Monday, November 16, 2009

OBE obit...

I'll always remember as haunting - not so much compared to what we have these days - opening credits to Callan: "Troubled government assassin David Callan... The downbeat screenplay by James Mitchell, about a killer brought out of retirement for one last job... a bleak antidote to the jet-set secret agent lifestyle popularised by the James Bond films." [BFI Screenonline] The 'Screenonline video and audio content is only available through registered UK schools, colleges, universities and libraries' so if you can watch their offering then all the better; below is the opening credits to the TV episodes, this one appropriately named "Where Else Could I Go?"

Who is Callan?

His weapons are theft, blackmail, murder. The tools of the trade are the knife, the gun and an icy courage no other man possesses. He is the Destroyer.

His ordinariness is his protection. He is a highly-skilled cracksman, a master of unarmed combat, a dead-shot with a pistol. He is a killer. But he looks so much like everybody else he is invisible. It is only when you know him well that you realise his strength, his menace - and his charm.

Format Document for Callan TV series by creator James Mitchell. Taken from the excellent Edited Guide Entry by smij a few years ago.

Veteran actor Edward Woodward has died aged 79 [Obit: BBC] Stage, screen, TV, cabaret, records and radio: the whole hog. I don't just remember Callan: there was the fantastic cult horror film The Wicker Man and I liked the idea of The Equaliser as well, and the silly schoolboy jokes: could your golf club do that? Edward Woodward's wood would.

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Paul said...

Breaker Morant for me because it appeals to my sense that the 'establishment' generally gets things wrong and covers things up to save face.

He was a good actor bur rarely used in his later years on TV apart from the odd appearance.

Span Ows said...

I don't remember seeing it but have just read a write-up. Now I think I'll make the effort. Some things are striking (apart from the obvious political expediency etc):
"Thomas points out to the court that it is impossible to fairly judge men for their behavior under the circumstances of war, where conventional norms do not apply"

"This is a new kind of war for a new century, George. I suppose this is the first time our enemies have not worn uniforms. Some of them are women, some are children, and some....are missionaries."

In the current climate of trials for atrocities in Iraq (without detracting from the fact that many ARE vile atrocities) it bears thinking about a bit.

Paul said...

I can guarantee you will either shout at the screen or sit shaking your head. I won't say anymore to spoil it.

As Elvis Costello once sang, "History repeats the old conceits. The glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues with crocodile tears and a pocketful of tissues."

Beyond Belief from Imperial Bedroom.