Thursday, 1 March 2012

Rhyl to Reel - Celluloid Cymru

St. David's Day is here again, providing a perfect excuse for the Taffy that dwells at the molten core of ERH to reword a few Wikipedia entries and let rip with a rundown of our Hollywood-meets-Hollyhead silver screen heroes...

Rhyl to Reel - Welsh on Screen

Richard Marquand
Uncle George’s Return of the Jedi directorial avatar/custodial prank monkey had a mixed non-Force career that took in such superior, tightly ratcheted suspensers as Eye of the Needle and Jagged Edge, and musical no-nos Birth of the Beatles and pre-Wilburys Dylan farrago Hearts of Fire – a film describe by one of ERH’s most esteemed colleagues as ‘a feedback howl of piss’. Died age 49, poor bugger.
Taffiest moment: Introduction of short, swarthy, querulous rubes the Ewoks into the Star Wars universe.
Welsh/10: 5
See also – Ex-pat chop-sockey director of The Raid, Gareth Evans

Richard Burton
Gold standard garbler, gold label boozehound and gold star Anthony Hopkins impersonator best remembered for such classics as The Klansman, Staircase, Massacre in Rome, The Wild Geese: Operation Sun City and Hammersmith is Out.
Taffiest moment: Gamboling through the 1954 radio adaptation of Under Milky Wood by Daley Thompson
Welsh/10: 9
See also - Anthony Hopkins, naturally.

Terry Jones
Everybody’s third favourite Python remains an enduring fixture on the comic landscape - as mountainous, disheveled and unchanging as Snowdon. Often found ceebrating in such English scourges as Vikings, dragons, badgers and students, Jonesy’s mile-wide anarchic streak often finds him sticking it to John Bull.
Taffiest moment: Creating cartoon series Blazing Dragons?
Welsh/10: 7
See also - Peter Baynham

Peter Greenaway
Well, you could blow ERH down with a feather! Classico-Formalist doyen/Quantel Paintbox bellwether Greenaway turns out to be a son of Newport!
Taffiest moment: N/A in any way
Welsh/10: 0
See also - Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain director Christopher Monger.

Jimmy Sangster
Hammer Horror script-minstrel Sangster revitalized the fortunes of the ailing studio with beefy reinterpretations of Dracula and Frankenstein. Later shifted into the director’s chair for Lust of a Vampire, reckoned by its star Ralph Bates to be “one of the worst films ever made.” Passed away last year.
Taffiest moment: ERH is a bit of a shithouse when it comes to horror, so has no idea.
Welsh/10: 3..?
See also - Tailor of Panama/Bridget Jones screenwriter Andrew Davies

Stanley Baker
Valley boy Baker was a staunch Celt, dedicated to heavy smoking, left-wing politics, rugby-football, gambling, intransigence (offscreen as well as on, it would appear), beetling brows and – as exemplified in Zulu – a total refusal to look hard facts and overwhelming odds in the face!
Taffiest moment: As Lt. John Chard of the 24th Foot Regiment at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in Zulu.
Welsh/10: 10
See also - Timothy Dalton

Rachel Roberts
A bit of a girl, La Roberts! A wild personal life almost overshadowed exceptional turns in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, This Sporting Life and Picnic at Hanging Rock. A troubled, lusty boozer possessed – by all accounts – with the lexicon of a Tourettic docker, Roberts had it all, but blotted her Celtic copy-book somewhat by marrying English upper-class twit Rex Harrison.
Taffiest moment: As ‘Pat, Pregnant Inmate’ in 1954’s The Weak and the Wicked..?
Welsh/10: 7
See also - That Zeta-Jones woman.

Rhys Ifans
Born in ERH’s home-town of Haverfordwest, Ifans’s rangy lunacy and willingness to do absolutely anything for money has seen him beat the Hollywood ‘Oddball Du Jour’ revolving doors at their own game. Cold-blooded baddie duties for the witheringly unnecessary Spiderman reboot should see him hitch up yet another rung in Tinseltown’s estimations.
Taffiest moment: Once a member of impenetrable wigged out North Walian surf blizzards Super Furry Animals.
Welsh/10: 7
See also - John Rhys-Davies

Michael Sheen
To tic-propelled prestige pictures and mid-price vampire schlockers what Ifans is to bonehead blue-collar capers and multiplex shelf-fillers, Sheen – an OBE (for services to look-a-likey agencies), no less – has parlayed an enviable talent and a great screen beard into the Maltese Falcon of cinematic intangibility - a part in an upcoming – and, naturally, as-yet-unnamed - Terence Malick project.
Taffiest moment: He was in The Four Feathers. That sounds a bit Welsh.
Welsh/10: 8 – ERH saw him in the street once and he looked wild-eyed pissed and had egg down the front of his Iron Maiden t-shirt.
See also - Kevin Allen

Ray Milland
Little introduction necessary for the Oscar-winning star of flop-sweat boozehound classic The Lost Weekend, as well as Dial M for Murder, Frogs and 1951’s Rhubarb!.
Taffiest moment: Certainly not ‘King Lothar’ in Ambassador Bill.
Welsh/10: 6
See also - Jonathan Pryce

Ivor Novello
He of the Novello Awards for songwriting – amongst this year’s winners of which, and proving the age-old maxim that everything that rises will converge… in a cataclysm of kaleidoscopic sky-shit, were Tinie Tempah and Plan B – was also a matinee idol best-remembered for Hitchcock’s The Lodger.
Taffiest moment: Was named Ivor. That’s more than enough for us.
Welsh/10: 5
See also - Roger Rees

Christian Bale
Another of Haverfordwest’s finest, the committed, driven perfectionist/effusively rude and off-puttingly strange Bale is Batman. That is all.
Taffiest moment: 'Mandras, a Greek Fisherman' in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Welsh/10: 6
See also: Luke Evans

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