Archive for Ian Bannen

Here’s Hough

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2019 by dcairns


Fiona had a wee hospital thing yesterday which involved a very early start for both of us. While recuperating, she watched ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN and THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, all directed by John Hough for Disney. After we bailed on the HERBIE quadrilogy when it looked like HERBIE GOES BANANAS wasn’t going to be edifying.

Hough certainly had talent, and an odd career that would see him making the Disney fantasies alongside paranormal rape flicks THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and THE INCUBUS. But WATCHER may be his scariest film, aided by atmospheric locations, committed performances from Bette Davis and Ian Bannen in particular, and some really effective jump scares. And yeah, I know we’re all meant to be too big and mature for jump scares now, and I know they’ve been done to death, but… these are really good.

This UFO from the first WITCH MOUNTAIN is engraved in my memory. I’m old enough to just recall the old days of cinema-going: the family would rock up at the Odeon or ABC at any old time, and walk in on the end or middle of a movie, then watch through a whole double feature until we got back to where we began. So I saw the ending of this movie first, and its the one bit I recall.

Fiona was horrified to hear I experienced the cinema in this chaotic way. She always saw movies from beginning to end, like a person.

But it’s a dry heat

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2017 by dcairns

Who are Mario Adorf and Ian Bannen staring at, and why? Read this fortnight’s edition of The Forgotten, the column that dares to ask that question!

Frozen time-slices

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on January 6, 2010 by dcairns

One of a series of stills taken to be used as props within THE SAILOR FROM GIBRALTAR. This one is similar to the one actually used.

A while back I posted the credits of Tony Richardson and Marguerite Duras’ THE SAILOR FROM GIBRALTAR on YouTube. To my surprise and delight, I was contacted by Alan Aldridge, who designed said credits but had never owned a copy of the film. I sorted him out.

And now I’ve been contacted by Roger Rizzi, son of the unit stills photographer, who had never even seen the film. I sorted him out also. Gathered with his family at Christmastime, Roger was able to say to his pa, “I’ll just put on this DVD a friend sent me…” and then watch his father’s expression as he realized he was about to see, for the first time, a movie he’d worked on more than forty years ago…

Roger then very kindly sent me some of his father’s stills from the shoot, which have never been seen before ~

Ian Bannen offers his best come-to-bed look.

La Moreau, key grip Jean Gimelo, assistant director Christian de Chalonge, Tony Richardson.

Jean Gimelo demonstrates exactly what a key grip’s duties involve.

Most excitingly of all, these images come from a deleted scene with Orson Welles, who appears only briefly in the final cut.

You know the sound made by icebergs breaking off from the main mass of the Arctic and falling into the sea? If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of time melting away.

Angelo Rizzi is permitted to hold a real witch doctor’s magic stick. Make a wish! And it will be granted, though it may take forty years or so…