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Source: (consider it) Thread: Period Television
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
They don't do it with big houses with their own furniture.

There are practical consideration which can preclude clearing a location and restocking. Even too modern items may be left in as long as it is deemed unlikely to be noticed.

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And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had

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Firenze

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Location sourcing is interesting. I was talking to the custodians of a minor Stately Home once - if you are not a National Trust or Historic Scotland property you need to compete for public attention. They had been vetted for, I think, an Austen adaptation. On the one hand, they had some Chippendale, on the other, the drawing room was adjudged not grand enough. The best they could pull was the possibility of the Hairy Bikers using their kitchen.

But that is by the way. The thing is, those of us born after the invention of the moving picture, and in particular television, have something unique in human history - to be able to look at the past as it happened.

Time was you just had the bards, or the chronicles or the oldest inhabitant - all of them giving a partial or biased version. Of course, TV programmes were made to a particular end, or from a particular standpoint. But there is so much more material, and what it depicts is not necessarily what the makers were thinking of at the time. I find it fascinating.

[ 27. August 2016, 18:32: Message edited by: Firenze ]

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Signaller
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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Since I notice they intend to remake Are You Being Served? Which is odd, considering what an anachronism the department store is nowadays.

I don't think John Lewis would agree with you on that.

And if you go into one of their branches, and try to order (say) some curtains, you are likely to find yourself reliving some of the best episodes.

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Firenze

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Bought a TV off them the other day, didn't find it a problem.

And indeed have been employing the 49" beast to view another Avengers episode. They must, I think, be scanning the original image to get something which fits the modern screen size. The quality is remarkably good. The plot, though, is still resolutely Cold War.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
The accents are another thing. "To speak like a BBC announcer" used to mean cut-glass, clipped posh tones. You only have to listen to someone reading the news back in the day to realize how much things have changed.

Go and listen to Her Majesty's Christmas Broadcast from 1957 (it's on youtube) and compare her accent with one of the recent ones. The differences are quite pronounced.
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Firenze

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
And a table and chairs from Charlotte Despard, an early suffragist, whose furniture was seized by bailiffs and sold to my grandparents.

"It's the Duke of Wellington's bidet. We use it as an ashtray."

(I'm sorry, but it irresistibly suggested another memorable televisual moment. Alan Bennett, 60s satire on metropolitan middle classes - can't remember the name of the programme/series)

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Penny S
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Forgiven. I must be careful. The odd thing is that my grandparents were not middle class, and not likely to be in Mrs Despard's circle, but they were very proud of her furniture. (Grandad was regarded with some doubt by some locals in the village - he organised the local labourers into Joseph Arch's union.)
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Compare her accent ... the differences are quite pronounced.

Well, they would be, wouldn't they??

Seriously, I actually heard a radio programme some time back showing how the Queen's voice has changed over the years; of course the BBC have a great archive to work from!

FWIW someone once told me that I "sounded too posh to be a Baptist minister" - which says something about both perceptions and expectations.

[ 28. August 2016, 08:09: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Firenze

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TV would have increased still further the familiarity with a range of American accents - The Lone Ranger, I Love Lucy, Bilko, Highway Patrol to name but a few stalwarts.

I'm not noticing a great linguistic difference in the programmes I'm watching currently* - except that the minor villains tend to be more cockneyfied, doubtless to indicate that they are Rough Types.

*one had a young Edward Fox - but not sounding any posher than he does to this day.

[ 28. August 2016, 09:37: Message edited by: Firenze ]

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Teekeey Misha
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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
...a young Edward Fox - but not sounding any posher than he does to this day.

That's because Edward Fox hasn't changed at all to this day; he's been playing Edward VIII in every role he's had since he had the role of Edward VIII!

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Firenze

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Tbf, this was prior to Neddy 8. Although he was supposed to be a debauched aristocrat smoking himself to death on opium (albeit looking very well on it).
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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Firenze wrote:
quote:
I'm not noticing a great linguistic difference in the programmes I'm watching currently* - except that the minor villains tend to be more cockneyfied, doubtless to indicate that they are Rough Types.
There are a number of British films of the crime caper genre, presumably of the 30's and 40's, where the actors playing the villians speak their cockneyfied lines in the clipped enunciation they learned at drama school. Once you notice it, it's hard not to stifle the occasional laugh.

Last year we went round Whitchurch mill, which is a preserved silk mill which is still in working order. I was surprised to see that they are regularly commissioned to produce fabrics for the posh frocks of high-value TV historical dramas. An astonishing amount of care seems to be taken to get them right (authentic-looking). It must cost a fortune. Yet when you see the production, it always looks to be of the period it was filmed in. The actors never seem to resemble the photos or paintings of people of that era. Or at least, most of them don't.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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cornflower
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Talking of accents, I absolutely love the way Penelope Keith and Richard Wilson speak. You don't hear that many people speaking quite like that nowadays. Having said that, I love all kinds of accents and dialects, it'd be boring if everyone spoke exactly the same.
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Penny S
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I am now watching, delightedly, 'Get Lost', the precursor of 'Beiderbeck'.

Alun Armstrong instead of James Bolam. I had no idea how long ago it was. Young, with an unruly mop of dark curls. Not quite like Martin Shaw in 'The Professionals'. And flares.

It was packaged to be watched between Disc 3, the 'Tapes' and 5, the 'Connection' - logical, as it is in the latter that reference is made back to tthe missing husband.

[ 30. August 2016, 17:35: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Penny S
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Are the Presbyterians on Prince Edward Island different in their dress from those in the UK? Just watching a newish film (Marilla is too young) in which the minister is wearing a surplice and a stole, which seems a bit high for me.
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Brenda Clough
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I don't think you should ever take what you see on TV or the big screen as historical. Probably the director said, "Dammit, Jim, he doesn't look like a priest. Get him some togs." And they went down to costuming and picked out something that would work with the color scheme. You're lucky they didn't have a Papal miter in stock.

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Gamaliel
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They do get things right at times, however in the recent Jimmy McGovern drama, 'Banished' set in the 1780s Australian penal colony the colony's chaplain was shown acting in a particularly 'Catholic' way - rather unlike any 18th century Anglican clergyman would have acted in real life.

Of course, McGovern grew up in a Catholic family on Merseyside and so would tend to 'catholicise' any of his clerical characters - but a bit of research into the 18th century CofE wouldn't have gone amiss ...

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Yet when you see the production, it always looks to be of the period it was filmed in. The actors never seem to resemble the photos or paintings of people of that era. Or at least, most of them don't.

<tangential>Some people do seem to have historical faces. I used to have a friend who looked like a Pre-Raphaelite model - not that woman with the lips, but there are two other paintings that definitely feature her. I've also worked with someone who looked just like one of those Magdalens out of a medieval illuminated manuscript, the same demure expression, long hair and everything. However people like that have always been in short supply. Most just looked ordinary in their own era and the same would be true today. </tangent>

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Penny S
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I walked into St Agnes Museum to be faced with my best friend staring across a handful of some mining goodies at a fat landowner. Captain Morcom, later to work with Richard Trevethick, I think. But my friend is of Cornish stock. He could work as a period extra in Poldark. Except that he would probably want to examine the mine veins to make sure they were in keeping with the story line.
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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by cornflower:
Anyone remember Harry Worth? I used to love that programme as a kid where he stands by a shop window and raises one leg so that it reflects in the glass.

We all used to do that when we were out and about.

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Brenda Clough
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What throws you off, frequently, is the hairdos and makeup in historical movies. Actresses want to look good by the standards of the modern era, not by how beauty was determined in 1500. It is particularly noticeable when you look at old movies. In spite of the costuming Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth doesn't look Elizabethan -- she looks like a 1940s movie star. Or look at Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. She has 1960s makeup.

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Kelly Alves

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I think the internet/ everyone's a freaking critic age has helped with that, some. When they produced the series Rome, the wardrobe, props and set folk primarily used materials and fabrics that could only be found in period. They even had the indigo merchants running around in crowd scenes with permanent blue arms.
The hair and makeup was also based on period art and what history recorded about stuff like rougue, lip tint, etc.

To contrast-- remember Hot Lips Houlihan and her Farrah Fawcett hairdo?

[ 02. September 2016, 18:47: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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One of the most enticing temptations the devil throws at us is encouraging us to behave precisely like the person we hate.--TomB

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
Ah, the joy of "Blake’s Seven" revisited:

"Where’s Avon?"
"He’s reprogramming the computer."
Enter Avon triumphantly holding up a large screwdriver. "I've reprogrammed the computer."

Whilst in York on holiday I had a conversation with my daughter that went like this:

Daughter: Me and Mummy are going to the chocolate Museum tomorrow whilst you go to church.
Me: (joking) I can't believe that you would rather go to a chocolate museum than to church!
Daughter: No, Daddy, you should say: [Daughter]: Are you going to the chocolate factory? Have you betrayed US? HAVE YOU BETRAYED ME?!!!

I have brought her up so well! [Big Grin]

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Bring back All Gas and Gaiters.


I have bought the boxed set and watched the first one. It struck me how much the world has changed since first broadcast - I cannot imagine it being on mainstream TV now, almost nobody would get the references or jokes.

But an update, now that would be interesting - a sort of Vicar of Dibley gets preferment....

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Baptist Trainfan
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@ Callan (+ daughter):

That's a choice you don't always have to make.

[ 02. September 2016, 21:23: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Brenda Clough
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As to Rome, I was disappointed that it ended so abruptly. It was clear to me (although I have nothing to go on but writerish instinct) that the hero, seriously wounded and possibly dying in northern Egypt, was going to journey slightly to the north and east, and get restored to health by this itinerant Jewish preacher that he runs into on the road.

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ArachnidinElmet
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
What throws you off, frequently, is the hairdos and makeup in historical movies.

That was the objection of a friend of mine to 'The Hour', the BBC drama about TV journalism in the 1950s. The lead character had naturally swinging modern hair, and she remembered the professional women of that period all having solidly-lacquered heads of helmet hair due to all the hairspray. She couldn't believe in the rest of the programme after that.

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'If a pleasant, straight-forward life is not possible, then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres' - Kafka

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Brenda Clough
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Look at the Charlton Heston The Ten Commandments sometime. The main characters (Moses, the Pharaoh) are reasonably accurately dressed, but everybody in the background (have a look at the dancing girls in the Pharaoh's court) are 1950s pin-up girls, hairdo, makeup and all. Here's an image -- you have to slide about halfway down and see the photo of the Pharaoh's wife, in a blue gown and 1950s hair and makeup.

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Anselmina
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Yeah, the Hammer Horror pictures made the make-up/hairdo mistakes. Meant to be Victorian but the ladies all have fabulous 70's up-do's, and glossy, shiney makeup, complete with fake eye-lashes and bright shaded eye-powder. Gorjus!

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Piglet
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Compare her accent ... the differences are quite pronounced.

Well, they would be, wouldn't they??

Seriously, I actually heard a radio programme some time back showing how the Queen's voice has changed over the years; of course the BBC have a great archive to work from!

We had a service when we were in St. John's at which the Princess Royal read a lesson, and, having never heard her speak before*, I was quite surprised at her accent. I spent most of the lesson puzzling who it reminded me of, and then it hit me - she sounded exactly like Glenda Jackson.

[Ultra confused]

* I suppose I must have heard her wedding vows (the first time round) as we watched the ceremony on TV in primary school, but I probably didn't take much notice

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Mili

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One of my housemates has a box set of MacGyver so I have watched quite a few episodes lately. In one episode he teams up with a teen girl genius who has been working on a weapons program with a famous scientist. To begin with the girl doesn't like or trust MacGyver, so he can't access the computer program as she won't give him the password. He eventually works it out by chatting to the girl and realising she feels ugly, so her password must be 'ugly duckling'. Surely a genius would have come up with something a bit more complicated and the US government would have better security for a program that could launch a missile. In the same episode I was quite impressed when MacGyver invented a Sat Nav out of string and chewing gum or similar.

I also like watching Jane Austen and other period movies or series from different eras. The period costumes are so different even though supposed to be from the same time. It's also interesting that beauty standards for men and women have changed. Some of the male actors in particular from the 1970s make disappointing heroes to me, but perhaps they were considered handsome when the series were made.

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Firenze

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quote:
Originally posted by Mili:
Some of the male actors in particular from the 1970s make disappointing heroes to me, but perhaps they were considered handsome when the series were made.

You'd have to say Jason King comes pretty high in the Deargod What Were They Thinking stakes.
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Look at the Charlton Heston The Ten Commandments sometime. The main characters (Moses, the Pharaoh) are reasonably accurately dressed, but everybody in the background (have a look at the dancing girls in the Pharaoh's court) are 1950s pin-up girls, hairdo, makeup and all.

Not as bad as a terrible film I once saw in which Jesus only spoke in quotes from the Authorised Version while the disciples used 1950s American slang. I guess it was meant to be "contemporary" but that its makers felt held back from altering the words of our Lord himself.
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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Mili:


It's also interesting that beauty standards for men and women have changed. Some of the male actors in particular from the 1970s make disappointing heroes to me, but perhaps they were considered handsome when the series were made.

Even up to a decade or two ago, it was still possible to see real, natural coloured teeth on actors who were considered, at the time, the perfection of their sex. Even slight crookedness or non-uniformity was permitted. Nowadays the huge supernaturally glowing gnashers we inevitably see in the mouths of many actors immediately shatters any possibility of believing in period drama.

To say nothing of the almost de rigeur plastic work that makes so many actors - women especially - look almost identical; high cheek-bones, tight skinned, pumped up lips, rectangular chins etc.

There really is a 'look' we have in our day and age that not only wouldn't've been seen in times past, but probably might've been considered almost scarily abnormal.

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Brenda Clough
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The Ten Commandments was tons better than the recent reboot, Moses Prince of Egypt (with Christian Bale in the title role) which covers much of the same Scriptural material. What you can see, comparing the two movies, is what the producers felt they had to add (because of course a movie that took in exactly the account in Exodus and no more would be too short) to make the movie sell to a current audience. The Charlton Heston movie had dancing girls. The Christian Bale version gave Moses a considerable upgrade in status -- prince, really? I wrote a review of the film, could find the URL if there is interest.

As to the evolution of fashions in body type, all you need do is look at George Reeves, Christopher Reeve and then Henry Cavil, all playing Superman. Or for that matter Adam West in the Batman leotards, or the older Tarzan actors. In the old days even a Tarzan could be quite doughy around the middle. These days you had better be ripped, with washboard abs, or they won't even consider casting you.

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Eigon
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Going back to Jason King - my gran fancied him!
She also rather fancied Peter Gordino, as the submarine commander in UFO, whose uniform consisted of tight white trousers and a string vest (there were a few young women in the background in the same string vests, too....)

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Never cruel nor cowardly.
Never give up, never give in.
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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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quote:
Whilst in York on holiday I had a conversation with my daughter that went like this:

Daughter: Me and Mummy are going to the chocolate Museum tomorrow whilst you go to church.
Me: (joking) I can't believe that you would rather go to a chocolate museum than to church!
Daughter: No, Daddy, you should say: [Daughter]: Are you going to the chocolate factory? Have you betrayed US? HAVE YOU BETRAYED ME?!!!

I have brought her up so well! [Big Grin]

A good friend of mine invited me to pray with his family recently - we were on holiday together. I was really impressed by his daughter's reaction on finding out we weren't Catholics - she moved from 'I've just eaten something slightly weird but I'm going to make the best of it' to 'F*CK ME, IT WAS (mature) ROADKILL BADGER' in 0.2 seconds flat.

I was quite impressed that a 13 yr old could feel so strongly. It took a while for her (very RC) Dad to talk her round.

She got her own back by telling me it was OK (as at home) to go up for a blessing at mass...in Poland. A language I do not speak...

[Hot and Hormonal]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Teekeey Misha
Shipmate
# 18604

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I wouldn't swear to it (because I was only half paying attention) but it appears the Queen's costume ball guests in ITV's "Victoria" have just been dancing to a couple of jolly Strauss waltzes almost a decade before he wrote them.

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Misha
Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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Only a decade? That passes for cinematic accuracy.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 20975 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
quote:
Originally posted by Mili:
Some of the male actors in particular from the 1970s make disappointing heroes to me, but perhaps they were considered handsome when the series were made.

You'd have to say Jason King comes pretty high in the Deargod What Were They Thinking stakes.
I love Department S and Jason King, but time has not been kind.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Mili

Shipmate
# 3254

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I'm too young to even know who Jason King is - or maybe his shows were never on in Australia, or at least weren't repeated in the 1980s.

As to teeth, I never really noticed those. I just find the Jane Austen heroes of the 90s and 00s the most attractive and don't find the actors from the earlier adaptions to be good looking enough. Even the cads.

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Callan
Shipmate
# 525

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Originally posted by Brenda Clough:

quote:
As to the evolution of fashions in body type, all you need do is look at George Reeves, Christopher Reeve and then Henry Cavil, all playing Superman. Or for that matter Adam West in the Batman leotards, or the older Tarzan actors. In the old days even a Tarzan could be quite doughy around the middle. These days you had better be ripped, with washboard abs, or they won't even consider casting you.
Not arguing with your general point but, ISTR an interview with Cavil where he revealed that he was told that he didn't have to hit the gym for the role because they could digitally touch him up, as it were. With pardonable male vanity he hit the gym anyway!

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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Yes, CGI can go through and slim down waists and plump up bosoms with no stress at all.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Are the Presbyterians on Prince Edward Island different in their dress from those in the UK? Just watching a newish film (Marilla is too young) in which the minister is wearing a surplice and a stole, which seems a bit high for me.

Anne of Green Gables?

Stole is fine, surplice is right out, for Presbyterians of the period.

Anne of Green Gables is set before 1925 and thus before Church Union.

A common Canadian film conceit is to insert a Methodist minister/church into the film, to make it look 'old'. As the Methodists went into the United Church of Canada whole hog (70% for the Presbies) it's a bit of a dogwhistle if you know what you're looking at.

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NDP Federal Convention, Edmonton 2016: More Trots than the Calgary Stampede!

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
Yeah, the Hammer Horror pictures made the make-up/hairdo mistakes. Meant to be Victorian but the ladies all have fabulous 70's up-do's, and glossy, shiney makeup, complete with fake eye-lashes and bright shaded eye-powder. Gorjus!

Ah, yes. And Hammer also had that crazy ass DayGlo blood that looked like something you'd paint a barn with.

Or am I thinking of Pinewood?

[ 09. September 2016, 00:36: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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One of the most enticing temptations the devil throws at us is encouraging us to behave precisely like the person we hate.--TomB

Posts: 34872 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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I wish they'd re-run Blott on the Landscape which was fantastic. Of course, if you're going to adapt a Tom Sharpe book it does help to have David Suchet and Geraldine James in the main roles...

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Rev per Minute
Shipmate
# 69

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I wish they'd re-run Blott on the Landscape which was fantastic. Of course, if you're going to adapt a Tom Sharpe book it does help to have David Suchet and Geraldine James in the main roles...

I have the DVD - a bit dated in places but still ridiculously funny.

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"Allons-y!" "Geronimo!" "Oh, for God's sake!" The Day of the Doctor

At the end of the day, we face our Maker alongside Jesus. RIP ken

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Bob Two-Owls
Shipmate
# 9680

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I watched Porterhouse Blue the other day, didn't seem too dated but it wasn't as side splittingly hilarious as I remembered it. Still worth a watch though.
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Pine Marten
Shipmate
# 11068

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I wish they'd re-run Blott on the Landscape which was fantastic. Of course, if you're going to adapt a Tom Sharpe book it does help to have David Suchet and Geraldine James in the main roles...

Actually, they did - some months ago, but I can't remember which channel (BBC2...? BBC4...? Er... [Hot and Hormonal] ), but it was quirkily funny.

And I believe it's on YouTube.

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Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. - Oscar Wilde

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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Has anybody mention I Claudius, made by the BBC forty years ago! I have the five disc set and it is so "meaty" that I can't watch more than one episode at a time. Then again, with that cast (Derek Jacobi, George Baker, John Hurt, Sian Phillips, Brian Blessed and Patrick Stewart in a minor role plus many more) and story it was bomb proof.

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When you are dead, you won't even know you are dead. It is a pain felt only by others.

Same if you're stupid.

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