Archive for Diana Dors

When Diana Dors Ruled the Earth

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on November 19, 2018 by dcairns

                     

       

  

I didn’t invent the title of this one. I want to say it was Peter Cook, but I can’t confirm this. Google stands helpless.

Hurry While Shocks Last

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2015 by dcairns
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I’m in Fangoria!
Daniel Riccuito, Jennifer Matsui and I have authored a Barbara Steele encomium/mash note, featuring original interviews with the First Lady of Fright herself. My clunky memory tells me I only contributed plot synopses (which are fun to do for eccentric Italian horror movies, and not so much for anything else) but looking through the piece I spotted this bit ~

While Italian movies robbed Steele of her voice, they liberated her from what it had meant in Britain. Leading ladies in Brit films tended to be well brought-up young things, unless they were lusty and working-class like Diana Dors. Even at Hammer, where sexuality was unleashed regularly via bouts of vampirism, the erotically active roles usually went to continental lovelies (Polish immigrant Ingrid Pitt got her work permit based on Hammer’s claim that no native-born actress could exude such desire and desirability). Steele turns up all-too briefly in Basil Dearden’s Sapphire (1959) as an art school girl, the only kind of role that might allow for both intelligence and a certain liberated attitude. And Steele really was exactly that type. Her appearance is so arresting, you want the movie to simply abandon its plot and follow her into some fresh storyline: it wouldn’t really matter what.

Yeah, that’s one of mine!

Thanks and congratulations to my collaborators and the good folks at the mag and Ms. Steele herself. (Just typing “Ms. Steele” provokes a masochistic frisson Try it!)

Mediocre Time Girl

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2014 by dcairns

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I’ve come to rely on Brit B-list director David MacDonald for at least one ludicrous moment per film. THE BROTHERS has a guy set bobbing in the ocean with cork tied under his arms, a fish in his hat to attract a passing sea-bird to swoop down and crack his cranium like an eggshell — a scheme served up as an alternative to murder. It’s not murder if a seagull does it. And DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS is a movie wholly composed of ludicrous moments.

Most of the mistakes in GOOD-TIME GIRL (1948), alas, are the kind that make it less fun. The story is narrated by Flora Robson to Diana Dors, a juvenile offender in need of a cautionary tale — this means that the mighty Dors is on screen for mere instants, and the rest of the flick concentrates on Jean Kent, who is OK but we can’t forgive her for not being Diana Dors. As a matter of fact, I often encounter this problem in real life: I’ll be talking to somebody, a shopkeeper, my bank manager, or the like, and I’ll think, “You’re OK, but you’re no Diana Dors.” It can sour a person’s whole life.

“I was present on the set of DANCE HALL,” said Alexander Mackendrick, “when Diana Dors was dragged away because you could see her nipples through her jumper, and she had to go away and have them stuffed with cotton wool, and her indignation at this was something to be seen.”

The film peaks early on with some whacky staging. Kent loses her job, and her drunkard father goes all MOMMIE DEAREST with a belt. As Kent cowers in bed, the hulking inebriate advances… and begins to lash the empty bit of mattress to Kent’s right. She screams! — in mystification, presumably, at this odd behaviour. I think we’d all feel like that if our father started taking his frustration out on the bed like that.

“I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at the dirt.”

There’s also Dennis Price, Herbert Lom, Bonar Colleano, and the nice shot you see up top — a throwaway moment in a film otherwise free of style, and one that appears for just a couple of seconds, for no reason at all.

Still, I suppose Dors’ fleeting appearance gave her more free time to de-virginize Tony Newley, so it’s an ill wind etc.