When I pressed the record the series on SKY ARTS in the Discovering Film star programmes I thought I had seen them all but going to my television planner I saw there were many more to savour.
I have seen profiles of the careers of Laurence Olivier, Jams Mason, Robert Taylor. Warren Beatty, Charlton Heston, Alec Guiness and John Wayne and enjoyed them all even though some of these stars I estimated had more or had bigger talent than others.
Everyone knows with blunt editing over long interviews recordings you get pretty much the result you wanted.
In Chuck Heston’s case he came cross as a deranged reactionary President of the NRA. Nathan observed that he was a film star over six decades who did not just made epics but ground breaking sci-fi like Planet of the Apes. He was an actor who liked a challenge.
There are a few disappointments. I don’t quite know the film credentials of writer and social commentator Bonnie Greer as a film historian. She talk assertively but I wonder if that is cover for lack of cinematic knowledge alongside heavyweight Neil Norman she is lightweight.
In the bio of Laurence Oliver there was no reference to the World at War; on Alex Guiness they did not mention his mother was a woman of “easy virtue”, or that he was bisexual, or that he learned from William Holden in Bridge Over the River Kwai the commercial benefits of negotiating a percentage of box office as he then did in Star Wars. I did learn however that James Mason achieved a first at Cambridge University in architecture and was a conscientious objecotor. All in all an excellent series for film buffs and more causal viewers.