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Donald Pleasence


The Tarrants receiving a phone call

It must be strange to be born to a generation which doesn’t remember ‘domestic’ terrorism in the UK. Whilst ‘the Troubles’ cast a shadow over Northern Ireland for three decades, the spectre of the IRA was a constant threat in mainland Britain. Indeed, we seem to be heading in that direction again. Long before Islamic …

It may come as a surprise to many but there were five different attempts to kill Adolph Hitler during the Third Reich. The first was an obsessed Swiss college student in 1938. This was followed by a beer hall bomb, death in a brandy bottle, a suicide mission and a conspiracy of officers. The latter …

Harold Pinter was one of the most influential and accomplished playwrights and poets of the twentieth century. Whilst he’s best known for his theatrical work, Pinter was also an accomplished screenwriter; adapting several of his own works as well as many by other writers. In 1963, he wrote the treatment of his own play The …

Whilst films like Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Assault on Precinct 13 and They Live firmly established John Carpenter’s reputation as a leading cult director, not all his films are as widely known. Despite attracting hardcore fans, the likes of Village of the Damned, Memoirs of an Invisible …

With a reliable sneer and a chin that looks strong enough to withstand the apocalypse, Kurt Russell was one of the most recognisable faces of ‘80s action cinema. Often cast as the anti-hero, he made a name for himself in a number of cult films. His greatest success came via his work with John Carpenter. …

Dario Argento describes Phenomena as his favourite film. Free from the usual restraining elements of family or collaborators, he allows his imagination and inventiveness to run riot. Whilst this makes for a much more surreal and innovative experience, it’s fair to say that it’s not one of his most cohesive or coherent films he’s made. …

Controversy over his personal life aside, there are few directors with a record of accomplishment over the last six decades as strong as Roman Polanski. Chinatown is one of the best films ever made. Rosemary’s Baby regularly features at the top of horror lists. Then there’s The Tenant, Repulsion, The Pianist, Macbeth and many more. …