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  1. #41
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I bought that paperback off an eBay seller a few years back, but there was a later edition printed that was more of a film tie-in and had a scene from the film in colour on the front cover, with Edward G. Robinson and Fergus McClelland walking through the bush together. I'm not sure if it was a Penguin book, though. I have also seen on eBay the American film tie-in paperback, retitled A Boy Ten Feet Tall, which I always thought sounded like a science fiction movie...mad scientist injects boy with growth serum, ect. I suppose the reason why the American distributors changed the title may have been because they thought that American audiences would regard anything with the word "south" in the title as referring to the American south.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    I bought that paperback off an eBay seller a few years back, but there was a later edition printed that was more of a film tie-in and had a scene from the film in colour on the front cover, with Edward G. Robinson and Fergus McClelland walking through the bush together. I'm not sure if it was a Penguin book, though. I have also seen on eBay the American film tie-in paperback, retitled A Boy Ten Feet Tall, which I always thought sounded like a science fiction movie...mad scientist injects boy with growth serum, ect. I suppose the reason why the American distributors changed the title may have been because they thought that American audiences would regard anything with the word "south" in the title as referring to the American south.
    The title change would not likely have had anything to do with the American south.



    Sammy Going South would have been perceived as an adventure/epic film. Of course it is richer and more complex than the vast majority of films in that genre. But it probably would have been categorized that way and most American films of that type have titles that are more literal, with an emphasis on individual heroism.



    The term "ten feet tall" was in regular usage when I was a boy as slang for feeling confident and capable: "I feel ten feet tall". I don't know if it was used in Britain? Anyone in the US would have recognized it.



    Also, the name "Sammy" is not commonly used in the US as an abbreviation for Samuel. I have never heard of it used for men. It is generally used as a shortened version of Samantha if it is used at all.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, I see what you mean, Tim. I don't think the term feeling ten feet tall was in use in the UK at that time. I suppose it's British equivalent would have been Walking On Air. Come to think of it, I always thought that Sam or Sammy, applied to a boy, was short for Samuel and it's also short for Samantha in a girl. But Samuel Going South wouldn't have had the same ring to it, somehow. Boys names in films have always sounded cuter when shortened and there were a lot of boy stars with names that Billy; Sandy; Scotty; Tommy; Johnny and Bobby in those days. Sammy has the same ring to it. It must be the emphasised letter Y on the end.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Yes, I see what you mean, Tim. I don't think the term feeling ten feet tall was in use in the UK at that time. I suppose it's British equivalent would have been Walking On Air. Come to think of it, I always thought that Sam or Sammy, applied to a boy, was short for Samuel and it's also short for Samantha in a girl. But Samuel Going South wouldn't have had the same ring to it, somehow. Boys names in films have always sounded cuter when shortened and there were a lot of boy stars with names that Billy; Sandy; Scotty; Tommy; Johnny and Bobby in those days. Sammy has the same ring to it. It must be the emphasised letter Y on the end.
    Yes, exactly. And as I well knew - "Timmy"



    It was a sign of coming of age when Timmy turned into Tim.



    I mostly dislike the change of titles. I had no idea that Sammy Going South was the original title. It is more imaginative and perfectly captures the essence of the story: one small boy alone on a tremendous, single-minded journey in one direction.



    A Boy Ten Feet Tall works well enough but it might be used for any number of films. Sammy Going South is unique.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Ah, yes, "Timmy". I'd forgotten to include that and, of course, "Davy."

  6. #46
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Thanks for another fine post on this film. The description is well written and exactly describes the startling power of those opening scenes.



    I have read through this high quality thread again. It is remarkable to me that this film, which had such a harrowing, shattering impact on me as a small boy, had precisely the same impact on others thousands of miles away.



    Of course it is entirely logical - but the memory of that film belongs to my earliest years and I had not expected to return to in the company of others so many years later.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, Tim, if I could write about the opening scenes of Sammy Going South as eloquently as Philip Kemp did in his book, that's what I would have written. I saw many big films in 1963. Spartacus was the most expensive; Sodom and Gomorrah was the most hyped and Lancelot and Guinevere one of the more intelligent takes on the Athurian legend. But Sammy Going South was, for me, the most important, because it was about me and I identified with it very strongly. A true British classic!

  8. #48
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    The Studio Canal street address is obviously in France. Maybe the office staff are all French-speaking only and wouldn't be able to understand a letter or email written to them unless it was in French.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I found this on YouTube. A few selected scenes from Sammy Going South that someone has uploaded. What a team Eddie G and Fergus made and what superb acting.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_krSKKDWCUk

  10. #50
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Many thanks for finding this, as you say wonderful acting, also a good quality print.



    Regards



    Freddy

  11. #51
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, this classic, wonderful film has languished in the vaults long enough. It hasn't even been shown on television here for eight years. Let's get it released properly on DVD...full CinemaScope...full length...with extras and a commentary and even the original trailer. It has to be the original British version, though. The heavily cut American version just won't do.

  12. #52
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ1_yLvC5P0



    A comment on youtube says



    'This is the original music score by Tristram Cary.

    FERGUS McLELLAND sings the song.'



    FReddy

  13. #53
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    It was never in the film, though, Freddy, but was recorded to promote it. The idea was for Decca to release the 45 rpm single in time for the film's Royal Film Performance premiere on Monday, March 18th, 1963, so that it would be on sale in the foyer at the Odeon, Leicester Square. Unfortunately, the release of the single was put back to April. The actual melody that the lyrics are set to was from Tristram Cary's score and was known as "Cocky's Theme." A soundtrack LP was planned at the time for Decca release, but it never appeared, even though Decca were sent the tapes. I have the Decca single in my collection and Fergus McClelland still has his copy, too, after over forty-six years!

  14. #54
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    I recieved news today from Optimum Releasing that the DVD of Sammy Going South will be released the first quarter of 2010. Technical details are unknown at the moment though I have been assured it will be the best available.



    If you would like to see Optimum Releasing their web site is



    Optimum Releasing



    and you can sign up for a monthly newsletter.



    Regards



    Freddy

  15. #55
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Excellent news. Let us hope it's the full length version not seen since its initial release and also in full width CinemaScope. I only hope though, with it being Optimum, who often announce releases of DVD's that never materialise, that it will be released. We will all have to keep our fingers crossed. After all, a planned release is better than no planned release. You've done very well on this, Freddy, you really have. This classic film has lain in the vaults long enough.



    P.S. I have just emailed Fergus McClelland to tell him the good news!

  16. #56
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Excellent news. Let us hope it's the full length version not seen since its initial release and also in full width CinemaScope. I only hope though, with it being Optimum, who often announce releases of DVD's that never materialise, that it will be released. We will all have to keep our fingers crossed. After all, a planned release is better than no planned release. You've done very well on this, Freddy, you really have. This classic film has lain in the vaults long enough.
    Yes - Good work Freddy and thanks. And many thanks to you for bringing this to my attention.



    I still plan to add my two cents from the US in a note to them. I'm sure there are many of us here who will enjoy a proper DVD release of an outstanding film.



    P.S. I have just emailed Fergus McClelland to tell him the good news!
    Very nice.



    How curious it is for me to think that film I saw so many years ago and was such a powerful experience has come up again in this discussion, and that you know the gentleman who played Sammy.

  17. #57
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Well, I've never actually met him, Tim, but I have corresponded with him by letter and email for some time now. He even sent me a photo a year or two back of him holding his new baby daughter, which I sent on to Tristram Carey in Australia to show him how grown up little Sammy had become. Sadly, Tristram passed away a year or so ago.

  18. #58
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Well, I've never actually met him, Tim, but I have corresponded with him by letter and email for some time now
    Yes, I know - that is what I meant. It's very nice.



    He even sent me a photo a year or two back of him holding his new baby daughter, which I sent on to Tristram Carey in Australia to show him how grown up little Sammy had become. Sadly, Tristram passed away a year or so ago.
    It is an unusual and moving score, and fits the film beautifully.

  19. #59
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I just received this reply by email from Fergus McClelland regarding the planned DVD release of Sammy Going South.



    "That's awesome David! Thanks for letting me know.

    I look forward to chatting with you soon - and the release:)

    Best,

    Fergus."

  20. #60
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    It would be nice if he is contacted to do an interview. Thanks for the posting darren. Harry H Corbett did say of his part in SGS.



    "In a movie I was in with Edward G. Robinson, Sammy Going South (1963), I was supposed to be a devil, and they just fell about with hilarity. I haven't tried villainy since."



    Freddy

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