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.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Dirk, talking pictures ...

Unseen photo of Dirk in Paris
BBC here has been running an intriguing weekly series "Talking Pictures" featuring archive interviews with stars, which interviews have been long unseen here - like that recent one some weeks ago on old Bette Davis interviews and there was the 1972 lecture/discussion she gave at the National Film Theatre, which I had been at, in my 20s and there I was in the audience footage! - NFT label.
This last weekend they ran a Dirk Bogarde selection, fitting in extracts from 30 years of interviews with the BBC, starting in 1961. Fascinating stuff, then, as I had not seen most of these - it didn't though include his 1970 NFT appearance, which I was also at and where I met him afterwards and got that signed programme - Dirk label.
Dirk always gave good interview in print or on camera, and so it is here, starting with his lord of the manor act in 1961, above.
He makes interesting comments on his late pal Kay Kendall and praises Marilyn Monroe. Dirk always worked with the best - those '50s ladies like Muriel Pavlow, Virginia McKenna, Kay Kendall, the young Bardot, plus Jean Simmons, Leslie Caron, Olivia de Havilland, while being friends with the likes of Anouk Aimee, Judy Garland, Capucine, Ava Gardner, Ingrid Bergman, Simone Signoret, Yvonne Mitchell, Lauren Bacall (who visited him the day before he died in 1999).
In the '60s he worked with all the new talent: Christie, Courtenay, Stamp, the Yorks, Sarah Miles and James Fox, Bates and more European ladies: Vitti, Aimee, Thulin, Mangano, Lilli Palmer, and in the '70s he was good friends with co-stars Charlotte Rampling and Jane Birkin, as well as TV roles with Lee Remick, Glenda Jackson, Julie Harris, Eileen Atkins, who all spoke well of him. Pity my 2 favourites Bogarde and Vitti did not get on though ...
This series is narrated by Sylvia Syms, his co-star from VICTIM, so she had some comments on that too, including Dirk's relationship with 'Forwood' as described in his books. I fully understood Dirk's reluctance not to 'come out' in his  lifetime - that generation just did not discuss their private life in public, it would have been anathema to him, but as he said, its all there in the books. He also makes interesting comments on directors like Losey, Visconti, Fassbinder  ... Dirk has not only been a favourite of mine since I was about 10 or 11, but he also worked with so many I like. Below, Dirk at that South of France home for over 20 years, before increasing age and ill-health forced a return to London's Chelsea where he started out, in 1947.  The programme was followed by re-reruns of DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE, fun to see again, and HOT ENOUGH FOR JUNE, one of his throwaway '60s capers which I had not seen before ... There are 48 Bogarde posts here, with lots of pictures etc, as per Bogarde label, for those interested in this perenially fascinating actor.
The other interviewees in this BBC series will include Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall and Charlton Heston - ones to watch then. There was another fascinating one last week - on Tony Curtis. The 1972 one showed a still cocky Curtis, seemingly high as he could not stop talking - and also ageing as the interviews progressed ...

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