A CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION
IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER
JULIA SAWAHLA as Nina Raymond
|JOAN AND MICHAEL MOLONEY DISCUSS 'HAMLET'..|
Assistant Director - Simon Mosely
Music by Jimmy Yuill
Screenplay by Kenneth Brannagh
Edited by Neil Farrell
Produced by David Barron
Directed by Kenneth Brannagh
|MARGERITE DISCUSSES THE FINER POINT OF CASTING|
(c) 1995 SONY 98MINS B/W DVD / WARNER ARCHIVE
|RECENT DVD FROM WARNER ARCHIVE|
"I don't want any of the major studios telling me what I can or can't do anymore. When I was making 'Frankenstein'. it was a total nightmare! One person would say one thing, then someone else would contradict it. They wanted total control."
Brannagh decided to make the film in b/w on instinct, as he had enjoyed many back stage movies including '42nd Street' and the old Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney films, they suited that look. He was a fan of the Woody Allen films that were shot in b/w.
|JOAN AND JENNIFER SAUNDERS INHALE A HAMLET!|
"We talked about possibly working together.. I often like to cast people who may seem surprising in certain roles. I wanted someone with a real sense of showbiz. That everything that Joe thinks that he wants, is represented by somebody, in this case Joan Collins. That's very easy because she does represent tremendous glamour and a sense of showbiz. But I was rather terrified about working with her to begin with, but found her to be a sweety."
|JOAN WITH KENNETH AT THE LONDON PREMIERE.|
"She was terrific. She has extraordinary film technique. Extraordinary durability. I mean, she's very, very hardworking. If you consider she is always in the public eye, she also attracts, as a result, a great deal of negativity, a great deal of opposition, usually from her own community, rather than abroad. She has that sort of immense staying power, which I would question if I have it or not! She is able to be and act that throughout her career, whereas many others would have destroyed themselves. For me that is just admirable, absolutely admirable and it was a pleasure to work with her."
|UK VIDEO SLEEVE|
"A 'lets put on a show' approach is brought to a provincial church production of 'Hamlet', to deleterious effect in 'In The Bleak Midwinter'. Further evidence that Kenneth Brannagh treads into the 20th century on screen at his own peril. This small scale, putatively comic meditation on the anxieties and joy of the theatrical life says nothing fresh about the artistic process and manages to be coy and grating in doing so. Lack of amusement value and largely no name cast, coupled with deceptive title, spells a bleak B.O season indeed!"
|SIGNED SCREENPLAY BOOK|
"After making 'A Midwinter's Tale', the story of a desperate actor determined to mount a ragtag production of 'Hamlet'. Kenneth Brannagh himself admitted his debt to the old Rooney/Garland movies about a spunky bunch of kids who put on a show using nothing but talent, drive and good morals. He owes an equal debt to Woody Allen, whose stark white on black title sequence he borrowed from. Joan Collins plays the sneering agent and is perfect in the role. She keeps the creaky plot turning, still the performances by the cast, who seem to be having a good time, talking at screwball comedy speed, chewing the scenery and taking pratfalls. Making you want to run out and put on a show!"
The film was retitled 'A Midwinter's Tale' in the USA and was well received. It is a charming film, with weird and wonderful characters, Joan is as stylish and highly watchable as ever. Perfect viewing for a cold winters evening!
(C) 2011 Mark McMorrow ...