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Kenneth More Day on Talking Pictures.

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  • Kenneth More Day on Talking Pictures.

    Talking Pictures are having a Kenneth More day on Friday 12th July (the anniversary of his death in 1982) including an interview with Angie Douglas and also Anneke Wills. For me the highlight of the day is The Comedy Man at 9.30pm.
    Other films include The Greengage Summer, North West Frontier, Genevieve and more.

  • #2
    Kenneth More's fall from the heights of his 1950's success is a story worthy of a movie in itself.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Odeonman View Post
      Kenneth More's fall from the heights of his 1950's success is a story worthy of a movie in itself.
      Very unfortunate. He was tipped for the David Niven role in The Guns of Navarone until he had his falling out with Rank.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cassidy View Post

        Very unfortunate. He was tipped for the David Niven role in The Guns of Navarone until he had his falling out with Rank.
        I think his failing out was because he wanted released from his contract to make Navarone

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        • #5
          I read that he got drunk ato a Rank dinner and heckled John Davis,so no release.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by orpheum View Post
            I read that he got drunk ato a Rank dinner and heckled John Davis,so no release.
            I believe you are correct, Orpheum, not sure though if the Navarone decision was prompted by the incident or vice versa?

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            • #7
              Orpheum is quite correct. The incident cost him his part in the film as well as his contract with Rank.

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              • #8
                That's how I understand events occurred, too. John Davis delighted in being disliked and was not a man to cross. More's screen career never recovered and he only made a major comeback in the late 1960's on television with The Forsyte Saga.
                Last edited by Ian Fryer; 2 July 2019, 09:43 AM. Reason: Correcting flippin' autocorrect!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ian Fryer View Post
                  That's how I understand events occurred, too. John Davis delighted in being disliked and was not a man to cross. More's screen career never recovered and he only made a majority comeback in the late 1960's on television with The Forsyte Saga.
                  Indeed, the drunken heckling incident is related by More himself in his 1978 autobiography "More or Less". He had already had costume fittings for Guns of Naverone when Davis withdrew Rank's permission for the loan out to Carl Foreman. He was, effectively, sacked by Rank and then many of his film industry "friends" ostracised him when he left his wife and child to live with Angela Douglas. Although The Comedy Man was released in 1964, it was actually made in 1962 (for some reason many British Lion films of that period sat on the shelf for extended periods). It was finally released as the bottom half of a double bill with Lord of the Flies. In spite of its title, the film was given an X certificate by the BBFC, More's first X film. He didn't appear on screen again until Jack Cardiff cast him as (ironically) a drunken doctor in his 1968 blood and guts saga The Mercenaries (aka Dark of the Sun), also X rated.
                  Last edited by Odeonman; 2 July 2019, 10:50 AM.

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                  • #10
                    One wonders what other films More might have been cast in were it not for the sacking etc, for instance might he have been one of stiff upper lips in Lawrence of Arabia.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cassidy View Post
                      One wonders what other films More might have been cast in were it not for the sacking etc, for instance might he have been one of stiff upper lips in Lawrence of Arabia.
                      An interesting question, as More was getting a little old for the roles that made him a leading man for Rank - perhaps a reason why Davis was happy to dump him from his no doubt expensive contract. He was at a vital point in his career when he should have been starting to develop into a star character player, and instead the rug was pulled from under him and More instead developed his stage acting.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ian Fryer View Post

                        An interesting question, as More was getting a little old for the roles that made him a leading man for Rank - perhaps a reason why Davis was happy to dump him from his no doubt expensive contract. He was at a vital point in his career when he should have been starting to develop into a star character player, and instead the rug was pulled from under him and More instead developed his stage acting.
                        Rank were no doubt mindful of the fact that his last two films, Man in the Moon and The Greengage Summer had performed poorly at the box office. Man in the Moon in particular was a disappointment as it came from the reliable Relph/Dearden stable, co-starred the new sexpot Shirley Anne Field (fresh from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) and had been given a Royal World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in the presence of The Queen and Prince Philip, no less.
                        More was certainly getting too old to play the bluff lothario type , as demonstrated by We Joined the Navy (a film produced by, directed by and starring Pinewood refugees). However, many of his fifties contemporaries also found the going tough as the swinging sixties took hold.

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                        • orpheum
                          orpheum commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Eg Richard Todd

                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Odeonman View Post
                        ...many of his fifties contemporaries also found the going tough as the swinging sixties took hold.
                        Understandable, the Sixties brought a different style of movie and a very different breed of actor, Harris, Finney, Connery, Reed et al. Suddenly the likes of More, Richard Todd, etc all looked a bit mannered and bland.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post

                          Understandable, the Sixties brought a different style of movie and a very different breed of actor, Harris, Finney, Connery, Reed et al. Suddenly the likes of More, Richard Todd, etc all looked a bit mannered and bland.
                          It should be borne in mind that Kenneth More's fellow Rank contract players (and sometime co-stars) John Gregson and Donald Sinden were also dumped by the company around the same time, albeit in less dramatic fashion. They only held on to Dirk Bogarde, and he couldn't wait to be free of his Rank contract.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Odeonman View Post

                            It should be borne in mind that Kenneth More's fellow Rank contract players (and sometime co-stars) John Gregson and Donald Sinden were also dumped by the company around the same time....
                            For the same reasons as More, I suspect.

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