The Running Man

Stella and Rex

Say The Running Man and most people think of an underwhelming Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi/action movie from 1987. But there is another one, from 1963, starring Laurence Harvey, Lee Remick and Alan Bates, and it’s all about a man who goes nuts after getting a sniff of money. The action kicks off in London, where grieving widow Stella (Remick) is making a great show of burying her much loved husband, who recently died in a glider accident off the south coast. But Rex (Harvey) isn’t dead, and the staged accident was part of a scheme to get one over on the insurance company who had, Rex feels, got one over on him by not … Read more

Shuttlecock aka Sins of a Father

Major Prentis in a prison cell

Shuttlecock, it says on the IMDB, with the year 2020 in a bracket. Strange, that guy looks like Alan Bates, I thought to myself as the grainy face of a middle-aged man appeared on the screen. Since Bates died in 2003 this seemed unlikely. Up come the opening credits and there is the name Alan Bates at the top of the list. What am I watching? A bit more digging and I see there’s another film called Shuttlecock on the IMDB, from 1991, also directed by Andrew Piddington and starring… Alan Bates. A bit more digging still and (thank you Wikipedia, and, yes, I have sent some money) a picture starts to emerge, … Read more

Far from the Madding Crowd

Terence Stamp and Julie Christie in Far from the Madding Crowd

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 11 January Thomas Hardy dies, 1928 On this day in 1928, the novelist and poet Thomas Hardy died. He was 87 and this Victorian writer had survived into and almost through the age of the formal modernist, such as Joyce, with whom he had little in common, though he was an informing influence on writers with a more earthy, carnal and rural inclination, such as DH Lawrence. Hardy had trained as an architect in the 1860s but didn’t enjoy life in London and as soon as he became established enough he moved back to the West Country (Somerset, then Dorset) where … Read more