Donald Henry Pleasence was an English actor. His best known film roles include psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis in Halloween and four of its sequels, the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, RAF Flight Lieutenant Colin Blythe in The Great Escape, SEN 5241 in THX 1138, Clarence "Doc" Tydon in Wake in Fright, the President of the United States in Escape from New York. Pleasence was born in Worksop, England, the son of Alice and Thomas Stanley Pleasence, a railway stationmaster, he was brought up as a strict Methodist in the small village of Lincolnshire. He received his formal education at Crosby Junior School and Ecclesfield Grammar School, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. After working as the Clerk-in-Charge at Swinton railway station in South Yorkshire, he decided that he wanted to be a professional actor, taking up a placement with the Jersey Repertory Company in 1939. In December 1939, Pleasence refused conscription into the British Armed Forces, registering as a conscientious objector, but changed his stance in autumn 1940, after the attacks upon London by the Luftwaffe, volunteered with the Royal Air Force.
He served as aircraft wireless-operator with No. 166 Squadron in Bomber Command, with which he flew sixty raids against the Axis over occupied Europe. On 31 August 1944, Lancaster NE112, in which he was a crew member, was shot down during an attack upon Agenville, he was captured and imprisoned in the German prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft I, where he was treated well reciprocally in similar prisoner-of-war camps. Here, Pleasence acted in many plays for the entertainment of his fellow captives. After the war and his release, he was discharged from the R. A. F. in 1946. Returning to acting after the war, Pleasence resumed working in repertory theatre companies in Birmingham and Bristol. In the 1950s, Pleasence's stage work included performing as Willie Mossop in a 1952 production of Hobson's Choice at the Arts Theatre, London and as Dauphin in Jean Anouilh's The Lark. In 1960, Pleasence gained excellent notices as the tramp in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker at the Arts Theatre, a role he would again play in a 1990 revival.
Other stage work in the 1960s included Anouilh's Poor Bitos and Robert Shaw's The Man in the Glass Booth, for which he won the London Variety Award for Stage Actor of the Year in 1968. Pleasence's stage work included performing in a double bill of Pinter plays, The Basement and Tea Party, at the Duchess Theatre in 1970. Pleasence made his television debut in I Want to Be a Doctor, he received positive critical attention for his role as Syme in the BBC version of Nineteen Eighty-Four from the novel by George Orwell. The adaptation featured Peter Cushing in the lead role of Winston Smith. Pleasence played Prince John in several episodes of the ITV series The Adventures of Robin Hood, he appeared twice with Patrick McGoohan in the British spy series, Danger Man, in episodes "Position of Trust" and "Find and Return". Pleasence's first appearance in America was in an episode of The Twilight Zone, playing an aging teacher at a boys' school in the episode "The Changing of the Guard". In 1963, he appeared in an episode of The Outer Limits entitled "The Man With the Power".
In 1966, he guest starred in an episode of The Fugitive entitled "With Strings Attached" In 1973, Pleasence played a sympathetic murderer in an episode of Columbo entitled "Any Old Port in a Storm". He portrayed a murderer captured by Mrs. Columbo in "Murder Is a Parlor Game". In 1978, he played Sam Purchas in an adaptation of James A. Michener's Centennial. Pleasence starred as the Reverend Septimus Harding in the BBC's TV series The Barchester Chronicles. In this series, his daughter Angela Pleasence played his onscreen daughter Susan, he hosted the 1981 Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live with music guest Fear. In 1986, Pleasence joined Ronald Lacey and Polly Jo Pleasence for the television thriller Into the Darkness. Pleasence made his big-screen debut with The Beachcomber; some notable early roles include Parsons in 1984, minor roles opposite Alec Guinness in Barnacle Bill and Dirk Bogarde in The Wind Cannot Read. In Tony Richardson's film of Look Back in Anger, he plays a vindictive market inspector opposite Richard Burton.
In the same year, Pleasence starred in the horror films Circus of Horrors directed by Sidney Hayers, playing the role of Vanet, the owner of a circus, The Flesh and the Fiends as the real-life murderer William Hare, alongside Peter Cushing, George Rose and Billie Whitelaw. Endowed with a bald head, a penetrating stare, an intense voice quiet but capable of a piercing scream, he specialised in portraying insane, fanatical, or evil characters, including the title role in Dr Crippen, the double agent Dr Michaels in the science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage, the white trader who sells guns to the Cheyenne Indians in the revisionist western Soldier Blue, the mad Doctor in the Bud Spencer–Terence Hill film Watch Out, We're Mad!, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler in The Eagle Has Landed, the Bond arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, the first film in which Blofeld's face is seen. His interpretation of the character has become predominant in popular culture considering the popularity of the comic villain, Dr. Evil in the successful Austin Powers film series, which parodies it.
In the crime drama Hell is a City, shot in Manchester, he starred opposite Stan
Crossplot is a 1969 film starring Roger Moore. Belgian actress Claudie Lange was featured in her largest English-speaking role. Bernard Lee, famous for his role as M in the James Bond films appeared. Roger Moore is Gary Fenn, a talent scout for a London modeling agency who finds the perfect target and calculates the events which mean that only one girl will be good enough for his bosses, a Hungarian Marla Kugash, he finds her among the anti-war movement in the bohemian depths of swinging London. She is in the company of a young man, protective of her and overtly aggressive to Fenn; the young Hungarian, an illegal refugee from her native homeland, accompanies Fenn to a photoshoot. However she admits she is in fear of her life, seems disturbed by the presence of her aunt; when she is nearly killed, the girl drops out of sight and Fenn has to go on the run himself, suspected of a separate murder. He locates her to a country house, which turns out to be the home of Tarquin, an aristocrat in spite of his anti-war sentiments.
It is revealed that Marla's aunt is part of a shadowy organisation trying to destabilise the existing world order so they can take over themselves. They will go to any length to try and shut Fenn and Marla up, including sending a helicopter after them. Fenn and his friend manage to escape to London, where they realise that the shadowy movement are planning to assassinate a visiting African head of state in Hyde Park, they manage to foil the plot. Roger Moore as Gary Fenn Claudie Lange as Marla Kugash Martha Hyer as Jo Grinling Alexis Kanner as Tarquin Derek Francis as Sir Charles Moberley Ursula Howells as Maggi Thwaites Bernard Lee as Chilmore Francis Matthews as Ruddock Dudley Sutton as Warren Mona Bruce as Myrna Veronica Carlson as Dinah Michael Culver as Jim Gabrielle Drake as Celia Tim Preece as Sebastian Norman Eshley as Athol Michael Robbins as Garage Attendant John Barrard as Wedding GuestDavid Prowse of Star Wars fame has a cameo as the best man at a wedding in the film; the film is not well regarded by critics.
One suggested that the film became "tedious" in spite of the numerous action sequences, the plot was far too "convoluted" and "confusing". Another critic called it "dull", "unsuccessfully trying to emulate the feel of a Bond film" and it was compared to feeling like an extended episode of The Saint, it is now seen as a dry-run for the Bond role Roger Moore would take on four years later. Crossplot holds an average two and a half star rating on IMDb. Crossplot on IMDb Crossplot at Rotten Tomatoes
Associated British Picture Corporation
Associated British Picture Corporation British International Pictures, was a British film production and exhibition company active from 1927 until 1970 when it was absorbed into EMI. ABPC owned 500 cinemas in Britain by 1943; the studio was owned by Warner Bros. from about 1940 until 1969. It formed one half of a vertically integrated film industry duopoly in Britain with the Rank Organisation; the company was founded during 1927 by Scottish solicitor John Maxwell after he had purchased British National Studios and its Elstree Studios complex and merged it with his ABC Cinemas circuit, renaming the company British International Pictures. The Wardour Film Company, with Maxwell as chairman, was the distributor of BIP films, he appointed Joseph Grossman manager of the Stoll Studios, his Studio Manager. During its early years the company's most prominent work was that directed by Alfred Hitchcock, including the film Blackmail regarded as the first British all-talkie. Hitchcock left the company in 1933 to work for the rival British Gaumont.
Under Maxwell's paternalistic management the company prospered and during 1933 it acquired British Pathé, which as Associated British Pathé now functioned as the distribution division. The company was renamed Associated British Picture Corporation in 1933 and was now in a position to vertically integrate production and exhibition of films. After Maxwell's death in October 1940, his widow Catherine sold a large number of shares to Warner Bros. who, although the Maxwell family remained the largest shareholders, were able to exercise a measure of control. The studio at Elstree was taken over by the government for the duration of the war, film production was restricted to B-Pictures made at the company's smaller studio in Welwyn Garden City; this studio complex closed in 1950. Much of the output of the studio was routine, which restricted its success outside the UK, but after World War II, the company contracted with Warner for the distribution of its films in the United States. Robert Clark was head of production for the company between 1949 and 1958, insisted on tight budgeting and the use of pre-existing properties such as books or plays as these had a demonstrated "public value".
Of the 21 films made by ABPC during the 1950s, only two were derived from original screenplays. German-born Frederick Gotfurt was Clark's scenario editor in this period, but his command of English was imperfect and the contracted actor Richard Todd doubted Gotfurt's ability to access the quality of the dialogue in a script. "It was a dreadful place", said Richard Attenborough when remembering ABPC's Elstree facility. "It created nothing in terms of a feeling of commitment." During this period though, the company produced its best remembered titles such as The Dam Busters, Ice Cold in Alex, whose director J. Lee Thompson was ABPC's most productive during the 1950s. Policies changed after Clark left in January 1958. New projects from the company were limited to those using contracted television comedy performers, investment in independent productions; the use of Elstree for television production increased. Successful features from ABPC itself included several films built around the pop singer Cliff Richard, such as The Young Ones and Summer Holiday.
In 1962, the company acquired 50% of the shares of Anglo-Amalgamated, made an arrangement with the Grade Organisation to support the production of films by independent producers. During the 1960s, the fortunes of the company declined, in 1967 Seven Arts, the new owners of Warner, decided to dispose of its holdings in ABPC, purchased in 1968 by EMI, who acquired the remaining stock the following year; the entire ABPC library is now owned by StudioCanal via Cannon Films. Associated British Productions Ltd. Associated British Cinemas Ltd. Associated British Pathé Ltd. Associated British Film Distributors Ltd. – only known by its initials: ABFD British and Overseas Film Sales Ltd. Pathé Laboratories Ltd. Associated British Cinemas Ltd. Associated British Corporation Ltd. Warner-Pathé Distributors Ltd. from 1958 Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors. From 1962 Associated British Picture Corporation on IMDb Documents and clippings about Associated British Picture Corporation in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Alvin Rakoff is a Canadian television and film director who has spent the bulk of his career in England and directed more than 100 television plays, as well as a dozen feature films and numerous stage productions. Among other awards, he is twice winner of the International Emmy Award, for A Voyage Round My Father, starring Laurence Olivier, Call Me Daddy, starring Donald Pleasence, his mother came from Rovno in Ukraine, his father was from Voronezh in Russia. His parents met in Toronto, Canada, he is the third of seven children. His parents had a shop in. After graduation from the University of Toronto he became a journalist and began writing for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's nascent television, he was seconded by the CBC to visit "the country where TV first started, England". Days after arriving he sold a script to the British Broadcasting Corporation, at the time the only television broadcaster in the UK; the BBC subsequently invited him to join their television directors' training course.
At 26 years of age he became the youngest producer/director in the BBC drama department. He decided to continue his career in England. A BBC adaptation in 1953 of the Irwin Shaw novel The Troubled Air was his first major writing assignment for television. In 1954 his production of Waiting For Gillian won the Daily Mail's National TV Award with actors Patrick Barr and Anne Crawford honoured, he subsequently recreated this production in French for transmission throughout France. In 1955 on the night commercial TV first appeared in the UK he was asked by the BBC to offer the main opposition, The Hole In The Wall with Mervyn Johns and Sidney Tafler of which The Times wrote: "Mr Rakoff who seems to be a master of this medium". In his 1957 production Requiem for a Heavyweight he lifted an unknown actor, Sean Connery, from the ranks of walk-ons and gave Connery his first leading role. In this production was a young Michael Caine. In 1958 for the BBC Rakoff adapted, produced Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.
In 1962 the BBC asked Rakoff to produce/direct its entry for the European-wide'The Largest Theatre In The World' written for the occasion by Terence Rattigan and called Heart to Heart, with Kenneth More and Ralph Richardson. In 1964 when the new channel BBC 2 was launched Rakoff was selected to direct plays filling the first three Sunday-night drama slots, he won his first Emmy award in 1967 for Call Me Daddy, which had featured Donald Pleasence, 15 years won it again for A Voyage Round My Father which he produced and directed. His production of The Adventures of Don Quixote with Rex Harrison and Frank Finlay achieved international praise. In his 1978 production of Romeo & Juliet for the BBC Television Shakespeare series he gave an unknown actor his first professional role: the actor was Alan Rickman In 1997 he produced/co-directed the award-winning A Dance to the Music of Time with John Gielgud, Simon Russell Beale, Miranda Richardson, his films include On Friday at Eleven starring Rod Steiger.
His recent writing includes: Too Marvelous For Words, the story of lyricist Johnny Mercer presented at The Mill Theatre and King's Head Theatre, London. He has written three novels, his first, & Gillian, a romantic odyssey, was translated into 10 languages. His second, Baldwin Street, based on early days in his parents' shop in the Jewish market in Toronto, was published in 2008; the Seven Einsteins, a third novel, is a genetic thriller published in 2014. A successful adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep was produced in 2012. Rakoff is developing and writing An Act of Love for Shooting Script Films Ltd, his theatre work ranges from Hamlet at Bristol Old Vic to Charity Cruise performance at the Royal Albert Hall before Her Majesty the Queen, continues with his association with The Mill Theatre, directing productions of Separate Tables with Anthony Valentine and his own adaptation of Chandler's The Big Sleep. In 2010 Rakoff directed A Sentimental Journey, the story of Doris Day, at Wilton's Music Hall and subsequently El Portal Theater, Hollywood.
He is a former president of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. Alvin Rakoff married his frequent leading lady, actress Jacqueline Hill in 1958, she died in 1993. He has two children. On December 7, 2013 he married Managing Director of The Mill Theatre, Sonning. 1965 - Hamlet, Bristol Old Vic 1982 - Celia Johnson Theatre fund, Aldwych Theatre 1984 - Cruise Charity, Albert Hall 1995 – Stage Struck by Simon Gray, The Mill at Sonning 2001-2002 – Too Marvelous For Words: The Story of Lyricist Johnny Mercer The Mill at Sonning 2002 – Too Marvelous For Words, King's Head Theatre, London 2004 – I Remember You by Bernard Slade, The Mill at Sonning 2005 – Separate Tables by Terence Rattigan, The Mill at Sonning 2007 – Same Time Next Year by Bernard Slade, The Mill at Sonning 2009 – A Sentimental Journey, The Story of Doris Day. The Mill at Sonning 2010 – A S
King Solomon's Treasure
King Solomon's Treasure is a 1979 British-Canadian low-budget film based on the novels King Solomon's Mines and Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard, it stars John Colicos as Allan Quatermain, as well as David McCallum, Britt Ekland, Patrick Macnee who replaced Terry-Thomas. David McCallum as Sir Henry Curtis John Colicos as Allan Quatermain Patrick Macnee as Captain John Good R. N. Britt Ekland as Queen Nyleptha Yvon Dufour as Alphonse Ken Gampu as Umslopogaas Wilfrid Hyde-White as Oldest Club Member John Quentin as Stetopatris Véronique Béliveau as Neva Sam Williams as High Priest Hugh Rouse as Reverend MacKenzie Fiona Fraser as Mrs. Mackenzie Camilla Hutton as Flossie John Boylan as Club member Ian De Voy as Club member McCallum said he did the film "because I got to go to Swaziland... the movie is something you'll have to see on a plane or on late night television." TV Guide had this to say about the film: "The cast of seasoned veterans contribute embarrassingly bad performances. Though, the photography—the film is shot on location in Africa as well as in London and Canadian studios—is not bad at all."A 1979 article said the film "never saw the light of day".
King Solomon's Treasure on IMDb King Solomon's Treasure at BFI Zone Troopers: Website about the different Allan Quatermain and King Solomon's Mine films
Passport to Shame
Passport to Shame known as Room 43, is a 1958 British drama film directed by Alvin Rakoff, written by Patrick Alexander and starring Diana Dors and Herbert Lom. A French girl gets mixed up in a life of prostitution. Diana Dors as Vicki Herbert Lom as Nick Biaggi Eddie Constantine as Johnny McVey Odile Versois as Marie Louise'Malou' Beaucaire Brenda De Banzie as Aggie Robert Brown as Mike Elwyn Brook-Jones as Solicitor Heath Jackie Collins as English girl Lana Morris as Girl Steve Plytas as French Restaurant Manager Cyril Shaps as Willie Denis Shaw as Mac Margaret Tyzack as June, Heath's secretary Michael Caine as Man getting married Joan Sims as Miriam, Phone operator in the taxi office "This was not a low budget film," said director Alvin Rakoff, "this was a lowest budget film." When the lighting cut-out during a key scene, the filming had to continue. The film itself is remarkable for the introduction of new talent. Michael Caine in a role so small he is not credited, he had, like Sean Connery and others worked as walk-ons with the director.
Jackie Collins an acclaimed novelist and the sister of Joan, played one of many prostitutes. The appearance of Joan Sims un-credited. Nicolas Roeg, director of Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, etc. was the camera operator. Alvin Rakoff, a renowned television director, was keen to break the heavily imposed glass ceiling between the small screen and feature films, he therefore accepted the assignment knowing it to be an exploitation film. The Los Angeles Times said "the picture is rather well done". Passport to Shame on IMDb Passport to Shame at Screenonline Passport to Shame at BFI Passport to Shame at TCMDB Passport to Shame at Letterbox DVD
World in My Pocket
World in My Pocket is a 1961 European crime-drama film directed by Alvin Rakoff. The movie was a co-production between West Germany and Italy. Nadja Tiller: Ginny Peter van Eyck: Bleck Rod Steiger: Frank Morgan Jean Servais: Gypo Ian Bannen: Kitson Marisa Merlini: Frau Mandini Memmo Carotenuto: Herr Mandini Edoardo Nevola: Carlo Mandini Carlo Giustini: Pierre World in My Pocket on IMDb