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.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

By Royal command ...

I have written about those Royal Film Performances here before, but here's a recap for those who missed them. The British Royal Film Performance was a big event each year during those key 1950s and 1960s years, when an usually important film was chosen for the Royals to see at the Odeon in Leicester Square in London, when a motley round-up of players were lined up to meet the Queen. Everyone it seems turned up ...

I was fascinated by this photo of Julie Christie, Catherine Deneuve and Ursula Andress at some mid-60s event, and sure enough it was at the 1966 Royal Film Perf. , the girls seem engrossed in their fashions and dig those long white gloves - in 1966. It seems the gloves were de rigeur. The film that year was BORN FREE and also present were Warren Beatty with consort Leslie Caron - maybe this was where Warren and Julie first met? - plus Dirk and Deborah, Rex Harrison and Rachel Roberts, and Raquel Welch and Woody Allen, James Fox and the stars of the film Virgina McKenna and Bill Travers. They also had to do rehearsals that afternoon ....  before the Royal party arrived. These events were covered by the newsreels of the time and the snippets make fascinating viewing now, a glimpse into a long gone movie world.
A decade earlier the 1956 one was the famous one when Marilyn was presented to Her Majesty - but also in the lineup was the young Brigitte Bardot and Anita Ekberg.... while the 1957 Royal film was LES GIRLS but its star Kay Kendall was detained in America, but here we have Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield (along with Michael Craig, Yvonne Mitchell, William Holden etc.) presumably before their famous encounter at Romanoffs in Hollywood in April that year.
The 1954 junket for the London premiere of A STAR IS BORN is fascinating too with Olivier as master of ceremonies, and Kay Kendall makes it to this one, as does Diana Dors and the Attenboroughs who like Kenny More and Jack Hawkins must have been regulars at these events, This is 14 minutes but worth watching - how movies where marketed and shown then ...
Another odd line-up is this 1970s one (FUNNY LADY?) where Barbra Streisand (with James Caan) broke with convention when being presented to the Queen asked why they had to wear the long gloves. Lee Remick and James Stewart (reunited from 1959's ANATOMY OF A MURDER are also in the lineup here). 

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