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Pete Atkin >> Words >> 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
(Message started by: S J Birkill on Today at 18:49)

Title: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 18:49
Well, I seem to have messed up the thread file in my attempts to edit it. Sorry guys!

Richard wrote:

I was right, Kevin, you really ARE a true screen freak! Great job, fascinating reading. Don't you just love the way Clive manages to cram references to up to three movies into a single line?

Mr Birkill, Sir, surely this learned exposition deserves a place among the other annotated lyrics on the website?

to which I replied:

You bet, Richard!

Thanks Kevin -- good work! But didn't you intend to include your note on No Highway... ? And what about the movies entitled Comin' Thro' The Rye?

I'll add your notes to the Website discography a.s.a.p.


Kevin came back with:


My note on No Highway in the Sky somehow got deleted in the final edit; this is how it read:

No Highway in the Sky (No Highway in the UK) (1951) is a thriller based on a Nevil Shute novel of the same name in which James Stewart plays an engineer working in England who predicts metal stress in a new British aircraft.

As I cannot ever recall seeing a film called Coming Through the Rye - there is in existence somewhere a 1920s silent short with the title, but I doubt that even Clive has seen that one - I thought that I might let that one pass. I think that Clive may have slipped that one in thinking that even if there were not a film which used the Robert Burns song as its title, there should be. Well, it's a theory.


So I replied, dropping everything else into a black hole:


IMDB lists three, in addition to the short. This (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173739/) 1947 UK film fits the period, but it's hardly a classic, so you're probably right.

I'll add the NHitS bit and upload it this evening.


Hope this gets through OK!

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 20:14
Kevin's spectacular exposition is now preserved for all to see at
I'll link it from the Discography pages in due course.


Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 20:42

Well, you have come up with one that's new to me. Although I have been an  longtime admirer of the poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), I never until now knew that there had been an attempt to put any of his life on film. Even if I did,  I'm now none too certain that I would  have wanted to  suffer the pain of watching the decidedly uncharismatic Terence Alexander play Burns.  Mind you, the fact that there are 19 Burns songs in a fifty-five minute film must mean that there cannot be too much time left for Alexander to spoil.

It may well be that Clive did know all about this film  and there is even a possibility that he may,  at some time or other, gone out of his way out of his way to see what it was like.  Of course,  another possibility is that  he may have  caught it as the bottom half of a double bill in a time when all cinemas showed double bills.    

By the by, there is what seems to me to be a good description of the film in the New York Times Movies section http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=87665


Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Secret Drinker on Today at 23:46
Fan-bloody-tastic!  :D

Many, many thanks to you, Kevin for that - funnily enough, after seeing Pete sing Screen-Freak the other night (a most magnificent performance it was too, and I would say one of the highest of highlights at the Maltings - anyone else agree?) I had the same thought, viz: I wonder why no-one's ever annotated the lyrics properly on Smash Flops? And stap me vitals (whatever they are) you've been and gone and done it old son!



Up to 32 degrees by now, I shouldn't wonder  ;)

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Richard Bleksley on 27.10.05 at 00:32
Yes, Paul, having been at the Maltings I agree that Pete's rendition of Screen Freak was brilliant. And I had the same thought as you, as you might have guessed if you've been following the threads that led to Kevin's superb piece of work.

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by BogusTrumper on 24.04.06 at 18:51
Being a poetry fan, I had often wondered........

Should a body meet a body
Coming through the rye,
Should a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Mike Walters on 25.04.06 at 11:05
Made me wonder, as I never had before, why CJ had used this particular phrase - unless, of course, it was just for the rhyme...  An idle glance at the IMDB reveals four films with that title, but none of them appears to be the kind of Hollywood movie that would merit a place in this song.  Mind you, the most recent (1947) does apparently feature Terence Alexander, better known as Bergerac's Charlie Hungerford, as Robbie Burns, which would surely have been worth the price of admission on its own.  

You can see that I've got more important things I should be getting on with today...



Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Richard Bleksley on 25.04.06 at 20:45
Could it possiblly be a reference to The Catcher in the Rye? I've wondered this before, but never actually asked - probably out of embarrassment at having to admit that my ignorance of cinema history is profound enough for me not to know whether or not that famous cult novel of the fifties was ever made into a film.

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Colin Crooks on 27.04.06 at 20:04
I don't believe J.D. Salinger has ever authorised any of his works to be filmed, so I doubt that it's a reference to The Catcher in the Rye.

You may recall that the BBC got into trouble when it did it's top 20 novels series a year or so ago.  They filmed short sections of The Catcher in the Rye to illustrate to program promoting it for the award and got rapped over the knuckles.


Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Jan on 27.04.06 at 20:51
I would have thought that at least one of the films entitled Comin' thro' the rye mentioned on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=coming+through+the+rye would have been known to Clive. In Unreliable memoirs he gives an account of his film going  before he left Australia:
My mother and I still went to every change of programme at both Ramsgate and Rockdale cinemas so we were seeing at least four movies a week...

As the British Monarchy website (!) sayshttp://www.royal.gov.uk/OutPut/Page1852.asp :

The first feature film presented by Royal Command was Cecil Hepworth's production of Coming Through the Rye, starring Alma Taylor, which was shown before Queen Alexandra in the State Dining Room of Marlborough House on 4 August 1916.

Not an insignificant film at the time and appearing presumably in lists of films shown by Royal Command.

The 1947 film was frequently shown on TV during the sixties featuring as it did Molly Weir from the Flash adverts.

It was at the end of the sixties that Clive presented Cinema on ITV, the equivalent of Jonathan Ross's programme now, but much funnier and of course extremely well informed.
I don't recall seeing Clive in the Footlights programmes on TV and so I think the first time I became aware of him was as the presenter of Cinema.

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Jan on 28.04.06 at 07:01
Nothing like Jonathan Ross's programme!

Title: Re: 'Screen-Freak' references (2)
Post by Kevin Cryan on 28.04.06 at 07:34
On the other hand, it may be that Clive felt that Comin' Thro' the Rye is the kind of title that would look good on the cinema hoarding or the marquee.

Films of the time did have titles that sounded as though they were quotations from poems, songs, Shakespeare or the Bible. Think of How Green Was My Valley, Wild in the Country, Clash by Night, Written on the Wind, Nor the Moon by Night, Ill Met by Moonlight,Kings go Forth, Paths of Glory, Orpheus Descending, All Fall Down, Magnificent Obsession, Home From the Hill, Garden of Evil , The Devil at 4 O'Clock , Shake Hands With the Devil , The Good Die Young and Horseman Pass By, all of which titles were filmed but not all of which went under the title I've given - spotting the odd one, or ones, out in that little lot wins you Clive James Screen Freak of the year award.

Kevin Cryan

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