I woke up to the very sad news yesterday that the brilliant and charming Richard Attenborough had died. He happily had had a long life and died at age 90. We’ll miss you Dickie!
Of course it got me thinking about his movies, his contribution to British film making and my favourite of all his motion pictures whether he was actor, director or producer. I actually heard on BBC Radio 2 yesterday that he was the first person to persuade lottery funding to donate a percentage to the British film industry and is considered quite a pioneer for his efforts and influence. He also interestingly served in the Royal Air Force, before starring in his first film – In Which We Serve.
My favourite film starring Richard Attenborough is undoubtedly The League of Gentlemen (1960) – a fantastic, comical, very British and clever bank heist movie. Richard played his namesake – Lieutenant Richard Lexy, a communications specialist, ladies man and criminal.
I love him in the film because (as you can see from the above picture) he is very cheeky and mischievous especially when it comes to romance or money! The whole film itself is worth watching, it’s extremely entertaining and hosts a wide range of British actors such as Bryan Forbes and Nigel Patrick. It’s light hearted fun and makes me feel proud to be English. They don’t make them like this anymore.
Another favourite film that I’d like to mention is Whistle Down the Wind (1962) which was produced by Richard Attenborough (though he did also have a small ‘Stephen King’ style cameo) and written & directed by his friend and the aforementioned, handsome Bryan Forbes. The film stars a young Hayley Mills (adorable), Alan Bates and Bernard Lee. It tells a sad story of an on-the-run murderer (Alan Bates) who hides in a barn and befriends some young children who mistake him as the return of Jesus Christ. It’s another fantastic British effort, with acres of English countryside to admire plus cute, village children and a sad, sweet and memorable storyline.
So, thank you for your efforts to British cinema Sir Richard Attenborough, as well your contributions and work for charity and education. You’ll never be forgotten!