Principal Characters: Film Players Out of Frameby Christopher Neame, Ronald Neame (Foreword by), Sir Sydney Samuelson (Foreword by)
As the grandson of actress Ivy Close and son of director Ronald Neame (Straight from the Horse's Mouth; Scarecrow, 2003), Christopher Neame's roots in the film business were already firmly established by the time he joined the family profession. In his first memoir, Rungs on a Ladder, Neame gave readers an insider's look into a number of productions of the 1960s and 70s produced by Hammer Studios. Christopher followed this with A Take on British TV Drama, in which he recounted the challenges and rewards of working on some of the most distinguished works of British television, including The Flame Trees of Thika, Monsignor Quixote, and Danger: U.X.B. In Principal Characters, Neame fills in the gaps of his illustrious career by providing brief intimate portraits of the many important film figures he has worked with. In this charming collection of anecdotes, he asks and answers questions about the stars, who reveal both their carefree and vulnerable moments alike: Was Richard Harris really such a hell-raiser as a young man? What was Peter Sellers like to work with? How did Robert Mitchum find himself in trouble? How many faces did Alec Guinness have? What was behind Peter O'Toole and a bomb threat in Paris? Looking behind the camera lens, Neame captures director Karel Reisz (This Sporting Life) wearing a producer's hat, marvels at cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth 'painting' Cabaret with light, discloses Kenneth Tynan's unusual predilection, and weighs in on the culinary skills of Ismail Merchant (A Room with a View). Throughout these accounts, Christopher looks both acutely and often amusingly at many who are household names, and when he feels it is appropriate to do so, he doesn't pull punches. This work is a fitting conclusion to an autobiographical "trilogy," and will be of interest to all those curious about the film industry and especially the stars and directors Christopher Neame has worked with over the years.
Meet the Author
Christopher Neame spent a number of years working on Hammer horror classics of the 1960s and 70s, which he recounts in his first book for Scarecrow Press, Rungs on a Ladder (2003). His venture into television drama led to work on many memorable classics, which he recounts in A Take on British TV Drama (Scarecrow, 2004). Principal Characters is his third title for Scarecrow.
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