The Antonioni classic did not hit London until 1967 when it became the talk of the town and it was the film (and still is) one had to see and have an opinion about. Being 21 at the time it was like seeing oneself up there in the screen, as Antonioni transformed David into that decadent dissatisfied cherub. He was soon seen in more '60s classics like CAMELOT, BARBARELLA, THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE and kept busy into the 1970s, was married to Gayle Hunnicutt, also directing (RUNNING SCARED, JUST A GIGOLO with Bowie and Dietrich) as well as lots of American TV series like MAGNUM PI and THE A-TEAM as he had re-located to America and became a top action director for TV.
Oliver did more Michael Winner films (THE JOKERS, HANNIBAL BROOKS - did anyone see that?, and that magnum opus I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT'ISNAME) and then Ken Russell stepped in, not only with WOMEN IN LOVE and the notorious THE DEVILS (see Ken Russell/Reed labels) but he also impressed in Ken's 1967 BBC film on Dante Gabriel Rossetti DANTE'S INFERNO. His popular movies continued with THE HUNTING PARTY, THE TRAP, his Bill Sykes in OLIVER!, TOMMY, ROYAL FLASH; THE TRIPLE ECHO and THE CLASS OF MISS MACMICHAEL, both again with Glenda Jackson, and American movies like BURNT OFFERINGS and THE SHUTTERED ROOM, and of course his brooding Athos in the Richard Lester MUSKETEERS films.
He died of a heart attack in Malta during the GLADIATOR shoot in 1999 and was buried in Cork, in Ireland, where he had been living with his second wife. Hemmings kept going until 2003 - he had an effective role in Scorsese's THE GANGS OF NEW YORK, and the Brit film LAST ORDERS with peers Courtenay, Caine, Hoskins, Mirren, Winstone - and he also died of a heart attack on location in Romania. His memoir, published in 2004, is a fascinating read for anyone interested in British Cinema and his early life as a boy opera singer for Benjamin Brittan - he sang Miles in the first opera production of THE TURN OF THE SCREW. Hemmings talks about BLOW-UP (as does a still miffed Terence Stamp who had been promised the part) in that 1993 BBC series HOLLYWOOD UK, as do Vanessa and Monica Vitti too ... you also get Polanski, Roger Corman, Truffaut (with Julie Christie) and those other foreign directors wanting to be a part of Swinging London.