Friday, September 07, 2007


The Tortoise, the Hare and the Witchfinder General

Last week, the BBC’s British film season showed still-alarming horror classic Witchfinder General. Almost as famous as the film itself was the quarrel between director Michael Reeves and star Vincent Price. When their clash of personalities came to a head, Mr Price brought his massive tally of work to bear against the man he saw as an upstart:
“I’ve made 87 films,” he boasted. “What have you done?”
“I’ve made three good ones,” replied Mr Reeves.
Like the old fable The Tortoise and the Hare, it’s a comforting moral for those of us who don’t churn out as much as Vincent Price – because, despite his bitching about it at the time, Michael Reeves’ direction resulted in what many people regard as Mr Price’s finest performance, playing one of East Anglia’s most intolerant sons.

In other news, congratulations to Tom ‘Liberal Polemic’ Papworth, who stormed to victory in the Crystal Palace by-election last night – I’m sure his intelligent criticism will hold Bromley Council to account. With luck, he may find a few free moments to return to blogging at some point… I didn’t always agree with his pieces, but when he did find time to post he was always worth reading. For me, he’s the saddest omission from the Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards shortlists, and a brilliant example of someone who aims, like Michael Reeves did, for quality at his own speed.

Between you and me, I need to do something about my own output, you know… I haven’t written anything about Doctor Who for ages!

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Poor Vinny P. He made LOADS of great films. My favourite is Theatre of Blood, with cousin Di in it.
Ahh, they are both rather marvellous in that, aren't they?
I like the bit with Miss Marple and Captain Mainwaring. Also the bit where Vinny P is weighing the pound of flesh, and throws a bit away because it's an ounce over...
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