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John Mills, over a dozen classic British movies

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stuart.uk
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John Mills, over a dozen classic British movies

Postby stuart.uk » January 22nd, 2008, 1:37 pm

For my opening post I wanted to pay tribute the man, who I consider the greatest of all British actors working in the confines of The British Film Industry.

Mills made an astonishing amount of classic British movies. He supported Robert Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips, playing a former public school pupil now an Officer in WW1. He made the classic propaganda war movie In Which We Serve with Kay Walsh and Noel Coward playing an enlisted sailor. He played William Wilberforce in Young Mr. Pitt, again with Donat (would like to be able to compare it with the recent Amazing Grace, as it has the same main characters, though YMP was a propaganda war movie and AG was about the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire). Mills starred again with Walsh in the David Lean classic This Happy Breed and was in one of the great British war movies The Way To The Stars with Renee Astherson and Rosamund John, playing an RAF Officer. Then he played Pip in Great Expectations with Valerie Hobson

He played Robert Falcon Scott the ill-fated explorer in Scott Of The Antartic and Morning Departure (a film about the death of a group of Officers and sailors on board a damaged submarine. What made the film even more sad was that during filming a real life tragedy involving the same circumstances occured. However, my favourite John Mills performance was as Willy Mossopp in Hobson’s choice with Brenda De Banzie, playing an illiterate cobbler, who De Banzie schools into a top businessman and marries him despite the disapproval of dad Laughton. He teamed with daughter Haley in Tiger Bay, where the youngster gave one of the greatest child performances of all time

Other classics followed Ice Cold In Alex with Sylvia Syms, driving an ambulance across the Middle Eastern dessert. There was the moving Dunkirk with Richard Attenbourgh, Tunes Of Glory with Alec Guinness and Flame In The Streets with Banzie and Syms this time as his daughter. He then won an Oscar for Ryan’s daughter.

In the latter stages of his career more classics followed in supporting roles, Young Winston, The Thirty Nine Steps with Robert Powell and Ghandi

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » January 23rd, 2008, 3:52 pm

I love old movies, my hisband tolerates them but he likes John Mills. Our favorites are Hobson's Choice, Ice Cold In Alex, This Happy Breed, The Family Way and Ryan's Daughter. A very versatile actor :)

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Postby movieman1957 » January 23rd, 2008, 4:01 pm

"Scott of the Antarctic" is one I've always wanted to see. "Tunes of Glory" was something I saw recently and thought he was great in a somewgat unsympathetic role. Guiness was great too. I've also enjoyed him in "The Chalk Garden" and several other things.

Less known for his work here than being Hayley's father is too bad as he is a rare talent.
Chris

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stuart.uk
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Postby stuart.uk » January 23rd, 2008, 4:33 pm

I think too Hayley is better known for her American movies than her British in the States. That's a pity because Tiger Bay and Whistle Down The Wind are IMO far and away her best films. it's also sad that Hayley's latest tv series set on a South African game farm called Wild At Heart isn't seen in America. she plays the leading lady's mum, but she's great in it

if you add up the list of classic British movies John Mills made, which i count at nearly 20. it's a great acheivement!

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Postby charliechaplinfan » January 23rd, 2008, 4:59 pm

He lived to a grand old age too.

I agree those two films with Hayley plus The Family way are a must.

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Re: John Mills, over a dozen classic British movies

Postby inglis » January 24th, 2008, 11:17 am

stuart.uk wrote:For my opening post I wanted to pay tribute the man, who I consider the greatest of all British actors working in the confines of The British Film Industry.

Mills made an astonishing amount of classic British movies. He supported Robert Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips, playing a former public school pupil now an Officer in WW1. He made the classic propaganda war movie In Which We Serve with Kay Walsh and Noel Coward playing an enlisted sailor. He played William Wilberforce in Young Mr. Pitt, again with Donat (would like to be able to compare it with the recent Amazing Grace, as it has the same main characters, though YMP was a propaganda war movie and AG was about the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire). Mills starred again with Walsh in the David Lean classic This Happy Breed and was in one of the great British war movies The Way To The Stars with Renee Astherson and Rosamund John, playing an RAF Officer. Then he played Pip in Great Expectations with Valerie Hobson

He played Robert Falcon Scott the ill-fated explorer in Scott Of The Antartic and Morning Departure (a film about the death of a group of Officers and sailors on board a damaged submarine. What made the film even more sad was that during filming a real life tragedy involving the same circumstances occured. However, my favourite John Mills performance was as Willy Mossopp in Hobson’s choice with Brenda De Banzie, playing an illiterate cobbler, who De Banzie schools into a top businessman and marries him despite the disapproval of dad Laughton. He teamed with daughter Haley in Tiger Bay, where the youngster gave one of the greatest child performances of all time

Other classics followed Ice Cold In Alex with Sylvia Syms, driving an ambulance across the Middle Eastern dessert. There was the moving Dunkirk with Richard Attenbourgh, Tunes Of Glory with Alec Guinness and Flame In The Streets with Banzie and Syms this time as his daughter. He then won an Oscar for Ryan’s daughter.

In the latter stages of his career more classics followed in supporting roles, Young Winston, The Thirty Nine Steps with Robert Powell and Ghandi
Hi Stuart,Welcome! I am a big John Mills fan love all his movies and the ones with his daughter too.I loved Tiger Bay and The Chalk Garden.He is not an actor that gets talked about too much at least not alot on TCM so its good that he is a topic here and all about his films.My parents were from Scotland ,my Dad from Brechin and my Mom from Breich just outside of West Calder . I have been to Dundee and have enjoyed a few trips across the pond to Bonnie Scotland.Nice to have you on board.

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knitwit45
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Postby knitwit45 » January 24th, 2008, 11:35 am

I think my favorite John Mills movies are "Goodbye Mr. Chips" (small role) and "Swiss Family Robinson". I could understand why Dorothy Maguire would want to stay on a desert island with him :oops: :oops:

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Postby stuart.uk » January 24th, 2008, 12:32 pm

thanks for your kind welcome. they say it's a small world Brechin is only about 20 miles from where i stay. i drive there often. you maybe remember when Dundee United were one of the best football teams in Europe. it's not the case now i'm afraid though they're playing better these days. i've often thought the story of Dundee born Missionary Mary Slessor would make a good movie. after working in the jute mills, she traveled to Africa, i think of her own back, to spread the Gospel and help the natives

Nancy-I'm ashamed to say i forgot about Swiss Family Robertson, not to mention Hayley's best adult film The Family Way. BtW there's two vidoe clips for you to watch if you like under my Tommy Steele thread. It's of the double act i was telling you about. John was kind enough to find a dance routine with Diana Rigg and by i got the other one on myself

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Postby markfp » January 29th, 2008, 3:11 am

Stuart, you have great taste, John Mills is one of my very favorite British actors. All I can say is that he one of the best.

I mentioned in the "what are reading" thread over on the General Chat forum that I just finished reading his autobiography "Up In The Clouds, Gentlemen Please" which was published in 1981. This is a terrific book and if you've never read it you should search it out. It's out of print, but I shouldn't think you'd have much trouble finding a used copy over there.

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » January 29th, 2008, 9:33 am

We know Mills was a great actor and did wonderful work in some "big" movies, but I just love Mills in The Family Way, which is definitely a "small" movie. His portrayal of the inarticulate, working class parent, with so much wisdom to impart but so few words to express it, is just wonderful. I like the movie, and I think Mills Senior is the best thing in it.

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mills

Postby melwalton » January 29th, 2008, 8:12 pm

I thought he was very good in 'the Wrong Box'. He and Richardson made a good comedy team.

stuart.uk
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Postby stuart.uk » January 30th, 2008, 3:36 pm

must say a word to about Hayley Mills. she's terrific, particulary in comdey situations, in her new series Wild At Hart, playing Amanda Holden's screen mum, in a series about a family on an African game farm. i just noticed recently one of it's themes is its four generation of women. Hayley's the glam jean wearing granny (and i mean glam) Amanda the daughter, there's Holden's adult step daughter and Amanda's own school girl daughter

Hayley is in great form. last week she was helping her daughter clean out a pool. this wasn't an enjoyable job and in a heated arguement her daughter hastily sacks her mother. Hayley responds by getting a job a s deputy manager of a rival game farm where she accidentally gets an employee the sack which causes a strike. then we see her trying to run the restaurant single handed from the kitchen to the dining tables. then she's instructed to drive guests around the game farm. she crashes right beside some Lions. to be fair she does the right thing, gets everyone under her landrover and calls her vet son in law for help with her mobile.

i don't know why it's not shown in the U.S. it's not just Hayley, but the shows star Stephen Tompkinson gave a great performance in acclaimed movie Brassed Off and played a Headmaster having an affair with one of his pupils in the last acclaimed Prime Suspect, so he won't be a total unknown in America

in the UK Juliet Mills did some work before she came to the US. as an infant she played John Mills son in In Which We Serve. however, it was the early 60s she really got started with two Carry On spin offs which if anything where better than the usual COs. she played a Nurse in Twice Around The Daffidil, a comedy about a T.B hospital. then i think her best Brit movie Nurse On Wheels. where she played a district nurse in a small village, who gets around in a mini car. Ronald Lewis, the lovely Joan Sims and Ronald (son of Leslie) Howard also starred. she did do Naval Carry On, but i can't remember title.

In America i loved her in The Rare Breed and The Cracker Factory as again a nurse who helps alcholic Natalie Wood overcome her demons

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Postby stuart.uk » January 30th, 2008, 3:42 pm

for those who love The Family Way, here's a link to a show from the 80s starring Welsh actor Hywel Bennet

Cult TV - Reviews - Shelley Series 3
Hywel Bennett is back in more job-dodging adventures from Network DVD ... This season sees Shelly and long suffering girlfriend Fran (Belinda Sinclair) move ...

www.cult.tv/index.php?cm_id=1011&cm_type=article · 28/01/2008 · Cached page

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Postby mrsl » January 30th, 2008, 4:16 pm

Hi Stuart:

That show you describe with Hayley Mills sounds delightful. You said:
"I don't know why it's not shown in the U.S." That's a good question. The U.S. TV powers that be seem to think we are more interested in this reality crap than in a fictional story/plot/family driven program. A couple of years ago, one of the cable stations ran an Australian show about a family of girls living on a station (ranch) in the outback. It only lasted two or three years but it was well written and interesting to learn how similar things are done there as opposed to here. It was cancelled however and replaced with some reality garbage.

Anne
Anne


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jdb1

Postby jdb1 » January 30th, 2008, 5:03 pm

Stuart, we had Shelly here - two series of it. First, when Shelly, with a PhD in a depressed economy, couldn't find a job (he wound up working at a fast food place, I think?), and the other when he came back from years of teaching in Saudi Arabia and found everyone prosperous and money-obsessed. I enjoyed it a lot and harbor a hope that one of our public stations will run it again some time.


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