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Sir Alec Guinness

Peter T. 07 Aug 00 - 06:44 PM
Amergin 07 Aug 00 - 07:01 PM
Jon Freeman 07 Aug 00 - 07:02 PM
Naemanson 07 Aug 00 - 07:06 PM
Irish sergeant 07 Aug 00 - 07:16 PM
Dave Swan 07 Aug 00 - 07:23 PM
Bud Savoie 07 Aug 00 - 07:46 PM
Bud Savoie 07 Aug 00 - 07:46 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Aug 00 - 08:07 PM
thehiker 07 Aug 00 - 08:33 PM
Áine 07 Aug 00 - 08:36 PM
catspaw49 07 Aug 00 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,ymagery 07 Aug 00 - 09:20 PM
kendall 07 Aug 00 - 09:26 PM
SINSULL 07 Aug 00 - 09:41 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Aug 00 - 09:41 PM
thosp 07 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM
catspaw49 07 Aug 00 - 10:05 PM
Naemanson 07 Aug 00 - 10:30 PM
CamiSu 07 Aug 00 - 11:24 PM
balladeer 08 Aug 00 - 12:24 AM
PoohBear 08 Aug 00 - 12:31 AM
thosp 08 Aug 00 - 12:44 AM
thosp 08 Aug 00 - 12:48 AM
Big Mick 08 Aug 00 - 01:02 AM
PoohBear 08 Aug 00 - 01:39 AM
Llanfair 08 Aug 00 - 03:50 AM
Bat Goddess 08 Aug 00 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 08 Aug 00 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Evelyn 08 Aug 00 - 08:56 AM
Shanti 08 Aug 00 - 12:50 PM
Easy Rider 08 Aug 00 - 01:29 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 08 Aug 00 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Colwyn Dane 08 Aug 00 - 04:02 PM
gillymor 08 Aug 00 - 04:41 PM
Shanti 08 Aug 00 - 09:43 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 09 Aug 00 - 07:23 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Aug 00 - 08:00 PM
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Subject: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 06:44 PM

A bit more indulgence (a note on the Mudcat theatre call board, perhaps). With the death of Sir Alec, 2000 is turning out to be the extraordinary end of a theatre era, whatever it may be elsewhere. Guinness always idolized Sir John Gielguid as his mentor, so both passing within months of each other is fitting, if sad.
Many actors are always themselves, others like disguises -- such was Guinness. Always incredibly fastidious: The Bridge on the River Kwai maybe his masterpiece (or Kind Hearts and Coronets, a different kind of fastidiousness). The greatest irony: the horrifying discovery at the end of the first part of Star Wars that they had already killed off by far the best actor in the series (necessitating bringing him back as a ridiculous ghost thereafter)! But he made a good Obi Wan Kenobi -- a figure of genial stature, who embodied mature wisdom. Another irreplaceable treasure.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Amergin
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:01 PM

Yes he is....He was one of the finest actors of all time...no one today can hold even a spark to him....

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:02 PM

I must look up fastidiousness. Kind Hearts and Coronets is one of my favourite films. Shame they don't make films like that any more. I doubt that they make actors like Sir Alec Guinness any more either :-(

Jon


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Naemanson
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:06 PM

I will miss him. I liked him in all the quirky little movies he did. The Man in the White Suit was good but my favorite was the one in which he played the captain of a ferry running between Gibralter and Morocco. In Gibraltar he had a mousy British housewife and in Morocco he had a swinging sexy night club singer as a wife. Unfortunately the British housewife wanted to get out of the house and live and the singer only wanted to set up housekeeping so his life unraveled from there. Great movie.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:16 PM

Sir Alec was truely a giant! I still feel Colonel Nicholson in "The Bridge Over the River Kwai' was his best role but he was a consumate professional with boundless talent and I shall miss him. We'll not see another like him. Neil


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Dave Swan
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:23 PM

A professional indeed. Like Ralph Richardson, Guinness did not participate in the intrigue and bitchiness which marked the lives of other theatrical giants of his generation. Guinness went to work, gave them 10 pounds worth of performance for the price of a five pound ticket, and went on with his life.

Fear no more the heat of the sun...


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:46 PM

Absolutely right. His autobiography is a great read.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:46 PM

Absolutely right. His autobiography is a great read.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:07 PM

Ridiculous that John Mills got the Oscar (or was it just a nomination?) for "Tunes of Glory".

Not quite true to say that Sir Alec didn't bitch. A few years ago, he accepted a publisher's opportunist proposal that he should keep a diary for a few months. In the course of this project, he made any number of caustic remarks about some of his acquaintances - always in the certain knowledge that these remarks would be published. Maybe he was strapped for cash.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: thehiker
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:33 PM

Is anyone aware why he despised his role as Obi Wan Kenobi so much in his later life


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Áine
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:36 PM

Kind Hearts And Coronets is certainly a masterpiece of acting that will never be duplicated. Sadly, horribly, I heard on the radio this evening that Robin Williams is starring in a remake of that film. Let us all heave a collective groan and swear not to buy a ticket to that predictable disaster.

My two favorite films by Alec Guinness are Our Man In Havana, which is a masterful sendup of the soon-to-be overthrown regime, which also featured a wonderful (and severely underrated) American actor, Ernie Kovacs, as an excellently emoted slimey Cuban army officer, and Ralph Richardson, as his slimey English counterpart). My other favorite is The Lady Killers, which featured the first film role of another creative genius, Peter Sellers.

And I agree totally that the stage and theatre training of these wonderful English actors can never be replaced or recreated. Let us appreciate their talents, and keep them in our hearts and in our video libraries forever.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:54 PM

Great man. Great actor. Great life. Great loss.

Fionn mentioned my favorite. Kwai was excellent, but "Tunes of Glory" is on my toplist. Fine script, but an excellent cast.......and he MADE the movie! He should have gotten more recognition for that one.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: GUEST,ymagery
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:20 PM

lets not forget his TV work such as tinker tailor soldier spy.Brilliant!!


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: kendall
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:26 PM

his role in Star Wars was way beneath his talent. No wonder he hated it.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:41 PM

Didn't he also star in "The Horse's Mouth" as a drunken artist who trashes a mansion? "Kind Hearts and Coronets" is a favorite. A beautiful, elegant man.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:41 PM

Tunes of Glory. Simply the most interesting film I've ever seen. Never understood why "Kwai" got all the notice. Thought it had quite a few "cartoonish" characters, especially Bill Holden doing his "Stalag 17" bit, which never rang true to me.

Did you know that in the West End theatrical production of "Tunes", Guinness and Mills switched roles. Man, I would have killed to see that.

It was also nice to see Dennis Price with a decent role in "Tunes". He's another of my favourite actors, possibly one of the most vilainous presences on the screen.

Ya done good Sir Alec.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: thosp
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM

for me
1)our man in havana
2)the lavender hill mob
3)his portrayal of Fagin

but everything i ever saw him in he shown

peace (Y) thosp


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 10:05 PM

Yeah.....George Smiley.......How could I have forgotten George Smiley. He fit the part like a glove, almost as if LeCarre had him in mind should his books ever become movies. Wonder if he did?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Naemanson
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 10:30 PM

I found them. If you like a quirky movie you ought to try these on for size:

Last Holiday (1950) The Captain's Paradise (1953)


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: CamiSu
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:24 PM

His comment about the Obi Wan role was that people got him confused with the role, "they thought I was a Jedi knight, not an OBE" which he got after Bridge Over the River Kwai.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: balladeer
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:24 AM

My mother wept when King George VI passed on, but I mourn the passing of the last great prince of the theatre, John Gielgud, and Sir Alec, his devoted apprentice. Surely the end of an era? Don't forget The Prisoner in the list of Sir Alec's great performances. I don't think he hated Obi Wan so much as the notoriety it brought him. He preferred to be remembered for other things.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: PoohBear
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:31 AM

Does anyone have a source for a copy of "The Lavender Hill Mob"? I haven't seen that movie in about 20 years and would love to add it to my collection.

Cheers

PoohBear


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: thosp
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:44 AM

here's one blueclicketything that may help and here's another< a href="http://www.britmovie.co.uk/studios/ealing/filmography/63.html">blueclicketything good luck!

peace (Y) thosp


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: thosp
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:48 AM

hmmmmm -- i messed up a bit there --well here's the other blueclicketything Pooh Bear


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 01:02 AM

Fagin, definitely his finest moment, with his role in Bridge....Kwai, a very close second. He didn't hate the role of Obi Wan, just hated that people made it more than what it was. God be good to him.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: PoohBear
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 01:39 AM

Thosp, thank you so much! I'll have to get 2 - one for me and one for my parents....I appreciate your help!

Cheers

PB


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Llanfair
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:50 AM

His career spanned my lifetime. He was always there. His work will go on, but it is sad to think that there will be no more. A limited edition. Bron.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 08:04 AM

I agree, Naemanson: "but my favorite was the one in which he played the captain of a ferry running between Gibralter and Morocco. In Gibraltar he had a mousy British housewife and in Morocco he had a swinging sexy night club singer as a wife. Unfortunately the British housewife wanted to get out of the house and live and the singer only wanted to set up housekeeping so his life unraveled from there. Great movie."

The film is "Captain's Paradise." My favorite bit is when, mid channel, he turns the photograph around to the other woman.

Somebody released all of Guinness's Easling stuff on videotape in the late 1980s; will have to check to see if it's still available. Unfortunately we sold all of them when we liquidated the video rental business we had (specializing in foreign films, classic films, inde stuff, and totally off-the-wall films -- our favorite directors are John Waters, Peter Greenaway, David Lynch, Alan Rudolph, etc.).

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 08:12 AM

I was lucky enough to see him on stage (last in an Alan Bennett play with Patricia Hayes, I seem to recall) but I also have fond memories of his film performances. My favourite scene in Captain's Paradise is at the end when the camera pulls away to show that he is handcuffed to the man standing next to him to whom he has been telling the story in flashback.
My late father-in-law was a great fan and they corresponded over T.S.Eliot who they both admired,( after F-i-L had seen him in The Cocktail Party) and the war-time Navy, in which they both served. I hope Ma-in-law has kept the letters.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: GUEST,Evelyn
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 08:56 AM

The Lavender Hill Mob and so many other "early" Guinness films made me a lifelong fan.

I, too, was fortunate enough to have seen him in a play--The Old Country, I believe. As we were leaving the theater, we spotted him at the stage door and he autographed our programs. My friend lost his on the way home and was devastated. I wrote him, enclosing a stamped, addressed envelope. I told him about my friend's loss and asked if he would send him an autograph. He did.

There will never be another who even comes close to his talent and versatility.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Shanti
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:50 PM

I consider myself VERY fortunate to have seen Sir Alec on Broadway, as the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. DYLAN was a wonderful tour-de-force. Sir Alec was incredible! And I agree with everyone on here who has called TUNES OF GLORY one of his best! That portrayal was nothing if not masterful. He was one of my favorite actors...and to think that his teachers said he'd "Never be an actor." Wow! How many times have we heard that sort of comment about people who have gone on to be the best in their fields? Sir Alec and Sir John will both be sorely missed.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Easy Rider
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 01:29 PM

Sir Alec was definitely among the greatest actors of our lifetimes. I loved all the films mentioned above and some others that weren't mentioned.

We just got through watching "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "Smiley's People", which I taped in the early 80's, when they were first broadcast. My daughter had never seen Alec Guinness. She was a baby, when "Star Wars" came out. We both agreed that his performance as Smiley was incredibly perfect. Every gesture, every expression, every move told volumes about the character. If you had read the books, you would know what I mean. I think THAT performance was his masterpiece.

He made a very big splash, with younger audiences, in "Star Wars". They didn't know who he was till then, and they never identified him with his earlier, better work.

The Force IS with him.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:15 PM

Rick, I guess if I was going to find others who tuned into Tunes of Glory, Mudcat would be the place.

That mention of role-swapping reminds me that I saw Othello two nights running at Stratford-on-Avon back around 1956. The first night Richard Burton was Iago and John Neville Othello. The second night they swapped the roles. I hear now that plenty would have killed to see that, but it seemed a bit much to me. I was eight at the time.

(Not many in the UK remember John Neville these days, because he abandoned us for your part of the world. He came back to do Krapp's Last Tape at Nottingham Playhouse earlier this year, which I saw, otherwise I wouldn't have known he was still alive.)

Sorry for creeping away from the subject, Sir Alec - you were indeed born to be Smiley.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: GUEST,Colwyn Dane
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:02 PM

G'day,

Here is my tail-piece to mention some works which haven't appeared above:

"Great Expectations"
"Oliver Twist"
and my personal favourite "Father Brown"

"I don't know what else I could do but pretend to be an actor"
- Alec Guiness.

Toodle-pip.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: gillymor
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:41 PM

Truly a great one and yes SINSULL he played Gully Jimson in The Horse's Mouth, the drunken, Blake-spewing painter with a foot fixation from Joyce Cary's very funny novel. One of my favorite performances along with Our Man in Havana.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Shanti
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:43 PM

How about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA...or DR. ZHIVAGO? Sir Alec could not only play different characters, he often played totally different nationalities, and did them all EXTREMELY convincingly.


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 07:23 PM

Check out the archived interviews on NPR--they just re broadcast a Terri Gross interview with Alec Guinness. He admired the above mentioned pantheon of British actors---felt he was not in that league.

He requested to be killed off in the Star Wars film.

Bridge on The River Kwai. He states, in the interview, he reluctantly took the role because he did not believe in the character---there are people like that, but he cannot empathize with them.

Fascinating interview.

Bill H


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Subject: RE: Sir Alec Guinness
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 08:00 PM

Can't remember much about it now, but there was a programme about Bridge on the River Kwai on Brit TV not long since, comparing the film with the facts. Without exception, those who had been there (both Japanese and British/Commonwealth etc) ridiculed the film version. If Sir Alec was aware of how much licence had been taken, no wonder he found the film character implausible.


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