Shepperton Babylon Epub Ê Hardcover

Shepperton Babylon ➫ [Ebook] ➦ Shepperton Babylon By Matthew Sweet ➶ – This is a wonderful secret history of British movies that includes the scandals the suicides the immolations and the contract killings the product of thousands of conversations with veteran film maker This is a wonderful secret history of British movies that includes the scandals the suicides the immolations and the contract killings the product of thousands of conversations with veteran film makers Here you'll meet among many others the s film idols snorting cocaine from an illuminated glass dance floor on the bank of the Thames the model who escaped Soho's gangsters to become the ueen of the nudie flicks and the genteel Scottish comedienne who at the age of fifty five reinvented herself as a star of exploitation cinema and fondly remembers 'the one where I drilled in people's heads and ate their brains' Welcome to the lost worlds of British cinema.

10 thoughts on “Shepperton Babylon

  1. GoldGato GoldGato says:

    Although the title of this book would infer that the main subject is Shepperton Studios one of Britain's film production sites it's really a general history of British film with an emphasis on the silents and the mid century golden age The majority of silent movies produced by the British film industry are gone forever with few remembering the stars and directors who made them Since I knew next to nothing about these with the exception of the Hitchcock silents the reading was most interestingThe stories show excellent research and several in person interviews with some of the centenarians now gone And as with the notorious stories of the Hollywood Silent Era there were eual amounts of tragedy across the pond John Marlborough East was voted the Greatest British Film Player in 1916 yet just eight years later he was forgotten and died an agonizing gangrenous death after stepping on a rusty nail Anita Fay Tipping was a background dancer who was sitting in Donald Calthrop's dressing room when she accidentally set herself on fire and died after ten hours of burnt pain Others died in alcoholic misery either all alone or in small nursing homes completely forgotten by filmgoersThis was engrossing throughout but not always for the right reasons which is why I deducted one star from my rating There are errors Marion Davies was NOT Hearst's wife and the crude snarky comments exhibited against some folks come across as plain meanRichard Attenborough was born for sleaze and terrorDirk Bogarde was a sullen savage unpredictable entityJohn Mills was Britain's universal grandfatherJ Arthur Rank was acting on instructions from GodOthers are derided for their height or age Not a good look no matter how dedicated the author is to his subject matter However there were always fascinating tidbits to learn Having always wondered how the ODEON movie theatres were named I learned it was an acronym for 'Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation' And then there was the tale of the film crew that drank all the booze from a local pub in Turville Since it happened during WWII and war restrictions prevented the landlord from replenishing his supply he ended up committing suicide rather than face the anger of the thirsty localsThanks to this book I have already started to watch some old British flicks so something good did pop out from these pagesBook Season Spring downpours and bright spells

  2. Belle Belle says:

    If you're looking for a serious history of British Film making then I wouldn't recommend this book but if you already have some knowledge and you're interested in the gossip then you would probably enjoy it This was a book club choice and therefore not something that I would have chosen myself however I did look forward to reading it The problem for me was that the author assumed the reader had than a basic knowledge already and I didn't There's lots of interesting information lots of people names anecdotes gossip and titilation Just because of the sheer volume of people mentioned you do need to concentrate to remember who was who Whilst I enjoyed the author's humour sometimes I did find his writing style a little heavy going with many very long sentences I got fed up having to freuently look up words so I stopped doing it which I wish I had done sooner as it was no longer such a slog once I was able to make unfettered progress The author was very forthright in his criticism opinions and praise He wasn't afraid to be honest or disagree with others His research was thorough and he did point out that he had watched all of the movies available I thought some of his personal comments about people were unnecessary and sometimes came across a little mean I'm no Norman Wisdom fan but his interview was just such an example On a positive he did interview many forgotten stars from the silent movie era who have since died so that their memories were recorded I found much of the book particularly the interviews a bit sad to be honest but fascinating in that people haven't really changed The uest for fame and coping with the loss of it exploitation gossip drugs alcohol nepotism and media manipulation are still the same issues a hundred years later This book isn't a complete history as it ends in the early 1980's Some movies are mentioned in passing but not discussed at all in particular those of the 1960's; A Taste of Honey and Kes for example I had heard of but were both brushed aside Cathy Come Home wasn't even mentioned Compared to the earlier decades I found the author's appraisal of the 60's and to a lesser extent the 70's far less documented which was disappointing

  3. Isidore Isidore says:

    Read this book and discard forever the idea that the denizens of British cinema were in any way less colourful or bizarre than their Hollywood counterparts Sweet doles out gossip hard fact and criticism in judicious proportions His writing is delightful whether he is describing movies as a window into the lives of the dead or sketching an unforgettable portrait of J Arthur Rank He was a tall bulky man whose crumpled face and pendulous nose gave him the appearance of a proboscis monkey emerging from an old paper bag His interviews with film makers from as far back as the early 1920s preserve insights which would otherwise have been lostHowever since his subject is the LOST worlds of British cinema he intentionally scants the very familiar in favour of the obscure for example there is little here on the Ealing comedies and much on forgotten exploitation movies of the 1960s and 70s Nevertheless I can scarcely imagine a entertaining introduction to the history of British film

  4. Graceann Graceann says:

    I learned so much from this deeply researched interesting primer on the heyday of British film with a chapter or two thrown in about its decline I often got lost given that I'm almost completely illiterate on this specific subject matter and because I'm used to a linear storytelling method which this isn't but I'm sure I'll be dipping back into this when I want to remind myself of specific information Matthew Sweet writes in such an engaging often amusing style I found myself jotting random uotes of his into my book journal just because they made me laugh He suggests that one of his interviews felt like he was in a hostage situation and he worried that perhaps his later affection for his interviewee might be a symptom of Stockholm Syndrome than of the person becoming nicer or interesting So many fun tidbits to be found here for instance did you know that ODEON is an acronym for Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation? Me neither I also learned that people in the age group I was in when this book was released look down their noses at Ealing comedies as it happens I uite like them but I don't know if that's because I'm a contrarian or because I was born in the States There is a lot to be said for the cultural lens through which we view film or any other media for that matter Get the book invest in lots of post its or a book journal so you can point yourself to the interestingengaging bits of information and maybe set your DVR for movies featuring Donald Cathrop or early James Mason Once you've read what Matthew Sweet has to say about these folks and many others you may find yourself watching these with new or renewed interest

  5. Andrea Pryke Andrea Pryke says:

    Long ridiculed as being insignificant by the rest of the film making world Matthew Sweets investigates this history of British film the majority of which very few remain and the silent stars unlike some of their American counterparts are sadly completely forgottenShepperton Babylon unlike Hollywood Babylon Kenneth Anger is not full of over blown and made up scandal of course there is scandal but it is dealt with in a matter of fact and responsible waySweet talked to those who were still living that remembered those days or when they were no longer living their descendentIt is an interesting look at British cinema from the early days to the early 80s sexplotation industry that took over from the film making of the 50sToday British film is stronger than it has ever been and it is a shame that many of these films are lost and the stars forgottenAlthough very interesting the book is very dense and sweet skips over perhaps one of the most famous British Actresses – Diana Dors but focuses mainly on the male stars which is a shame and bemusing as she was the glamour movie star of 50s BritainInteresting read but the definitive book on British Cinema has yet to be written 

  6. CuteBadger CuteBadger says:

    I'd been meaning to read this book for a while as I enjoy books about the history of popular culture There's lots of information in here so it took me a while to read and it manages to deal with sometimes shocking and sensational events without resorting to tabloid style attitudes It's a good solid look at the history of British film and at the people who worked in the industry A definite must read for anyone interested in film

  7. Andrewh Andrewh says:

    The slightly forced title aside this is a very different book from Ken Anger's archly cynical romp through the sleazy bywaters of Hollywood lore this is a wonderful witty entertaining book It is in fact an impassioned defence of British cinema kicking back against the critical dismissal of the home produced product championed by both foreign step forward M Truffaut and domestic critics Rachel Low is a highlighted as a particular villain here as the author of the definitive history which is mainly critical and making the case for a series of hidden gems from the silent era onwards through to the exploitation era though even Sweet struggles to make a case for the 80s It is also littered with great interviews and anecdotes with 'stars' producers and directors the general tone is generally one of warm affection allied to geekish knowledge and sophisticated awareness of the literature and filmography So suck it up Francois

  8. John John says:

    Of course the subject is inherantly interesting but what makes this a wonderful book is Matthew Sweet's writing I listen to him on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking when ever he presents and have noticed he's at his best when truffle hunting the obscure forests of British pop culture Listen to the great show on Hitchcock's Blackmail or the forays into the sualid film genre of British sit coms of the 70s transferred to the screen On the Buses Steptoe and Son etc Sweet's a master of the upbeatdownbeat riff They brought mayhem to the streets of Walton on Thames There's also something compassionate about his writing and though many of the characters in the early days of British cinema were frankly venal he aways gives them their due as if they just couldn't help themselvesMy favourite story from many is the man who needed to film a shipwreck and so spent two months filling a tank in his backyard in Finchley with water from a tapeat that Spielburg

  9. Cade Metz Cade Metz says:

    Don't let the clever title fool you Yes it plays off Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon but this is a serious history of British Cinema Call me strange but I love British Cinema I wouldn't recommend the book unless you already have an interest in Britiish film but if you're as strange as I am this is a must read

  10. Simon Simon says:

    An excellent book if somewhat incomplete as a general reference text on British cinema no Will Hay Jack Hulbert etc? Full of bracing anecdotes and sound stage intrigue Despite Sweet's attempts to find a social studies value in the glut of low rent 70's sex comedies the later chapters make for grim reading as the state uality and cachet of British cinema decline

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