Dear Supporters of Talking Pictures TV and Renown Pictures,
It’s been a very exciting month at The Renown/Talking Pictures TV HQ! We are delighted to announce that the wonderful Stephanie Beacham will be the star guest at our Festival of Film in Stockport on Sunday 6th October at the iconic Plaza cinema. Stephanie will be interviewed on stage by the delightful Jenny Hanley! Our stage hosts for the day are Rita Tushingham and Robert Ross. Also joining us will be the charming Terry Dene, (the British Elvis, star of The Golden Disc). Regular favourite, the lovely Lola will be singing us some well known songs from the films and Mr Benn himself Ray Brooks will also be interviewed on stage. There are just a few tickets left, seated in the upper balcony, Do grab a ticket quick – it’s going to be a great historical moment for TV and film history and you can say you were there! Grab your ticket here
In another great day for film history, we proudly announce our latest Renown DVD release, the brilliant 1950s children’s science fiction film Child’s Play Starring Christopher Beeny, Anneke Wills, Peter Sallis, Ballard Berkeley and many more is now available. It’s a poignant reminder of childhood in the 1950s, with subtitles and some bonus extras, including another fully restored film, Front Line Kids also now with subtitles and all yours for just £15 with free UK postage. See more details below, and here
This month we have been filming with The Windmill Girls for a new documentary on Talking Pictures TV. An interesting, truly lovely and creative bunch of girls and boys, who reminisced fondly about the great Windmill Theatre.
It’s a great month for Talking Pictures TV viewers with the start of Lytton’s Diary starring Peter Bowles on the channel – beginning on Wed 7th August at 22:00 it continues at 10pm every week night. There’s a whole host of premières for viewers to enjoy this month, including The Driver with Ryan O’Neal and Isabelle Adjani, The House in Nightmare Park with Frankie Howerd and a rare showing of Dreaming with Flanagan and Allen. More new series include: Special Branch with George Sewell, Roger Rowland, Peter Jeffrey & Tony Selby, airing every Monday at 21:00 from Mon 26th August and the long-lost Shadows of Fear, a 1970s suspense series with separate stories featuring actors such as Sheila Hancock, Ronald Hines, George Cole & Edward Fox, which will air every Friday at 21:00 from Friday 30th August. One of the most influential dramas of the 1980s and the career breakthrough for Lynda La Plante, Widows begins on Wed 28th August at 21:00 continuing every Wednesday.
Sadly this month we have heard of many stars we know and love going to the great cinema in the sky, including Valentina Cortese, the lead in our film The Glass Mountain, dear Freddie Jones, and, as I write, the death is announced of Jeremy Kemp, star of Z Cars and The Winds of War.
Finally, we have now confirmed the date for our 7th Festival of Film at The Alban Arena, St Albans, Hertfordshire on Sunday 22nd March 2020. Tickets are now on sale at just £20 for the whole day, more details on page 20. Do grab yours quick – available here!
Enjoy this month’s packed newsletter, we are looking forward to meeting many of you at Stockport – look out for me, I’ll be wearing one of our She Who Must Be Obeyed t-shirts (very appropriate!) – stay tuned and stay cool in this hot weather and do keep spreading the word.
Many thanks as ever for your support, I hope you find something you like on the following pages – it all supports the cause!
Very best wishes, Sarah, Noel, and Neill
Renown Pictures present Child’s Play (made in 1952 and released in 1954), a science-fiction comedy film about children who manage to split the atom! What could possibly go wrong? Never before released on DVD, this nostalgic 1950s film portrays a sweet and innocent view of post-war childhood and features early performances by Anneke Wills and Christopher Beeny.
What happens when a bunch of unruly children get their hands on an atomic chemistry set? They manage to split the atom and thereby create a new form of popcorn! Mischief soon follows when their little enterprise goes global, despite the interference of a suspicious local detective in this family-friendly adventure. A charming, nostalgic trip to childhood in 1950s Britain, this classic film was directed by Margaret Thomson, previously a prolific director of instructional horticultural, agricultural and medical films for wartime audiences. She went on to work as a casting director at Pinewood Studios, coaching the children on, among other films, Philip Leacock’s Kidnappers (1953). The two children involved (Jon Whitely and Vincent Winter) were awarded honorary Oscars. In the late 1950s she established a production company with her husband Bob Ash, retiring in 1977. The film features an amazing cast that includes early appearances by future stars including Mona Washbourne (My Fair Lady), Ballard Berkeley (Fawlty Towers) and the beloved Peter Sallis, (Last of the Summer Wine). Based on a script by Don Sharp, who also worked on the film as an assistant.
Produced by: Group 3 (1951 – 1955)
In 1951 the National Film Finance Corporation (NFFC) helped to set up Group 3, to bring forward new talent. John Grierson and producer/director John Baxter ran the organisation, producing films funded by the NFFC and theAssociated British distribution arm.
Starring: Christopher Beeny, Ernest Scott, Patrick Wells, Ian Smith, Anneke Wills (as Anneke Willys), Peter Sallis, Wendy Westcott, Peter Martyn, Mona Washbourne, John Sharp, Elain Sykes, Dorothy Alison, Carl Jaffe, Ingeborg von Kusserow, Ballard Berkeley
Music by: Antony Hopkins, Cinematography: Denny Densham, Edited by: John Legard, Production company: Group Three Productions, Distributed by: British Lion Film Corporation (UK)
Directed by: Margaret Thomson, Produced by: Herbert Mason, Written by: Don Sharp
Run time: 66 minutes, Filmed at Southall Studios and on location.
Extra Features: also included on the disc are the following bonus features:
FRONT LINE KIDS and an exclusive interview with ANNEKE WILLS, who played Alice Nightingale in Child’s Play, and went on to appear in Some People with Kenneth More and Doctor Who.
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ANNEKE WILLS
Anneke won her first film role at the age of 11 while she was living on a houseboat in Berkshire. The film was called Child’s Play and she gave the £9 fee to her mother. Deciding she wanted to become an actor, she studied drama at the Arts Educational School in London and quickly became one of the busiest performers of her generation. Hear her wonderful memories of Child’s Play and her varied career in this exclusive interview, conducted by Robert Ross.
FRONT LINE KIDS (1942) WITH SUBTITLES
Fully restored, with missing scenes. Run time: 74 minutes
This British comedy film directed by Maclean Rogers was made at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. The film sets were designed by the art director Andrew Mazzei. Set in wartime London, a group of boys assist an incompetent hotel porter in thwarting a gang of criminals.
Starring: Gerald Rex, Leslie Fuller, John Singer, John Tacchi, Marion Gerth, David Keir, George Pughe, Anthony Holles, Ralph Michael, Ben Williams, Norman Pierce, Eric Clavering, Vi Kaley, Nora Gordon, O.B. Clarence, Vincent Holman, Front Line Gang Members: Brian Fitzpatrick, Derek Prendergast, Gerald Moore, Michael John, David Anthony
Directed by: Maclean Rogers