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.

Friday, 14 February 2014

More '60s: The IF boys ....

Staying with the Sixties a bit longer, lets look at those new boys who emerged at the end of the decade, in Lindsay Anderson's revolutionary IF .... set in that public school, with its rules and rituals, homoerotic longings and finally revolution - it was in the air then in 1968.
Malcolm McDowell has had a long career, too well known to encapsulate here, full of milestone movies like Kurbrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and continued his association with Anderson in OH LUCKY MAN in 1973, and BRITANNIA HOSPITAL. He also had some notorious moments as with CALIGULA in 1976, and for me his demented over-the-top Nazi officer in THE PASSAGE in 1979, as per McDowell label, as though director J Lee Thompson was encouraging him to over-act Anthony Quinn and James Mason off the screen - Malcolm accomplished it. 
A Clockwork Orange
He was terrific too on the stage as Mr Sloane in a 1975 revival of ENTERTAINING MR SLOANE at the Royal Court in London, with Beryl Reid recreating her role, as Malcolm strided around in leather trousers, being a very menacing Mr Sloane. I particularly liked his H.G. Welles in Nicholas Meyer's marvellous sci-fi fantasy TIME AFTER TIME in 1979, where David Warner (see below) equalled him as that icy Jack The Ripper, at home in modern San Francisco ... Malcolm continues to act and has had a long career. Like Michael York and Warner, he just keeps on going. Malcolm of course was married for a long time to his TIME AFTER TIME co-star, the lovely and intriguing Mary Steenburgen. He is indeed very busy with IMDB listing 230 credits, with several in post-production. Interesting to see him and Warner, like Michael York, continuing in smaller roles as they get older and still keep busy.
Then there was Richard Warwick ... born in 1945, he was in Zeffirelli's ROMEO & JULIET (as Gregory - that does not sound very Italian), before getting one of the main roles in Lindsay Anderson's IF .... and then the lead in THE BREAKING OF BUMBO in 1970, a recent re-discovery, as per Warwick label
He was also in NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA in 1971, (as was Martin Potter, from Fellini's SATYRICON, reviewed recently), plus in Schell's FIRST LOVE (reviewed below) and among his tv work, a good version of Coward's THE VORTEX in 1969 opposite Margaret Leighton (its included in that Noel Coward boxset). There was also that tv series A FINE ROMANCE in the 80s with Judi Dench. Richard also appeared in Derek Jarman's SEBASTIANE in '76 and THE TEMPEST. Another good BBC play was THE LOST LANGUAGE OF CRANES in 1991 - due for a re-view and a review before too long, a very 'gay interest' title.
He was also Bernardo in Zeffirelli's HAMLET, the Mel Gibson one (which I just recorded from television last night, so that will be re-view soon, when I get around to discussing Hamlets). Zeffirelli's JANE EYRE in 1996 was his last role, as John. We have not seen that. 
As I mentioned before, I used to see Richard around town, on his bicycle, and we chatted at a pub we used to go to to in Earls Court in London in those early 80s days. He died aged 52 in 1997, its a shame he, like Ian Charleson (who was playing Hamlet just before he died), did not survive the Aids crisis. He had an extensive theatre career too, at the National in several prestige productions.

The other main actor in IF... David Wood had a successful career as actor and writer for children's television.


  1. Mr. O'Sullivan, I think you could become my new hero. Not only I'm noticing your good taste in your profile, but you wrote you used to met Richard Warwick in London! You made my day!
    I'm trying to do a tribute to him, so I was wondering if you can give a little contribution talking about those days!
    Thank you!

  2. Hello, Antonella, just seen your comment. In the early 80s I used to see him regularly as we both visited the same bar in Earls Court in London, he with his group and I with mine, though we had some brief chats. He usually had his bicycle with him as he used to cycle everywhere. Its good to see his first major film THE BREAKING OF BUMBO now re-released on dvd with notes and extras, I have mentioned it several times here - check the Richard Warwick label - and recently saw him in FIRST LOVE from 1970 and have got NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA to watch too, and I must have another look at a BBC production he did: THE LOST LANGUAGE OF CRANES. What a varied career. He was also in several Franco Zeffirelli films, as per his imdb profile.

  3. I'm watching If.... right now and as always am struck by Richard Warwick's magnetism and beauty. I've seen a few other things he starred in (Sebastiane, Lost Language of Cranes, Last of the Mohicans) simply because he starred in them. As a kid I had a crush on him in A Fine Romance and only learnt in the last few years it was him!

    I met David Wood a couple of months ago (he was doing a kids event at my place of work) and I had the chance to tell him If.... was one of my favourite films - as great as that was, I wish Richard was alive so I maybe had the chance to tell him. A sad loss.

  4. Hello again, I'm sorry I lost this address, but I greatly appreciate to find two interesting memories on Richard! Very interesting!
    I agree he played such different role and he's still remembered by many people! Noticed IMDB added some other works I wasn't aware about.
    Meanwhile, I've opened this site: only if you're agree, I'd like to report your experiences!
    Thank you both so much!

  5. I'm sorry, I'm Antonella, but the site doesn't accept my url again...