Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Perfectly '60s (2): The System: Oliver, David, Jane

Looking at THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN from 1960 again the other day, it was amusing to see Oliver Reed prance in for a minute, acting very swish and camp, into the room where Jack Hawkins and Nigel Patrick etc are planning their robbery. Just one of Olly's many small roles before all those Ken Russell and Michael Winner films.

A key one for me (being 18 and new in London) was Winner's THE SYSTEM from 1964 about a gang of youngs in an English seaside town - Torquay I think [Weymouth was the seaside town where Reed and his gang hung out in, in Losey's THE DAMNED, 1961]. David Hemmings here is quite nondescript as one of the boys - but 2 years later he would be starring one of the key roles of the '60s: the photographer in Antonioni's BLOW-UP - talk about catching the zeitgeist!

Also in THE SYSTEM is Jane Merrow, as the girl who breaks Reed's heart - she was actually Hemmings' girl at the time, and he writes nicely about her in his autobiography which he luckily finished before he died in 2003. I had a nice conversation with Jane myself in 1966 when she was doing a play in London - she went on to co-star in THE LION IN WINTER, another key 60s movie, before doing television in the States. THE SYSTEM though is well worth seeking out ...

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