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Tom Jones: Good for the careers of the crew


The end of Woodfall
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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To my great regret, the honeymoon, like I said, with Woodfall was very brief and soon after the première of Tom Jones, Tony's next job was in America, and he went off to America to make The Loved One, then he made The Sailor from Gibraltar, also abroad. And, the Genet subject in France, Jean Genet. When he finally came back to England, sort of two years later, the whole nature of the company had changed. He got together with some rather unpleasant people, I won't mention any names. But the whole atmosphere had changed completely. Woodfall had a wonderful family... a bit like Merchant Ivory in it's early days. Everybody was one of the family and the same people worked for him again and again. But, after he came back from America the atmosphere changed and it became rather more hard-nosed and not so friendly at all. And apart from a test for Ned Kelly, which I shot with actors who all became famous, Ian McKellan, Ian McShane, Maurice Roëves, and in the end, of course, it was played by Mick Jagger. That also... the money soon ran out. The money... the enormous amount of money that Tom Jones gathered was cross-collateralised with so many other projects of Tony's that after, I think it was two years, they got onto us and they said in theory you still have some money coming to you but in fact this is the end because it's all been used up. But I don't mind, I was very happy with the result.

Born in Germany, cinematographer Walter Lassally (1926-2017) was best known for his Oscar-winning work on 'Zorba the Greek'. He was greatly respected in the film industry for his ability to take the best of his work in one area and apply it to another, from mainstream to international art films to documentary. He was associated with the Free Cinema movement in the 1950s, and the British New Wave in the early 1960s. In 1987 he published his autobiography called 'Itinerant Cameraman'.

Listeners: Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen is a Canadian who came to Europe to study and never got round to heading back home. He did his undergraduate work at Carleton University (in Biology) in Ottawa, and then did graduate work at the University of Western Ontario (in Zoology). After completing his doctorate at Oxford (in the Department of Zoology), followed with a year of postdoc at the University of London, he moved to the University's newly-established Audio-Visual Centre (under the direction of Michael Clarke) where he spent four years in production (of primarily science programs) and began to teach film. In 1974 Bowden became Director of the new Audio-Visual Centre at the University of Warwick, which was then in the process of introducing film studies into the curriculum and where his interest in the academic study of film was promoted and encouraged by scholars such as Victor Perkins, Robin Wood, and Richard Dyer. In 1983, his partner and he moved to Greece, and the following year he began to teach for the University of Maryland (European Division), for which he has taught (and continues to teach) biology and film courses in Crete, Bosnia, and the Middle East.

Tags: Tony Richardson

Duration: 1 minute, 42 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008