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  1. #141
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    Thanks for the trivia, m35541. I didn't know about that. Unfortunately, although it's interesting to ponder, we'll never know how Francis would have handled Sammy, unless perhaps, he gave an interview somewhere along the line where he stated how he would have made it. Maybe the delay in the start of shooting was because Mackendrick was still looking for the right boy to play Sammy. I believe it was March, 1962, before Fergus got the part over scores of other boys.
    I'll check my copy of The Films of Freddie Francis (basically one long rant in which he says that all of his shite films were someone else's fault) tonight.



    The most common reason for shooting delays is usually lack of money.



    I would guess that Francis thought the film might not get made hence he accepted a less prestige production instead (money in the hand worth...). The Brain/Vengeance was mentioned in the trade press as just about to start shooting in late Feb but in fact didn't start until the first week of April so he may also have made a timing miscalculation. The Brain was also supposed to be the first of four films made by this new Anglo-German set-up and Francis may have also thought he'd get other work out of it (which he didn't and he hated making The Brain). It was also around this time (Jan/Feb 1962)that he probably did the lighthouse scenes for Day of the Triffids.

  2. #142
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I've been doing a bit of research regarding the 128 minute original release version of Sammy Going South and the subsequent shortened 119 minutes version. If BLC released a shortened version of the film during its initial release period, they would have had to inform the Board of Trade about it and details of the new version would be published by the Cinematrograph Exhibitors Association so as to inform cinema managers that the length of the film had been shortened from 11,568 feet to 10,710 feet. This was important, so that when the managers were working out the screening times for their programme content, they would not find that their timings were twenty minutes out per night, causing screening times published in the local paper to be useless. Does anyone have any information from an exhibitor's publication that may shed light on just what date Sammy Going South was shortened to the version we see on the present DVD release? It may have been done late in 1963 or, if not, certainly before 1970. But the film was no longer on release by then.

  3. #143
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    have you checked contemporary publications such as the MFB, Kine Weekly or The Daily Cinema. They will have the release timing. Alternatively, you could see what is on the BFI's micorfiche for the film (usually publicity with the official timings).



    There are a lot of films on the BBFCs database from the 1970s and prior that were released with a short running time from that seen by the BBFC due to subsequent distributor snips.



    It might also be worth you asking the BBFC what they cut for a 'U' certificate.

  4. #144
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    have you checked contemporary publications such as the MFB, Kine Weekly or The Daily Cinema. They will have the release timing. Alternatively, you could see what is on the BFI's micorfiche for the film (usually publicity with the official timings).



    There are a lot of films on the BBFCs database from the 1970s and prior that were released with a short running time from that seen by the BBFC due to subsequent distributor snips.



    It might also be worth you asking the BBFC what they cut for a 'U' certificate.
    Thanks for the advice, m35541. I have a page from Kine Weekly listing the releases for April, 1963 and the running time is given as 128 minutes. When it was submitted to the BBFC in February, 1963, it ran 129 minutes all but five seconds. So their cuts...whatever they were...were around a minute. No chance of me going to London to do research on this, however, as I'm not well enough these days to tackle the 300 miles round trip. I've noticed on the BBFC website that details are never available regarding what cuts were made in any films.

  5. #145
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    Did anyone else put this down as thair favourite British film ? Or like it very much. I loved it. It was visually stunning and the acting and adventure terrific.

  6. #146
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Did anyone else put this down as thair favourite British film ? Or like it very much. I loved it. It was visually stunning and the acting and adventure terrific.
    Well, burnsie1971, I reckon I'm about as big a fan of it as you can get and I know I am only one of very many.

  7. #147
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    I have seen the 90 minute version of A Boy Ten Feet Tall and have to admit I didn't really notice any difference in the music score even though I remember there was another composers name on the credits.

  8. #148
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I have seen the 90 minute version of A Boy Ten Feet Tall and have to admit I didn't really notice any difference in the music score even though I remember there was another composers name on the credits.
    Oh, there is a vast difference, Chas, between the two scores, especially in the title music. Try playing the opening titles of each version, one after the other. Baxter's is sweeping, melodic, romantic and spectacular and a great score on its own, but somehow so unsuited to the visuals. Almost as though he didn't actually compose it for this film, but it was a spare score he had on the shelf, probably something he did for another film that didn't get made. Cary's score is different again and was definitely more down to earth and less romantic sounding that Baxter's. I think the difference could best be described by saying that Cary's score for the complete version was more about trauma and loss as experienced by a young boy, while Baxter's score for the truncated version was more about the adventure aspect of the story.



    Strangely, the credit on the opening titles of A Boy Ten Feet Tall that refers to Baxter's score being conducted by Muir Mathieson, seems to suggest that the score was actually recorded in England. Tristram Cary conducted his own score for the film at Shepperton studios (despite what it says on the IMDb).

  9. #149
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: A very rare American single released in 1964 on the short lived New York based Arock label of Les Baxter's main title theme from A Boy Ten Feet Tall, played by Marc Fredericks, his piano and Orchestra. This was probably the only record of the theme to be released, as I have never been able to trace a Capitol single of the theme played by Les Baxter himself. As you can see, it had lyrics by Ned Washington, a few of which can be heard about halfway through the record, sung by a chorus. It's difficult to make out the lyrics, but they go something like: "A Boy Is Ten Feet Tall....A Boy Is As Tall As a Giant."




  10. #150
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Although every film going back many years on the BBFC website says that details of cuts are not available, according to their website, you can find out from them just what was cut from Sammy Going South to qualify the film for a "U" certificate in 1963 (and, indeed, why they uprated it to a PG for the recent DVD release), but, you'd have to make an appointment to go and see them in person and pay a fee to see the actual records. So it would only be convenient in time and money for someone who actually lived in central London. They state on their website:



    "Can I Research BBFC Film Files?



    The BBFC has over 60,000 historic records of classification decisions made since 1 January 1913. Some are noted in Film Registers and there are paper files from around the late 1950s onwards. The file for any work which is over twenty years old is available for research purposes on the Board’s premises. The files do vary in size and content. Anyone wishing to view the Board’s records should email helpline@bbfc.co.uk and should provide a list of film titles and release dates. We will check the availability of each file and contact you to make an appointment to come in and view the records. No file can be removed from our building. We only charge for this service if we have to recall a box from our external archive and the cost is £16.74 for up to four boxes. You will have to complete a Copyright Acceptance Form before viewing and you should refer to it for terms and conditions."

  11. #151
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Friday, September 10th, 2010.



    Happy 60th Birthday, Fergus, from all your fans!

  12. #152
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I recently obtained this rare collector's item from an eBay seller in Tokyo, Japan. It is the 45 rpm Japanese pressing, on the London label, of the Fergus McClelland Sammy Going South song released in the UK by Decca in April, 1963 and which in itself is very rare now. However, while Decca only issued the single in the usual orange Decca sleeve, the Japanese went to town on their packaging. The picture cover opens out to form a four page booklet containing scenes from the film together with a write up about the film all, of course, printed in Japanese. There may be some interesting information here if anyone on the forum can read Japanese and translate it. Considering the age of this item, both the record; sleeve and picture cover are in beautiful condition. It makes me wonder why Decca here didn't promote the record and the film in this way. Perhaps an EP with colour picture sleeve and music from the film. Why should we have been outdone in this respect by the Japanese?
















  13. #153
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    This is one of my favourite films at well - it really is very well made and performed and features a wonderful late performance from Edward G Robinson. However the film seems to be lost in obscurity despite a DVD release and as far as I know has not been shown on TV for many years - does anyone know why? This thread has been a very good read with lots of trivia and discussion - thanks to everyone who has pooled their knowledge here!

  14. #154
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    I think it's because of money...the rights belong to Jonathan Balcon (Michael's Son) as has been mentioned...so negotiations regarding TV showings would have to go through him. Canal-Plus hold the negative/prints they would have to set a price as well. Knowing how television buyers like an easy life, it is probably because lots of paper work would have to be sorted before a price is set.
    Film Man.

  15. #155
    Senior Member Country: Europe Heinrich's Avatar
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    This critic thinks the severely mutilated American version actually redeemed a badly-made movie.

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

  16. #156
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Film Man View Post
    I think it's because of money...the rights belong to Jonathan Balcon (Michael's Son) as has been mentioned...so negotiations regarding TV showings would have to go through him. Canal-Plus hold the negative/prints they would have to set a price as well. Knowing how television buyers like an easy life, it is probably because lots of paper work would have to be sorted before a price is set.
    Film Man.
    Good point - but a pity, isn't it? A lot of films are losing new audiences simply because they are not high-profile anymore. I know that projects which have copyright links both to Balcon and Canal Plus have run into problems and can quite understand a reluctance to engage in dialogue with these people in order to secure television rights.

  17. #157
    Member Country: United States harkin's Avatar
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    Saw it when I was about five years old when it first came out. The US title A Boy Ten Feet Tall.

    The leopard scene had a huge impact on me.

  18. #158
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: Some very rare original press photos.



    Fergus McClelland, aged 12, seen outside his school, Holland Park in west London, on Thursday, January 10th, 1963.



    At Claridges hotel, London, on Friday morning, March 15th, 1963, Edward G. Robinson receives a painting entitled "Tea Break" from Fergus McClelland that
    Fergus painted from memory and which depicts a scene that occured when they were on location together in Africa for Sammy Going South.
    Fergus created the painting with coloured felt tipped pens.



    Edward G. Robinson and Fergus McClelland sitting together in the stalls of the Odeon cinema, Leicester Square, London, on Sunday, March 17th, 1963,
    during rehearsals for the Royal Film Performance of Sammy Going South, to be held the following evening.



    Left to right on the stage of the Odeon cinema, Leicester Square, London, on Sunday, March 17th, 1963, during rehearsals for the following evening's
    Royal Film Performance of Sammy Going South, are John Mills; Michele Morgan; Fergus McClelland; Edward G. Robinson and Orlando Martins.

  19. #159
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    What the stars in the photo above just could have been saying at the time the photo was taken (well, anything's possible).

    JOHN MILLS: "Now pay attention, McClelland...this is important!"

    MICHELE MORGAN: "That projectionist up there...he's looking at me!"

    FERGUS McCLELLAND: "I feel like disabling another Jeep!"

    EDWARD G. ROBINSON: "Now where DID I leave that pouch full of diamonds?"

    ORLANDO MARTINS: "I have the strange ability to go to sleep standing up!"

  20. #160
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    Wonderful stills Darrenburnfan. It is also great to see glimpses of the Odeon, Leicester Square before Rank changed it for the worst around 1968.

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