Miss Fortescue
Bertram Fortesque Winthrope Smith
Captain Fortescue
Carol Fortescue
Charles Fortescue
George Fortescue Maximilien de Winter (Rebecca)
Gerald Fortescue
Greg Fortescue
Gregory Fortescue
Helene Fortescu
Kenneth Fortescue (actor)
May Fortescue
Mortimer Fortescue
Muriel (Mabel Normand) Fortescue
Rhonda Fortescue
Ronald Fortescue
Paul Francis Fortescue (A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries)


George Fortescue Maximilien de Winter (Rebecca)


Oscar du meilleur film.

Adapté du roman de Daphné du Maurier
  • (il avait déjà adapté La Taverne de la Jamaïque en 39, en Angleterre)
  • Scénario de Philip MacDonald et Michael Hogan
  • George Fortescu Maxillian "Maxim" de Winter), Joan Fontaine (La deuxième Mme de Winter), George Sanders (Jack Favell), Judith Anderson, Gladys Cooper, Nigel Bruce...
    Avec Laurence Olivier (
  • Musique de Franz Waxman
  • Photo de George Barnes
  • Montage de W.Donn Hayes, Hal C.Kern
  • Distribué par United Artists
  • Produit par Selznick International Pictures
  • Depuis 37, Selznick est en contact avec Hitchcock. Il l’engage pour tourner la version cinéma de ce best-seller. Le producteur veut une atmosphère british. La production est une des plus attendues de l’année : le producteur en or, le cinéaste anglais le plus réputé du moment, Laurence Olivier, récemment starisé par Les Hauts de Hurlevent, la fameuse Joan Fontaine (sur le conseil de Cukor), la soeur d’Olivia de Haviland. L’actrice n’avait pas l’éclat d’Olivia, et les studios ne croyait pas en son talent. Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, Loretta Young, Anne Baxter avaient été pressenties. Cela donn pourtant un des couples les plus beaux et les plus romantiques du cinéma... Et Hitchcock se laissa même suffisamment séduire par cette femme très féminine, pour qu’il l’enrôle l’année suivante dans Soupçons. On considère le film comme un grand classique, avec ses décors gothiques, ses rebondissements qui dénouent et renouent l'intrigue, son atmosphère sombre et chic. Un must du thriller romantique. Note: A l’origine, le premier film américain d’Hitchcock devait être une oeuvre sur la catastrophe du Titanic. Il en restera des bribes dans Lifeboat (1944).


    Rebecca (1940) is the classic Hitchcock gothic thriller and a compelling romance-mystery. An expensively-produced film by David O. Selznick (following his recent success with Gone With The Wind (1939)), it was Hitchcock's first American film, although it retained distinctly British characteristics. This film won for the director his first and only Best Picture Academy Award Oscar, beating out strong competition in 1940 from The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, The Philadelphia Story, and Hitchcock's own Foreign Correspondent. The film also won an Academy Award for Cinematography, and was nominated in nine other categories, including Best Director. The film's screenplay is based on Daphne du Maurier's novel of the same name.



    Laurence Olivier ...George Fortescu Maximillian 'Maxim' de Winter





    Miss Fortescue

    1890's Actress Miss Fortescue Tobacco Card


    Issued by Kinney Bros, Sweet Caporal cigarettes in the 1890's, these sepia tone photos were of famoust actresses of the time. all cards are in good condition, crease free, may have slightly rounded corners.


    (Ebay auction)

    Bertram Fortesque Winthrope Smith

    The Avengers Episode 1
    "From Venus With Love" by Philip Levene

    Albert Fennell & Brian Clemens
    Executive Producer
    Julian Wintle
    Directed by
    Robert Day
    Teleplay by
    Phillip Levene
    All characters and events in this teleplay are fictitious
    and any similarity to actual events or persons, living
    or dead, is purely co-incidental.
    Music by
    Laurie Johnson
    Starring Patrick Macnee as John Steed
    Starring Diana Rigg as Emma Peel
    Barbara Shelley
    Venus Browne
    Philip Locke
    Dr Henry Primble
    Jon Pertwee
    Brigadier Whitehead
    Derek Newark

    Produced by

    Jeremy Lloyd
    Fortesque Winthrope Smith
    Adrian Ropes
    Arthur Cox
    Professor Clarke
    Paul Gillard
    Ernest Cosgrove
    Michael Lynch
    Sir Fredrick Hadley
    Kenneth Benda
    Lord Mansford
    Billy Cornelius
    Production Designer
    Wilfrid Shingleton
    Director of Photography
    Wilkie Cooper
    Supervising Editor
    Peter Tanner
    Production Manager
    Ted Lloyd
    Principal items of Mr Macnee's wardrobe designed by Pierre Cardin
    Miss Rigg's costumes designed by Alun Hughes



    Captain Fortescue

    The Halfway House 1944

    Mervyn Johns

    Glynis Johns....
    Sally Ann Howes....
    Joanna French
    Richard Bird (I)....
    Richard French
    Valerie White (I)....
    Jill French
    Françoise Rosay....
    Alice Meadows
    Tom Walls (I)....
    Captain Harry Meadows
    Guy Middleton....
    Captain Fortescue
    Alfred Drayton....
    William Oakley
    Esmond Knight....
    David Davies
    Philippa Hiatt....
    Pat McGrath (II)....
    John Boxer (II)....
    John, Davies' doctor
    Roland Pertwee....
    Prison governor
    Eliot Makeham....
    George, Davies' valet

    A group of travellers, each with a personal problem that they want to hide, arrive at a mysterious Welsh country inn. There is a certain strangeness in the air as they are greeted by the innkeeper and his daughter (Mervyn Johns and his real life daughter Glynis Johns). Why are all the newspapers a year old ? And why doesn't Gwyneth seem to cast a shadow ?
    Also Known As: Half-Way House, The (1944) (USA: alternative spelling) Halfway House (1944) Runtime: 95 min

    Carol Fortescue

    International House
    (1933 b 68')
    En: 7 Ed: 6

    Eccentrics gather at a Chinese hotel to bid on newly invented television, resulting in entertainment for all except maybe the Legion of Decency.
    At Shanghai Tommy Nash (Stuart Erwin) represents the American Electric company and is cajoled by Peggy Hopkins Joyce to give him a ride to Wu-Hu, where inventor Dr. Wong (Edmund Breese) is demonstrating his radioscope that shows pilot Henry Quail (W. C. Fields) drinking beer. In bizarre repartee nurse Allen (Gracie Allen) responds to questions by the hotel manager (Franklin Pangborn) and Dr. Burns (George Burns). Stuck in the desert with Nash, Peggy tries to fry eggs. At the hotel she requests a double bed and meets her ex-husband Nicholas Petronovich (Bela Lugosi), who hopes to make millions on the invention. Nash runs into his fiancée
    Carol Fortescue (Sari Maritza); two weddings had been canceled because he got sick. He says he is well and takes her to see Peggy in order to relieve her jealousy; but the seductive Peggy causes the reverse effect. Dr. Burns says Nash has measles and tells his nurse to undress him and put him to bed. Nash is put in quarantine.
    The hotel presents fifty dancing girls in revealing costumes. Quail lands in his autogyro, thinking it is Kansas City. He puts his autograph on Allen's dress collar and then rips it off so she can see it. Wong invites Quail to stay in his room; but Quail hopes for an offer from Peggy. He disrupts the hotel registration and opens doors to various rooms. He shares Peggy's room and bath without either seeing the other until in twin beds he snores, and she screams. Inventor Wong shows on his screen Rudy Vallee singing "Thank Heaven for You." Quail disturbs the people stupefied by television. Petronovich, excluded by the quarantine, calls Peggy to say he saw her with Quail.
    Quail wakes up with Wong and calls Peggy. Hearing he's a millionaire, she suggests they leave together. Quail does not bid on the invention, and Wong asks for sealed bids. Wong screens Baby Rose Marie singing "My Bluebirds Are Singing the Blues." Petronovich and his men plan to break into the hotel. Wong shows Nash Cab Calloway singing "Reefer Man." A general tells the manager to end the quarantine and open the doors; Petronovich and his men rush in with a battering ram. Quail takes Peggy in his car and drives down the hall and staircases. Quail feels around for the starter, and Peggy discovers she is sitting on a pussy (cat). When she gets out of the car with no skirt, Quail says he entertained her. Quail drives his car back into his autogyro and takes off with Peggy, who finds she is sitting on kittens. She asks about their parents, and Quail says they were careless.
    This farce made before the censorship crackdown by the Hayes Commission gives some of the flavor of vaudeville and burlesque and yet looks ahead to the television revolution. Burns and Allen are scintillating.
    Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

    Charles Fortescue

    The Missionary - Region 2 NEW DVD -Free P&P

    The Missionary - Region 2 PAL DVD (please ensure you can play/view this DVD on your DVD player and/or Television as refunds for non compatible DVDs will not be given). Fallen women? Does it mean they've hurt their knees? After a decade of soul-saving in Africa, Charles Fortescue is asked to minister to the ladies of the night in 1906 London. So Fortescue feeds them, shelters them and not infrequently provides them a bed: his! A naive man of the cloth becomes a man of the sheets in this playfully naughty yet always tasteful comedy that stars Monty Python's Michael Palin (who also wrote the script) as Fortescue and features a colourful array of cockeyed characters: a blissful airhead (Phoebe Nicholls), a lusty mission sponsor (Maggie Smith), a bewildered butler (Michael Hordern), an earthy bishop (Denholm Elliott), a cantankerous John Bull (Trevor Howard) and more. Jolly good fun! Stars: Michael Palin ; Maggie Smith ; Trevor Howard ; Denholm Elliot ; Michael Hordern ; Phoebe Nicholls ; Graham Crowden ; David Suchet


    charles fortescue


    THE MISSIONARY Michael Palin Monty Python LD

    Michael Palin of Monty Python’s Flying Circus wrote and starred in this satire of the clergy. He plays Reverend Fortescue, an unassuming missionary called back from Africa to England to take charge of a mission for ladies of the evening. He admits an ever-increasing number of them into his "private fold," and the mission succeeds so well that other sects become jealous. Filmed in London. FINE PRINT: Digital sound, color, closed captioned, 86 minutes, 1982

    Gerald Fortescue

    Gerald Fortescue Unsigned Movie Still


    A 9 x 7 Original Black & White Unsigned Movie Still of Gerald Fortescue in CBS-TVs "Mr. Adams and Eve". Dated 10/30/57.


    Greg Fortescue



    Full Blast - Eine tödliche Party
    Caractéristiques de l'objet - DVD
    Rôle principal:
    Andrew Heckler (Travis), Brian Hoyt (Scooter), Channon Roe (Razor), Curt Ellis (Georgetown), Dan Sordell (Paul), Danny Jacobs (Curt), David Carradine (Maceo), Greg Fortescue (Noah), Jason Yates (Ridley), Jonathan Katz (Phil), Kyle McCullough (Jake), Luray Cooper (Rightous), Merle Kennedy (Janie), Michael Mattays (Pete), Michael Wyle (Mickey), Phil Durr (Bart), Scott Guy (Marvin), Suzi Regan (Kimmie), Todd Hawley (Thug), Traci Lords (Lindsay Lord)

    Gregory Fortescue

    The Carrier

    the carrier2
    Gregory Fortescue, Stevie Lee, N Paul Silverman, Steve Dixon, N Paul Silverman



    Allegorical, Stephen King›inspired indie, shot in Michigan, about mysterious dissolving disease striking a small town. Unknown to all, disease is carried by a persecuted young man. Well-acted, inexpensive film is confident and aware of its own absurdities, though it falters at the very end. (1988, Rated NR)


    carriergregory fortescue 2


    October 7, 1993 - June 19, 1994
    Ann Hamilton


    Selected Bibliography Ann Hamilton. La Jolla: San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, 1991. Text by Susan Stewart.
    Ann Hamilton. Seattle: Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 1992. Texts by Chris Bruce, Rebecca Solnit, Buzz Spector.
    Doubletake: Collective Memory & Current Art. Znrich: Parkett in association with The South Bank Centre, 1992. Texts by Lynne Cooke, Bice Curiger and Greg Hilty.
    El Jardin Salvaje: The Savage Garden: Landscape as Metaphor in Recent American Installations. Madrid: Fundacion Caja de Pensiones, 1991. Text by Dan Cameron.
    Pagel, David. "Still Life: The Tableaux of Ann Hamilton." Arts Magazine (May 1990), 56-61.
    Places with a Past: New Site-Specific Art at Charleston's Spoleto Festival, New York: Rizzoli in association with the Spoleto Festival, Charleston, 1991. Text by Mary Jane Jacob.

    Ann Hamilton was born in Lima, Ohio, on June 22, 1956. She earned a B.F.A. in textile design at the University of Kansas, and an M.F.A. in sculpture at Yale School of Art. Since graduating in 1985, she has made numerous installations in North America and Europe. In 1993 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

    The realization of a project of this scale is larger than any single effort. It is a process that relies on the commitment and participation of many individuals. Although it is not something you can point to and name, for me, the felt presence that informs this work grows out of the generosity of all who helped. I would like to acknowledge and thank for their support the core community that made this project.
    Jim Schaeufele Project Manager, Dia Sue Patterson Project Manager, Fabric Workshop
    Dia Crew: Vicki Arndt, Neil Benezra, Paul Bloodgood, Lynne Cooke, Steven Evans, Gregory Fortescue, Josh Galef, Chris Lidrbauch, Todd Schroeder, Gary Shakespeare, Ron Wakkary, Connie Walsh, Mechtild Widrich, Colleen Wolstenholm.



    Helene Fortescu



    Kenneth Fortescue (actor)


    Desert Mice (1959)
    Rotten ENSA troupe get into trouble in the WWII desert campaign. A farce that was probably more fun for those who were there at the time than the rest of us. The jokes are mostly predictable and, despite the great cast, fall flat.
    Script: David Climie
    Director: Michael Relph
    Players: Sidney James, Alfred Marks, Patricia Bredin,
    Kenneth Fortesque, Dick Bentley, Dora Bryan, Irene Handl, Reginald Beckwith, Joan Benham, Liz Fraser, Nigel Davenport, John Le Mesurier, Anthony Bushell


    Lawrence of Arabia Peter O'Toole 2 VHS Mint

    The Review : This sweeping, highly literate historical epic covers the Allies' mideastern campaign during World War I as seen through the eyes of the enigmatic T. E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole, in the role that made him a star). After a prologue showing us Lawrence's ultimate fate, we flash back to Cairo in 1917. A bored general staffer, Lawrence talks his way into a transfer to Arabia. Once in the desert, he befriends Sherif Ali Ben El Kharish (Omar Sharif, making one of the most spectacular entrances in movie history) and draws up plans to aid the Arabs in their rebellion against the Turks. No one is ever able to discern Lawrence's motives in this matter: Sherif dismisses him as yet another "desert-loving Englishman," and his British superiors assume that he's either arrogant or mad. Using a combination of diplomacy and bribery, Lawrence unites the rival Arab factions of Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness) and Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn). After successfully completing his mission, Lawrence becomes an unwitting pawn of the Allies, as represented by Gen. Allenby (Jack Hawkins) and Dryden (Claude Rains), who decide to keep using Lawrence to secure Arab cooperation against the Imperial Powers. While on a spying mission to Deraa, Lawrence is captured and tortured by a sadistic Turkish Bey (Jose Ferrer), and the movie implies that the Bey's brutal treatment of him has aroused Lawrence's own repressed homosexuality: true or not, it is clear that he has undergone a radical personality change when he makes it back to his own lines. In the heat of the next battle, a wild-eyed Lawrence screams "No prisoners!" and fights more ruthlessly than ever. Screenwriter Robert Bolt used T. E. Lawrence's own self-published memoir The Seven Pillars of Wisdom as his principal source, although some of the characters are composites, and many of the "historical" incidents are of unconfirmed origin. Two years in the making (you can see O'Toole's weight fluctuate from scene to scene), the movie, lensed in Spain and Jordan, ended up costing a then-staggering $13 million and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The 1962 Royal Premiere in London was virtually the last time that David Lean's director's cut was seen: 20 minutes was edited from the film's general release, and 15 more from the 1971 reissue. This abbreviated version was all that was available for public exhibition until a massive 1989 restoration, at 221 minutes, that returned several of Lean's favorite scenes while removing others with which he had never been satisfied ///
    The Stellar Cast :
    Lawrence of Arabia Peter O'Toole - T.E. Lawrence Alec Guinness - Prince Feisal Anthony Quinn - Auda abu Tayi Jack Hawkins - Gen.Allenby Omar Sharif - Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish Anthony Quayle - Col. Harry Brighton José Ferrer - Turkish Bey Donald Wolfit - Gen. Murray I.S. Johar - Gasim Gamil Ratib - Majid Michael Ray - Farraj John Dimech - Daud Hugh Miller - RAMC Colonel Howard Marion-Crawford - Medical Officer Jack Gwyllim - Club Secretary Stuart Saunders - Regimental Sergeant Major Arthur Kennedy - Jackson Bentley Fernando Sancho - Turkish Sergeant John Ruddock - Elder Harith Jack Hedley -
    Reporter Kenneth Fortescue - Allenby's Aide Henry Oscar - Reciter Norman Rossington - Corporal Jenkins Claude Rains - Mr. Dryden Zia Mohyeddin - Tafas Harry Fowler - Cpl. Potter


    Desert Mice 1959 BWS Alfred Marks


    Description: This original UK black and white still (8" x 10") is from the 1959 movie. Cast: Alfred Marks, Sid James, Dora Bryan, Dick Bentley, Reginald Beckwith, Irene Handl, Kenneth Fortescue, Patricia Bredin; Directed by: Michael Relph


    (1961) Colour (RCA/Columbia) approx 100 mins (**PAL format)


    Cast: David Niven, Michael Wilding, Harry Andrews, Noel Harrison, Ronald Fraser, Alberto Sordi, Bernard Cribbins, Duncan Macrae, Robert Desmond, Kenneth Fortescue, Michael Trubshawe and David Opatoshu.
    In this military comedy, directed by the legendary Guy Hamilton who helmed some of the finest James Bond pictures, Maj. Richardson (Niven) and Lt. Burke (Wilding) are two British soldiers on a recognizance mission over Ethiopia in 1941 when their plane crashes in the desert. Capt. Blasi (Sordi), an Italian officer, finds the Englishmen and offers to help them: he'll let them go if they allow him and his men to take over an old fort nearby and stay there without being bothered. Richardson and Burke agree, and they return to their base of operations, only to discover that they've been ordered to attack the fort and capture Blasi and his men. Richardson considers himself a man of his word and doesn't care for this duty; in time, the two men become friends and exchange banter as they take turns capturing one another. Remarkably enough, Italian actor Sordi didn't speak English when he made this film, and he learned all his dialogue phonetically.


    Ray Milland, Anthony Newley HIGH FLIGHT 1956

    Terrific lobby card from air force film High Flight (1956). Directed by John Gilling. Starring (in alphabetical order) Grace Arnold, Frank Atkinson, Anne Aubrey, Richard Bennett, Jan Brooks, Alfred Burke, Helen Cherry, Charles Clay, Peter Dixon, John Downing, Ian Fleming, Kenneth Fortescue, Barry Foster, Douglas Gibbon, Kenneth Haigh, Jan Holden, Owen Holder, Noel Hood, Bernard Horsfall, Glyn Houston, Andrew Keir, Sean Kelly, Duncan Lamont, John Le Mesurier, Bernard Lee, William Lucas, Ray Milland, Nancy Nevinson, Anthony Newley, Hal Osmond, Alan Penn, Leslie Phillips, Kynaston Reeves, Bill Shine, Richard Wattis, Leslie Weston. 12.5"x16.5"



    Ringo Starr in Magic Christian VHS !!


    Magic Christian / VHS / Not Rated / 101 min / Color
    Stars Peter Sellers, Ringo Starr, Roman Polanski, Richard Attenborough, Christopher Lee, Raquel Welch, Yul Brynner, and John Cleese. Great British comedy from the late 60's about how people will do anything for money. A MUST for any Beatle fan. "Magic Christian" / Director: JOSEPH MCGRATH / Republic Pictures Home Video / Release Date: 1969

    Shot in Technicolor, and filmed at Twickenham Studios, Middlesex, England. Some prints of the film are only 88 minutes long, while original theatrical releases ran approximately 95 minutes. The video and laserdisc versions of "The Magic Christian," however, appear to be 101 minutes. Additional cast: Tom Boyle (My Man Jeff); Peter Bayliss (Pompous Toff), Clive Dunn (Sommelier), Freddie Earle (Sol),
    Kenneth Fortescue (Irate Snob), David Hutcheson (Lord Barry), Jeremy Lloyd (Lord Hampton), Peter Myers (Lord Kilgallon), Robert Raglan (Maltravers), and Leon Thau (Engine Room Toff). Appearing as themselves: TV commentators Michael Aspel, Michael Barratt, Harry Carpenter, W. Barrington Dalby, John Snagge, and Alan Whicker. There is a parody of Shakespeare's tragic play "Hamlet" within the film, with Laurence Harvey as the melancholy Dane doing a striptease during the "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Director McGrath also incorporated some b&w and color archival footage of riots and Vietnam into the film. Released theatrically in the USA February 12, 1970. Copyright 1969 Grand Films, Ltd.

    In this adaptation of Terry Southern's offbeat novel, an eccentric millionaire adopts a down-and-out vagrant he stumbles upon in the park as his son. The pair embark on a series of practical jokes and elaborate stunts designed to expose the wanton greed that exists in everybody -- and prove that everyone has his price.




    This is a previously viewed
    LASERDISC of the rare comedy classic THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN, staring:
    Peter Sellers .... Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE Ringo Starr .... Youngman Grand ESQ. Isabel Jeans .... Dame Agnes Grand Caroline Blakiston .... Hon. Esther Grand Wilfrid Hyde-White .... Captain Reginald K. Klaus Richard Attenborough .... Oxford Coach Leonard Frey .... Laurence Faggot Laurence Harvey .... Hamlet Christopher Lee .... Ship's vampire Spike Milligan .... Traffic Warden 27 Roman Polanski .... Solitary Drinker Raquel Welch .... Priestess of the Whip Tom Boyle .... My Man Jeff Victor Maddern .... Hot dog vendor Terence Alexander .... Mad Major Peter Bayliss .... Pompous Toff Joan Benham .... Socialite in Sotheby's Patrick Cargill .... Auctioneer at Sotheby's John Cleese .... Mr. Dougdale, Director in Southeby's Clive Dunn .... Sommelier Fred Emney .... Fitzgibbon Kenneth Fortescue .... Snob in Sotheby's Patrick Holt .... Duke in Sotheby's David Hutcheson .... Lord Barry Hattie Jacques .... Ginger Horton Jeremy Lloyd .... Lord Hampton David Lodge .... Ship's Guide Ferdy Mayne .... Edouard of Chez Edouard Restaurant Dennis Price .... Winthrop Robert Raglan .... Maltravers Graham Stark .... Waiter at Chez Edouard Restaurant Michael Aspel .... TV Commentator Michael Barratt .... TV Commentator Harry Carpenter .... TV Commentator Kenneth Connor Roland Culver .... Sir Herbert W. Barrington Dalby .... TV Commentator Freddie Earlle .... Sol Peter Graves .... Lord at ship's bar John Le Mesurier .... Sir John Peter Myers .... Lord Kilgallon John Snagge .... TV Commentator Leon Thau .... Engine Room Toff Frank Thornton .... Police Inspector Michael Trubshawe .... Sir Lionel Edward Underdown .... Prince Henry Alan Whicker .... TV Commentator Sean Barry-Weske .... John Lennon lookalike (uncredited) Yul Brynner .... Transvestite cabaret singer (uncredited) Graham Chapman .... Oxford Crew (uncredited) Kimberley Chung .... Yoko Ono lookalike (uncredited) Guy Middleton .... Duke of Mantisbriar (uncredited) Birthe Sector .... Slave girl (uncredited)
    Sir Guy Grand adopts homeless bum Youngman to be heir to his obscene wealth, and immediately begins bringing him into the intricacies of the family business, which is to prey upon people's greed by use of the vast holdings of the Grand empire. They leave no stone unturned as sporting events, restaurants, art galleries, and traditional pheasant hunts turn into lurid displays of bad manners and profiteering. Things climax at the social event of the season, the inaugural voyage of the new pleasure cruiser The Magic Christian.


    BRIDES OF FU MANCHU rare vhs christopher lee


    Christopher Lee returns as Sax Rohmer's insidious Asian villain Fu Manchu for the second of his five vehicles. This time Fu Manchu and his army of henchmen are kidnaping the daughters of prominent scientists and taking them to his remote island headquarters. Instead of asking for ransom, Fu demands that the fathers help him to build a death ray, which he intends to use to take over the world. But Fu's archenemy, Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard, is determined not to let that happen...Cast overview, first billed only: Christopher Lee .... Fu Manchu Douglas Wilmer .... Nayland Smith Heinz Drache .... Franz Baumer Marie Versini .... Marie Lentz Howard Marion-Crawford .... Dr. Petrie Tsai Chin .... Lin Tang Rupert Davies .... Jules Merlin Kenneth Fortescue .... Sergeant Spicer Joseph Fürst .... Otto Lentz Roger Hanin .... Inspector Grimaldi Harald Leipnitz .... Nikki Sheldon Carole Gray .... Michel Merlin Burt Kwouk .... Feno ......



    Movie description
    The beloved Miss Marple has her hands full when she tries to solve a murder case which occured on a film production set. This movie within a movie sparkles with it's own all-star cast.

    Cast: Angela Lansbury, Edward Fox, Elizabeth Taylor, Geraldine Chaplin, Kim Novak, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis

    DVD Features:

    Region 1
    Keep Case
    Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
    Single Side - Dual Layer
    Dolby Digital Mono
    Additional Release Material:
    Trailers - 1.Original Theatrical Trailer
    2.TV Spot
    Text/Photo Galleries:

    Distributed by AFD in America and Canada.

    Color by Technicolor.

    Additional cast: Margaret Courtenay (Mrs. Bantry); Maureen Bennett (Heather Babcock); Carolyn Pickles (Miss Giles); Eric Dodson (The Major); Thick Wilson (Mayor); Pat Nye (Mayoress); Peter Woodthorpe (Scout Master); Oriana Grieve,
    Kenneth Fortescue, George Silver and John Bennett (Cast of film of within film).

    Additional credit: John Roberts (art direction).


    About Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version)


    Based on the real-life exploits of the legendary British scholar and soldier, T. E. Lawrence. Stationed in Cairo in 1916, Lawrence languished in the map-making department of British Intelligence until he was asked to find and gather information on Prince Feisal, leader of the Arab Allied forces in World War I. His desert journey inspired his first military success, when he lead a small contingent of Arabs against the Turkish stronghold of Aqaba. Lawrence's military career flourished and he attempted to forge a new, united Arab nation out of squabbling tribes.

    Additional cast members: Howard Marion Crawford (Medical Officer); Jack Gwillin (Club Secretary); Hugh Miller (R.A.M.C. Colonel); John Ruddock (Elder Martin); Kenneth Fortescue (Allenby's Aide); Stuart Sanders (Regimental Sergeant-Major); Fernando Sancho (Turk Sergeant); Emilio Noriega (Train Wreck Stunt); and Cher Kaoui, Mohammed Habachi and members of the Jordanian Desert Patrol and the Royal Moroccan Army Camel Corps.



    Kipling On TV

    Description: A scene from the first episode of the Kipling stories, being recorded by the BBC for television. The actors, Barry Letts, Joss Ackland, Kenneth Fortescue star in the production.


    Actors Kenneth Fortesque and Joss Ackland, 1964
    Actors Kenneth Fortesque (left) and Joss Ackland (right) in a sc :ene from a television dramatisation of a Rudyard Kipling story, 1964.

    Buy this photo here :

    May Fortescue




    Mortimer Fortescue





    (William Claude Dukenfield)






    Fields invented a lot of goofy names, both for his characters and for his own screenwriting credits (he wrote a large number of his films). Bob Elliot of Bob & Ray once told me that he and Ray came up with most of their character names from people they knew, but I think that probably wasn't the case with Fields, as you may agree after perusing these:

    Maharajah of Bingo Algernon Biggleswade Professor Quail
    Ophelia Snapdrop Sir Marmaduke Gump Og Oggilby
    Death Valley Scotty Folger E. Bidwell Abigail Twirlbaffing
    Dorothea Fizzdockle Charles Bogle J. Pinkerton Snoopington
    Aristotle Hoop Mahatma Kane Jeeves Senor Guillermo McKinley
    Sneed Hearn High-Card Harrington Carl La Fong
    Cholmondley Frampton- Marc Antony McGonigle J. Frothingham Waterbury
    Blythe Rheba Goldberg Bartley Neuville
    Figley E. Whitesides Anastasia Bel-Goodie Claude Bissinet
    Dr. Otis Guelpe Lita Labetty Otis Criblecoblis
    Chief Big Spear Bronislaw Gimp Gus Winterbottom
    Little Small Blanket Ouliotta Hemoglobin Ambrose Woolfinger
    Wilkes Heap Filthy McNasty Eustace McGargle
    Oooleota Dillwig Officer Postlewhistle Hermisilio Brunch
    Elmer Bimbo Cornelius O'Hare Oglethorpe P. Bushmaster
    Colonel Roscoe Slemp Cozy Cochran Chester Snavely
    Sapadola Sidley-Deasey Cleopatra Pepperday A. Pismo Clam
    Oliotha Shugg Countess de Pouisse
    Sir Mortimer Fortescue
    Olga Limbo Egbert Souse Agatha Sprague
    Fuller Ginnis Cuthbert J. Twillie Larson E. Whipsnade


    A W.C. Fields Roster








    W.C.'S STORY

    He was born William Claude Dukenfield on January 29, 1880 in Darby, a town just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. April 10, 1880 and February 9, 1879 have also been slated as his birthday, and although incorrect, Fields himself never bothered to set the record straight. Why should he? The extra "natal days" provided him with two more opportunities to receive celebratory gifts of assorted beverages. Multiple birthdays would be just a sample of the many myths and legends surrounding "The Great Man," W.C. Fields. But once you sweep the tall tales away, what remains is incredible: he succeeded in seven separate careers that demanded seven separate talents.
    Ah yes, the tale tales! As W.C. Fields' grandson, author, producer, and film historian Ronald J. Fields, jokingly notes, "The most difficult part of researching W.C. Fields' life was to separate fact from fiction. Not only did many Hollywood writers build legends around him, but W.C. was the biggest legend producer of all of them." Or as W.C. Fields himself said, "Why tell the truth, when with a little embellishment you can bring fun and laughter to interviews." Film publicists found him to be a dream to work with, because unlike other stars, he didn't care what the Publicity Department wrote about him, just as long as it was in keeping with his mythic image. Fields himself engineered the publicity when he admitted to a reporter, "I wanted to be a definite personality."
    The oldest of five children, he was born in a hotel room appropriately situated just above the bar that his father managed. His parents were James and Kate (Felton) Dukenfield. His father immigrated from England at the age of 13 and talked with a pronounced midlands accent (which was a source of amusement to James' wife, Kate, and their young son, both of whom imitated James' accent for laughs). After the birth of their son, Kate insisted that James quit managing the bar (and quit drinking as well) in order to provide a more appropriate atmosphere in which to raise children. James obeyed his wife and became a huckster selling fruits and vegetables from a cart he pulled through the streets of Philadelphia.

    Fields invented many funny names, both for his characters and for his own screenwriting credits:
    Maharajah of Bingo Algernon Biggleswade Professor Quail Ophelia Snapdrop Sir Marmaduke Gump Og Oggilby Folger E. Bidwell Abigail Twirlbaffing Dorothea Fizzdockle Charles Bogle J. Pinkerton Snoopington Aristotle Hoop Mahatma Kane Jeeves Senor Guillermo McKinley Sneed Hearn High-Card Harrington Carl La Fong Cholmondley Frampton-Blyte 9 Marc Antony McGonigle J. Frothingham Waterbury Larson E. Whipsnade Rheba Goldberg Bartley Neuville Figley E. Whitesides Anastasia Bel-Goodie Claude Bissinet Dr. Otis Guelpe Lita Labetty Otis Criblecoblis Chief Big Spear Bronislaw Gimp Gus Winterbottom Little Small Blanket Ouliotta Hemoglobin Ambrose Woolfinger Wilkes Heap Filthy McNasty Eustace McGargle Oooleota Dillwig Officer Postlewhistle Hermisilio Brunch Elmer Bimbo Cornelius O'Hare Oglethorpe P. Bushmaster Colonel Roscoe Slemp Cozy Cochran Chester Snavely Sapadola Sidley-Deasey Cleopatra Pepperday A. Pismo Clam Oliotha Shugg Countess de Pouisse Sir Mortimer Fortescue Olga Limbo Egbert Souse Agatha Sprague Fuller Ginnis Cuthbert J. Twillie












    Muriel (Mabel Normand) Fortescue


    The Beautiful Knockabout A Silents Majority Featured Star
    Born November 9, 1892, on Staten Island, NY Died February 23, 1930, in Monrovia, CA

    Mabel Normand: 
    Mabel Normand was a contemporary of Mary Pickford, the Gish sisters (Lillian and Dorothy), Blanche Sweet, Florence Lawrence and the Talmadge sisters (Norma and Constance). She made her film debut in either The Indiscretions of Betty (Vitagraph, 1910) or Over the Garden Wall (Vitagraph, 1910) as a serious, dramatic actress (it is unclear which film was first). Before that, Mabel was already popular as a model for fashions and illustrations. Throughout parts of 1910 and 1911, Mabel worked for the Vitagraph studio. By the end of 1911, she had moved on to American Biograph under the direction of D.W. Griffith. She worked very hard to hone her craft by cranking out a number of melodramas, one of which, The Mender of Nets (1912), starred Mary Pickford. Fortunately, Mabel was proud of the Normand name and was determined to keep it. If she hadn't been, she may have become known to her fans as "Muriel Fortesque," the generic marquee name assigned to her to enforce the anonymity that was required of early screen performers. Mabel Normand never could and never would remain anonymous.
    Mabel was strikingly beautiful, but that wasn't unusual for actresses. During this early period in their careers, Mary, Lillian, Dorothy and the rest were considered heartbreakingly beautiful. What made Mabel different is that, when she fell down, she was as funny as she was fetching. It didn't take long for Griffith to realize that Mabel had great comic talent, and he started assigning her to comical plots. Griffith, a drama director, employed a young actor-turned-director named Mack Sennett to guide Mabel's comic hijinks. [Sennett's movie-making career, like those of many of the Greats, began with Griffith. His intense desire to learn at the feet of the master and fully realize his ambitions, catapulted him up the ladder to the director's chair at Biograph.]
    Mabel took her first shot at comedy in The Diving Girl (Biograph, 1911), in a charming and memorable role as a funny (and not a little sexy) bathing beauty. As men remember the first time they saw Marilyn Monroe in a bathing suit, the men and boys of the early 1910s never forget the first time the adorable Mabel donned a bathing costume. So, historically, the first Sennett bathing beauty was our Beautiful Knockabout, Mabel. (Master director King Vidor saw Mabel in that clinging suit when he was a young pup in Galveston, Texas - and claims that her image stayed with him and initially spurred his dream to make movies.)
    What? A beautiful slapstick comedienne? Audiences were used to seeing screen comediennes who looked as funny as their antics. These included such funny girls as Flora Finch, who was built like a bean pole; Louise Fazenda, a kooky clown with the fashion sense of a country bumpkin; Polly Moran, a wild-haired, man-chasing harridan; and Marie Dressler, hefty and hilarious, but who declared, "I born without a pretty face, and thank the Lord I do not have to live up to such a burden." Beautiful Mabel could take a hearty pratfall with the best of the Keystone Kops, but one could also fall in love with her as a custard pie was thrust into that angelic face. Like a gambler with a sure bet, Mack could see that his future with Mabel was in the cards.
    As vivacious and charismatic as Mabel was, one can't think of her without thinking of Mack. As soon as he spotted her captivating beauty adorned with her comic gifts (and it didn't take long), he turned on the old Sennett charm and skillfully won her over - plucking her heartstrings in the process. By September 1912, most of her films were being directed by Sennett, still at the eastern Biograph studio. Between February and September, that same year, the two cranked out no less than 22 one- and two-reelers. Then, in late September, Mack took his comic protégée (and by now the love of his life) out West and formed his own studio in Hollywood - Keystone.
    Our knockout-knockabout made dozens of bright and lively farces in the Sennett style at Keystone between 1912 and 1916 with early Keystone stalwarts like Fred Mace, Hank Mann, Ford Sterling, Al St. John, Harry Gribbon, Mack Swain, Roscoe Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Minta Durfee (one of her closest friends) and Luke the dog. However, Mabel wanted more. Beginning in early 1914, Mabel took over completely as her own director, beginning with the one-reeler Mabel's Stormy Love Affair (Keystone/Mutual, 1914). Mabel could claim the rare and unique distinction of directing the great Charlie Chaplin early in his Keystone Kontract. Charlie liked Mabel. He even had a crush on her at one point (who didn't?), but being directed by a woman, or anyone for that matter, put his little mustache out of kilter. He could barely tolerate being directed by her in two films, Caught in a Cabaret (1914) and Mabel's Busy Day (1914).
    As Mabel's fame and fortune grew, so did her intense relationship with Mack. Those two "Wild Irish Roses" alternately courted and clobbered each other in their dizzy affair. Mack was forever trying to tame his "I-don't-care" girl, as she came to be known. Mabel was trying to elevate Mack to a classier stature. However, the strapping Irishman was set in his ways. A good gag and a good cigar was the creed he lived by. They were together so long that marriage seemed inevitable - but it never happened. Mack ultimately betrayed Mabel by his dalliance with another beautiful actress just before the wedding was to take place. There was a change in Mabel after that. She began her attempt to walk out of Mack's life He would not let her go easily and dangled an enticing carrot that included her own studio and production company, plus a film that he knew she could not resist.
    At that point, Mabel desperately wanted to get out of knockabout and into "classier productions." She fell in love with the concept of Mickey because it was the desired departure from her slapstick past. Mack showcased Mabel as he promised. In an ad for the film it states, "No rough comedy, no flying pies, no innocent heroine seduced, no buckets of blood and no padding." However, among other stunts, Mabel as "Mickey" does slide down banisters, has a squirrel run up her pants leg, pound her fist on a layer cake (no tossing, though!) and, oh yes, jockey a race horse. But none of the disclaimers made in the ad. Nevertheless, the tension between Mack and Mabel came to a head before filming was over. During the production she signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn, sealing her departure from Mack and Keystone - no matter what. By 1917, Mabel had slipped through Mack's fingers, privately and professionally.
    Life had escalated into one long, endless pain-killing party for Mabel. She suppressed her enormous disillusionment mostly through alcohol. Adela Rogers St. Johns, famous Hearst columnist and longtime, great friend of Mabel's said simply, "I adored Mabel. She was my best friend - but Irish women can't drink" - and Mabel couldn't. After she left Mack, an innocence left her. Her pictures finally became classier, full-length features, but her freshness and drive dwindled. Even by the time Mabel realized her downward spiral and tried to stop it, the scandals descended. She began to decline alarmingly, bit by miserable bit.
    Mabel was a dear friend and successful comedy partner (between 1913 and 1916) of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Arbuckle, tainted by allegations of assault and murder, and subsequent trials in 1921, negatively affected many in the Hollywood community, including Mabel. A woman of integrity where her friends were concerned, Mabel loved and cared enough about Roscoe to defend him publicly. Unfortunately, it did not help him, and it only hurt her. Director William Desmond Taylor was also a dear friend. Mabel had the unfortunate bad timing to be the last person to see him alive before his mysterious murder. Bad timing is fatal to any comedienne. The press kept after her, and her health continued to deteriorate. She went back to Mack Sennett to revive her sagging career and life. She returned to knockabout and attempted to reclaim her youthful energy. Mack even sweetened the deal by giving Mabel her own small studio lot to play on. They made Molly O' (Sennett/First National, 1921), Oh, Mabel Behave (Triangle Film Corporation - Photocraft Productions, 1922), Suzanna (Mack Sennett Productions/Allied Productions, 1923) and The Extra Girl (Mack Sennett Productions/Associated Exhibitors 1923). In 1926, she married her longtime friend, Lew Cody. At that point, it was safer and healthier for her to live a quieter, more domestic life. This positive change boosted her spirits, but perhaps that was all what was left of her brilliant spark. That same year she made her last film, the two-reeler One Hour Married (Roach/Pathe) that was released in 1927.
    Mabel's heart was too open and generous to withstand the attacks against her past behavior. The "I-don't-care" girl took it on the chin. All the hard living and hard grieving prematurely aged Mabel and made her susceptible to the tuberculosis - which claimed her life in 1930 at the age of 37. The world might never have known her voice, but it would never forget her face. Mabel was so beloved by the Hollywood community that her funeral was packed to the rafters, as King Vidor related in his memoirs, A Tree Is A Tree (Samuel French, 1953): a stellar company that turned out for her,
    There was Marie Dressler, of the large, expressive visage. She was never one for subtlety in comedy, nor was she subtle in grief. Ben Turpin was weeping unashamedly. The big face of gigantic Mack Swain, of The Gold Rush fame, was marked with tears. Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett, Chester Conklin, Hank Mann, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon - all fellow workers of hers - were crying. I was fascinated by their faces. These funny faces had made people roar with laughter the world over. Now they were distorted with grief.
    Mabel Normand, in her knockabout prime, was unsurpassable in the "beautiful, slapstick comedienne" niche. Many of her films have been lost, including all of her Goldwyn productions save one, What Happened to Rosa? (Goldwyn, 1921). However, luckily for us, a fair sample still survive, including many of her Keystone shorts. Her funniest comedies not only show us frisky and physically demanding performances, but also the subtler fact that she was lovingly photographed. One normally does not associate Sennett's slapstick with stunning cinematography, but I've seen some of Mabel's films and was struck by the glow of the silver nitrate image of Mabel, in a sunset, beckoning us to come and play.
    For a more in-depth look at Mabel Normand, Mabel: Hollywood's First I-Don't-Care Girl, by Betty Harper Fussell (First Limelight Edition, 1992) is highly recommended and the best bio on her to date.


    More on :


    This advertisement originally appeared in July of 1916.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in September of 1916.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in September of 1916.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in October of 1916.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in August of 1918.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in June of 1919.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in July of 1919.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)


    This advertisement originally appeared in October of 1919.
    (Mabel ad courtesy of Bruce Long.)




    This is actress Mabel Normand with Lee Dougherty, Jr. on the set of a Biograph film.

    She was born on Nov. 16, 1894 and was slightly over 16 when she went to work for the Biograph Studio on East 14th Street in New York City.

    Mabel was known as
    Muriel Fortescue in the early days of her acting career. She left Biograph for a short time to work for Vitagraph, but returned in the winter of 1911. Her star continued to rise at Biograph where she became an important star for the studio, working mostly under the direction of Mack Sennett.

    Mabel left Biograph with Sennett when he formed Keystone in 1912. He was deeply in love with Mabel and described her
    "as beautiful as a spring morning." Wedding plans were made several times, but a marriage between the two was never to be.

    Starring in several Chaplin films for Sennett, Mabel proved to be the most talented comedienne of the silent era. As her popularity rose, she began to press for more complex roles.

    Sennett and his backers, Bauman and Kessel, formed the Mabel Normand Feature Film Company and produced
    Mickey. The film was not released until 1918 and in the meantime, the disappointed Mabel had signed a five-year contract with Goldwyn.

    Without Sennett's guidance, Mabel became part of the social whirl of Hollywood. All-night parties and rumors of drug use began circulating as Mabel began showing up late for work - or disappearing for days at a time.

    Mabel's career was dealt a crushing blow in 1922 with the mysterious death of director William Desmond Taylor. She was linked romantically with Taylor and was dragged into the case because she was the last person to see him alive. She was proved innocent, but the ghastly press coverage permanently ruined her image as a star.

    Just as she was recovering from the Taylor scandal, her chauffeur was found, gun in hand, standing over the body of millionaire, Cortland Dines. Reportedly, the gun belonged to Mabel. Her popularity rapidly began a downward spiral. Her last feature was
    The Extra Girl in 1923.

    She married Lew Cody, the villain in
    Mickey. Her happiness was doomed from the beginning as both she and Cody were suffering from terminal illnesses. Cody had a fatal heart condition and Mabel succumbed to tuberculosis and pneumonia. She died in 1930.

    In 1974, she was portrayed in the Broadway musical,
    "Mack and Mabel" by Bernadette Peters.


    Destin tragique que celui de Mabel Normand.

    Née en 1892 à Staten Island (New York), Mabel Normand était d'une grande beauté ; elle savait également jouer la comédie, possédait un sens de l'humour merveilleux et, plutôt acrobatique, elle avait cette facilité de pouvoir recevoir autant de coups qu'elle pouvait en donner au cours de tournages souvent improvisés.
    D'abord chez Vitagraph (de 1910 à 1912), elle fut dirigée quelque temps par D. W. Griffith puis suivit Mack Sennett à Hollywood.
    De 1912 à 1916, elle tourna plus de 125 films pour la compagnie de Sennett, souvent ayant dans leur titre son propre nom : Mabel’s Bear Escape, Mabel Lost and Won, etc.
    En 1915, elle était devenue la comédienne la plus connue dans l'industrie du cinéma mais comparativement à Mary Pickford ou Charles Chaplin, son salaire était une maigre pitance.
    Quittant Sennett, elle passa chez Samuel Goldwyn, revint chez Sennett pour finalement obtenir le contrat qu'elle désirait auprès de Hal Roach.
    De toutes les fêtes, menant une vie mouvementée, elle fut malheureusement mêlée aux deux grands scandales hollywoodiens des années vingt (Fatty Arbuckle, son compagnon dans de nombreux film, accusé de meurtre, et l'assassinat de William Desmond Taylor). Le tollé de protestations des ligues moralisantes qui suivit ces deux affaires détruisit sa popularité comme celles de plusieurs autres comédiens.
    Elle tourna son dernier film en 1927 et mourut, alcoolique et de tuberculose, en 1932.


    1918 publicity photo, Courtesy


    Rhonda Fortescue


    8/9 Coleridge Court

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    Ronald Fortescue

    Murder on the Campus



    * Leading Role: Charles Starrett, Diane Clare, Ronald Fortescue
    * Director: Michael Winner
    * Genre: Horror
    * Rating: NR
    * Region Code: Region 1: US, CA

    Movie Description:

    A killer is loose on a college campus in this chilling British murder mystery. When a reporter, Robertson Hare (Ronald Fortescue), learns that his academic brother has committed suicide, he travels to the Cambridge campus to investigate. Enlisting the help of Mary Johnson (Diane Clare) a professor's daughter whose father is missing and suspected dead, the two slowly unearth clues which indicate that the death was made to look like a suicide. Things grow truly chilling, however, when Hare and Johnson get caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with the killer. MURDER ON THE CAMPUS showcases Michael Winner's transformation from pulp B-movie director to blockbuster action filmmaker. The quick cuts, the story build-up and release, and the loveable victim, are all present here. When viewing DEATH WISH and comparing, MURDER ON THE CAMPUS is a clear harbinger of Michael Winner's soon-to-emerge fame.


    Description A madman is killing students with poison gas in this forgotten horror film.

    Paul Francis Fortescue (A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries)


    A Soldier's daughter never cries

    Voor het tweede deel, Francis, nemen we een klein sprongetje en zijn de kinderen ondertussen als 15 jaar. Billy is nog steeds zwijgzaam en blijkt zich niet echt te kunnen aanpassen aan zijn omgeving. Channe daarentegen gaat een hechte vriendschap aan met Francis Fortesque. Francis is anders als de andere jongens. Hij geeft zich helemaal over aan de opera en is stiekem verliefd op Channe. ....

    Sven van Beir



    A Soldiers Daughter Never Cries


    Growing up with James Jones

    Novelist's daughter _ctionalizes her expatriate childhood(R)
    By MARSHALL FINE Gannett Suburban Newspapers
    "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries" stands somewhere in the middle of the abundance of films this fall about families, as told from the children's point of view.
    Directed by James Ivory and adapted from a novel by Kaylie Jones, "Soldier's Daughter" is a loosely fictionalized version of Jones' life. The daughter of novelist James Jones, she used the book to look back at the life of her family in the 1960s and early 1970s, when they lived in Paris.
    The fictional version of Jones is Bill Willis (Kris Kristofferson), an expatriate American writer in France, where he lives with his wife, Marcella (Barbara Hershey) and daughter Channe (Leelee Sobieski). The story is broken into thirds, each covering a few years of the Willis family life.
    The first section deals with the family's adoption of a little boy named Benoit (Samuel Gruen), the son of a French teen who has put him out to foster care for the first seven years of his life. The Willises' attempt to adopt him is complicated by the mother's refusal to sign the final papers, out of some lingering sense of regret.
    Benoit at first regards the Willis household as one more tentative stop. He drags around his packed suitcase, assuming that he eventually will be forced to move again, as he so often has in the past.
    He and the maturing Channe initially are at odds. But they begin to develop an empathy and friendship that turns into full-blown sibling acceptance, even as Benoit announces that he wants to assume an American name: Billy.
    The film jumps ahead a few years: Billy, now speaking flawless English, has grown into a teen (Jesse Bradford). And Channe has been befriended by a new boy at the American school she attends in Paris: Francis Fortescue (Anthony Roth Costanzo). Francis and Channe hit it off because Channe enjoys Francis' eccentricity: his love of opera, his outlandish clothing, his ability to sing soprano arias.
    But the behavior of the effeminate Francis, who has made himself an outsider at school, begins to wear thin when Channe starts to develop an interest in the opposite sex. She wants to fit in and be accepted; Francis, knowing he never will, begins to act out his anger against her.
    Their inconclusive relationship comes to an abrupt end when Bill announces that he is moving the family back to the United States. His congenital heart problem is worsening; he wants to be in the care of American doctors when his health begins to fail.
    They move to Long Island, where Channe and Billy are outsiders because of their French childhood. Billy becomes a TV-watching recluse; Channe, to gain acceptance, begins having sex with a variety of boys in the back seats of cars.
    Crisp and succinct in its storytelling, this film focuses on the changing dynamics of a single family -- both as Americans abroad and as parents and teens coping with the shifts that puberty and aging bring. Ivory tells this elliptical story as well as possible, given the sketchy script he co-wrote with Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
    But that sketchiness is a problem. Too much of the film centers on Channe, who is portrayed with little color by Sobieski, a bland presence who can't even summon a decent dose of teen petulance.
    By contrast, Kristofferson, as the rugged and gruffly loving Willis, brings a gravity and humor to an underwritten role. He makes a strong counterpoint to Hershey, as the flamboyant Marcella, who dresses like a vamp and isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with her kids' French teachers.
    In the end, however, "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries" seems like one of those lengthy family stories that are only of interest to other members of the family.


    A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries

    Though the title reeks of melodrama, don't go into A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries expecting a three-hankie tearjerker. After all, this is the world of Merchant Ivory, the producer-director team who gave us A Room With A View, Howard's End, and The Remains of the Day—you know, meticulous period detail and complex, nuanced characters. Their latest literary adaptation is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Kaylie Jones (daughter of World War II novelist James Jones who wrote From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line), which is based in part on her own childhood in the '60s and '70s. There's not a corset in sight; A Soldier's Daughter is filled with halter tops and bellbottoms.
    The film charts the childhood of young Channe Willis (Leelee Sobieski), who grows up with her expatriate family in Paris and experiences major cultural upheaval when they return to Long Island, N.Y., just as she's reaching puberty. Richly textured and subtly played, the film has the melodic complexity of a Serge Gainsbourg album (in fact, the French jazz composer's presence is keenly felt in the casting of his former collaborator, singer-actress Jane Birkin, as a flaky free-spirit).
    In Paris, Channe lives in a bubble of half-assimilation. By night, her parents—gruff, but tender Bill (Kris Kristofferson) and effervescent Marcella (Barbara Hershey)—hold chic Yankee cocktail parties in their spacious apartment; and by day, Channe attends an English-speaking lycee. Even her adopted brother, Benoit (Jesse Bradford), prefers to be called Billy. Channe's closest friends are Candida (Dominique Blanc), the family's fiercely loyal Portuguese maid, and Francis Fortescue (played by teen opera star Anthony Roth Costanzo), her gloriously foppish classmate who's ostracized by the rest of the school. Once back in the States, Channe finds herself an outsider, sexing boys in the backseats of their cars because she can't make real friends. As lost in America as the rest of her family, she must come to terms with both her cultural and her personal identity as her beloved father becomes seriously ill.
    In her first lead role, Leelee Sobieski (who appeared in Deep Impact and co-stars in Stanley Kubrick's upcoming Eyes Wide Shut) is a total natural—she looks like a young Helen Hunt and has a similar knack for underplaying. She's affecting because she's as truthful as the film, which never telegraphs its big emotional moments. Kris Kristofferson is all bluster and heart as the proud papa; his Bill Willis is kind of a cussing Atticus Finch. Similarly, Barbara Hershey projects warmth and vitality as Channe's fun-loving mother. And though he's only in the film's first half, Anthony Roth Costanzo is divine as a flamboyant adolescent too ahead of his time to overcome his self-hatred.
    A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries is destined to appeal largely to art-house crowds. Its elliptical narrative structure eludes the sappy but popular cliches that plague most coming-of-age flicks and period family epics. (It's considerably less heavy-handed and kitschy than Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, but just as rarefied in its appeal.) The film does have its flaws. Some subplots are left dangling and audiences may find it too austere for its own good. But to the credit of Merchant and Ivory, their latest, more contemporary endeavor is also their best picture in a long time (remember Jefferson In Paris or Surviving Picasso?). A Soldier's Daughter is one of the best mosaics of family life on-screen we're likely to see because it's populated by kind, good-hearted characters who are somehow never less than thoroughly intriguing.

    --Kevin Maynard


    'Daughter' a Sensitive Look at Love, Acceptance KENNETH TURAN TIMES FILM CRITIC Friday September 18, 1998


    The first of those is called "Francis," after Paul Francis Fortescue (beautifully played by Anthony Roth Costanza), a flamboyant young man whose close teenage friendship with Channe is threatened when she starts to take a romantic interest in other boys. Again, the awkwardness and entanglements of those years is tricky material to handle well, but Ivory, who's said that in creating this character "I sometimes drew on myself," knows how to make it valid.



    The story begins by portraying Willis and his wife Marcella (Barbara Hershey, as always without vanity), as boozy American expatriates in 1960s Paris. The family's life is shown mostly from the perspective of young Channe (Leelee Sobieski), who is becoming a writer herself. She is befriended by a schoolmate in Paris, a stranger who opens a magnificent, exotic, different world, the self-dramatizing and sexually ambiguous Francis Fortescue (the frighteningly poised Anthony Roth Costanzo), whom Ivory has said he let take over the narrative, identifying with "the clever sissy who knew from the first grade he would take up a 'life of art.'"