Archive Interviews with One of the Greats of Postwar British Film
Kenneth More was one of the real stars of Fifties British film. From his memorable comic turn in GENEVIEVE (1953) to his portrayal of Douglas Bader in REACH FOR THE SKY (1956), and even his Richard Hannay in the less-than-satisfactory remake of THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS (1959), he displayed a versatility that stood him in good stead throughout his career.
He suffered a dip in his fortunes in the Sixties when he left his wife to marry Angela Douglas, an actress twenty-six years his junior, but was catapulted back into the limelight as a result of THE FORSYTE SAGA (1967), the BBC's epic twenty-six part Galsworthy adaptation that set the gold standard for subsequent television versions of literary classics. Until his premature death from Parkinson's Disease at the age of only sixty-seven, More continued to appear on stage and television in a variety of leading roles including ITV's FATHER BROWN (1974) which for this reviewer at least proved infinitely superior to the BBC's reboot of 2013.
In this series of extracts from BBC archive interviews, More came across as infinitely likable - the kind of person who, although describing himself as an extrovert, remained modest about his considerable achievements. Like many celebs past and present, he was a proficient storyteller - in the PARKINSON interview from the late Seventies he enjoyed telling tales with a mildly salacious flavor. On the other hand he talked candidly about himself in an OMNIBUS documentary from 1970, a rather old-fashioned program stylistically that contained very few film clips and a lot of chat between More and the entertainer Michael Flanders. Sometimes More resorted to clichés (for example, by claiming that everyone whom he worked with was "wonderful"), but we learned a lot about his humble origins in the Windmill Theatre in London - the nudie-revue house claiming that "We Never Close," even during the height of the Blitz.
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