And the movies – yes, there were some ground-breaking movies too, that we are still seeing and experiencing 50 years later – like Losey’s THE SERVANT, which I saw back on the big screen this year, with co-stars James Fox, Sarah Miles and Wendy Craig present to discuss it, after a gap of 50 years – how often does that happen? Hitch’s THE BIRDS continues to fascinate too, and is aired all the time – and the rare THE VICTORS had a tv outing last week ….
Glossy enduring entertainment too with Audrey dressed by Givenchy in CHARADE and Capucine by Balmain in THE PINK PANTHER delirious fashion treats as well as fabulous movies, art cinema favourites LE FEU FOLLET and BAY OF ANGELS showing Malle and Demy at their best; THE VICTORS that grim anti-war tract with its raft of rising European actresses (Schneider, Moreau, Mercouri etc), and Neame’s I COULD GO ON SINGING – Judy almost playing herself, with Bogarde again – I had the soundtrack album, as I did for CLEOPATRA and that stunning entry into Rome. (I actually did not see that until its general release in 1964 and it certainly was worth the wait). LAWRENCE OF ARABIA was also packing them in during its initial run. In that pre-video world one had to see it on the biggest screen possible.
Back to THE BIRDS and that lovely interplay between Mitch Brenner and Melanie Daniels, as the tension slowly builds; and she looking so soigne in the birdshop, dialling the telephone with her pencil. Hitch makes sure here that she has all the right accessories: the suit, the hair, the gloves, the handbag, the lovebirds... and then there is Annie Hayworth (Pleshette) at Bodega Bay, and that very complicated mother Lydia (Tandy), and then that first gull attacks ....
Other 1963 classics that live on: THE GREAT ESCAPE, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, Julie Harris and Claire Bloom excelled in THE HAUNTING, LORD OF THE FLIES, HUD, TOM JONES (film of the year), Rattigan ran up a little treat for the Burtons and Co in THE V.I.P.s, another Bronston spectacular 55 DAYS AT PEKING, and that amusing Doris comedy THE THRILL OF IT ALL!. Another one I did not catch until London in ’64 was Bergman’s controversial THE SILENCE… and BYE BYE BIRDIE, a recent discovery as per recent post on that!
A vintage year then for a movie-mad teenager with those "Films & Filming" magazines (where I would work for a year in the '70s) and as related before - see label, I had my own personal ad ["boy 17 seeks penfriends male or female under 21...!"] in its May 63 issue [this was before the internet and Facebook] and had replies from all over the world, and I am still in touch with one of them, who is now in San Francisco !
Then there were my first records: that first Beatles album, Francoise Hardy, Peggy Lee, soundtracks of WEST SIDE STORY, SOUTH PACIFIC and the Broadway cast MY FAIR LADY.
Actors of the year: Dirk Bogarde / Maurice Ronet. Actress: Jeanne Moreau / Julie Christie.
Directors: Joseph Losey, Luchino Visconti, Louis Malle, Jacques Demy.
See labels for more on all of these mentioned and those key films ..