Nancy Mitford advising that her dialogue was witty but her plots were weak.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    I think it would have been fascinating.

    Unfortunately the biography mentioned above has no sources other than Evelyn Waugh's published journals and letters which dismissively treat Alexander Korda's commission solely as a moneymaking venture. But I can understand why Korda would choose Waugh for a script. Waugh and Carol Reed's former collaborator Graham Greene were both pigeonholed as successful English Catholic novelists. Waugh was seen as especially successful at this time as he had recently returned from Hollywood negotiating a deluxe version of his best-selling Brideshead Revisited with Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

    But I don't believe that the idiosyncratic Waugh collaborated with anyone during his long career. But he would have made a good scriptwriter— he wrote letters to his friend Nancy Mitford advising that her dialogue was witty but her plots were weak.
    It's an intriguing idea. His dialogue is marvelous, and he would seem to have been a natural screenwriter - and playwright. The timing and the rhythm are there in his prose. On the other hand, he was not exactly diplomatic. Eccentric is too mild a word.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR View Post
    It's an intriguing idea. His dialogue is marvelous, and he would seem to have been a natural screenwriter - and playwright. The timing and the rhythm are there in his prose. ...
    Yes indeed!

    His early books are indeed cinematic. He hated how Henry James and Joseph Conrad would wallow in unnecessary/uncinematic verbiage and praised Hemingway's telegraphic text. And Waugh was mentor to the fabulous Muriel Spark who was even more keen to cut out fatty text.

    Waugh's diaries mention another aborted Korda commission in the late 30s. He hoped in the 1950s that Alec Guinness would star in a version of his Loved One, and of course there was this cinematic oddity�

    http://thebioscope.net/2008/07/01/pe...-evelyn-waugh/

    13yjcyg.jpg

  13. #33
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    Yes indeed!

    His early books are indeed cinematic. He hated how Henry James and Joseph Conrad would wallow in unnecessary/uncinematic verbiage and praised Hemingway's telegraphic text. And Waugh was mentor to the fabulous Muriel Spark who was even more keen to cut out fatty text.

    Waugh's diaries mention another aborted Korda commission in the late 30s. He hoped in the 1950s that Alec Guinness would star in a version of his Loved One, and of course there was this cinematic oddity�

    http://thebioscope.net/2008/07/01/pe...-evelyn-waugh/

    13yjcyg.jpg

    The Loved One with Alec Guinness - there is an opportunity missed. That could have been perfect casting if the film had been done in the off-center style of his early comedies. His weird, sly, feline manner matches the book exactly.

    Elsa Lanchester was very good looking when she was young, and intense.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR View Post
    The Loved One with Alec Guinness - there is an opportunity missed. That could have been perfect casting if the film had been done in the off-center style of his early comedies. His weird, sly, feline manner matches the book exactly�.
    Yes, I can well imagine him as the innocent English poet Dennis Barlow lost in the crazy world of Los Angeles.

    alecguinessmaninth_2379212b.jpg

    Guinness and Waugh �as well as Greene� shared the same religious beliefs. (I don't know about Sir Carol Reed's beliefs though I did detect an occasional twinge when rewatching Fallen Idol.)

    http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/...-alec-guinness

  15. #35
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Carol Reed Holding His Academy Award


    14th April 1969. British film director Sir Carol Reed admires the "Oscar" presented to him as Best Director for the musical film Oliver!, following presentation of the Academy Awards Ceremonies here [Los Angeles, California].

    Sir Carol has previously received nominations for "Best Director" honors for the films The Fallen Idol (1949) and The Third Man (1950) [when the films were first released in America].

  16. #36
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    Incidentally Mutiny On The Bounty(1962) is showing on TCM this coming Monday.

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