Skip to comments.Director Ken Russell dies at 84
Posted on 11/28/2011 9:05:50 AM PST by the scotsman
'Film director Ken Russell, who was Oscar-nominated for his 1969 film Women In Love, has died at the age of 84.
His son, Alex Verney-Elliott, said he died on Sunday following a series of strokes.
During his career, he became known for his controversial films including Women In Love, which featured Oliver Reed and Alan Bates wrestling nude.
He also directed the infamous religious drama The Devils and The Who's rock opera, Tommy, in 1975.'
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
“The Devils” was one of the most disturbing movies I ever saw.
The name alone says a lot.
RIP, Ken, you were sure one-of-a-kind.
I can assure all interested parties that Ken Russell is still alive.
Tried to watch as a teenager....thought it was boring.
Again as an adult....loved it, gave me chills.
Rest in peace Ken Russell, and thank you...
“David Hemmings as Coleridge”
That would be interesting. I remember Hemming in “The Charge of The Light Brigade” and he had intensity and shocking good looks. But I would like to have seen Richard Burton play the part of Coleridge. Burton, in the 1960s movie “Boom,” read the first few lines of Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and it was magical. His voice was almost cavern-like, like a spirit descending slowly to a subterranean plateau, and accompanied with John Barry’s beautiful music.
Unfortunately, Burton was probably filming something like Boom! and would probably have turned down Clouds of Glory unless it was for money or if Liz could be in it.
Burton was one of the great talents of our time who was unique and whose like will never be seen again. Too bad he got lost in the Taylor/Burton wilderness. There is a very fine audio recording of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner featuring Burton and the recently deceased John Neville.
You're right about that. Richard Burton was in many ways a latter-day Renaissance Man. His knowledge of Shakespeare was amazing. It was said he read one book a day, and not any popular pap either, we're talking classic novels and scholarly works. Burton always said that reading books, not acting, was his ticket out of poverty from his childhood in Wales. Then there was the anecdote (urban legend?) about Burton battling Robert Kennedy in a contest quoting from Shakespeare's sonnets. It is said Burton was awarded the "victory" when he was able to recite the 15th Sonnet backwards.
If you want a real treat then, get the soundtrack for "Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds". Richard Burton did the narration for the musical and it was just outstanding ... it gives me the chills to listen to him and the music. He opens the narration and then, at 4:55, picks up the narration again.
Richard Burton was notorious for showing up to work drunk but nailing whatever part he was playing. He said the only time he didn’t drink before work was when he had to play a drunk as that required more effort.
Well, the man certainly had his share of tragic flaws (obsession with Liz Taylor being one, but I can’t really blame him for that). What is the old saying about a fine line separating genius from madness?
Salome’s Last Dance was pretty twisted!!
Richard Burton is my favourite actor.
And in Welsh.
Thanks for sending me that link. Actually, I’ve used Burton’s narration for a cheesy video I made for the Fringe Festival here in town:
I really like Burton and didn’t know he had read the Rime of The Ancient Mariner with John Neville... but I see it now on Youtube. My favorite Burton movie is Boom even though it got panned by the press. Reviewers have described it as camp but I see it as the normal course of events if you lived the life a poet — perhaps not that different than a Ken Russell film. Poets live extraordinary, over-the-top lives. Playing an existential angel of death and conquering a beautiful heiress in Sardinia is a far cry from what goes on in suburbia. There are a lot of good Burton/Taylor films — some stinkers like Faust — but that one is my favorite.
Great Burton films:
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
Anne of the Thousand Days
Look Back in Anger
The Night of the Iguana
Good Burton films:
The Wild Geese
The Medusa Touch
Raid on Rommel
Taming of the Shrew
Prince of Players
Massacre in Rome
My Cousin Rachel
The Last Days of Dolwyn
Under Milk Wood
Wagner (tv mini series)
Good list. A lot I recognize and own and some I’ve never seen, like “The Last Days of Dolwyn.”
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