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Archive for the ‘Somebody Make a Film About’ Category

A couple of weeks ago I saw King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Guy Ritchie’s cockney geezer take on the legend.  While not as bad as has been reported (I actually enjoyed it) it was all a little pointless.  An over told story that more often than not disappoints on screen.  The worst of the film was trying to shoehorn elements of the legend into the directors vision.  Surely it would have been better to tell a new original dark ages story?  Even better tell a real one. William Marshal coat of arms

The battle of Lincoln (or to be precise the second battle of Lincoln) took place on 20 may 1217 between the forces of Henry III of England (an eleven year old child at the time) and (the future) Louise VIII of France.  The child kings forces were led by his Regent William Marshal.  The 70 year old Marshal was reported to be at the centre of the action and fought fiercely despite his age, this helped cement his reputation as the “best knight that ever lived”, a eulogy originally bestowed by the English Cardinal Stephen Langton.  Marshal’s was successful and set the ensured that Henry reigned for another fifty years and preventing the future king of France from taking the English throne. The battle of Lincoln

William Marshal, grew up during The Anarchy in the 12th century, and was held hostage by King Steven to help ensure the loyalty of his farther John Marshal.  He went on to spend his adolescence in Normandy in the household of William de Tancarville.  In 1168 while in his early 20’s he earned Royal Favour, he was involved in and ultimately injured and captured in a skirmish following an ambush.  Before injury and capture he fought fierce rearguard action allowing the escape of some of the party. His bravery help earn him favour with his captors who fed him and dressed his would.   His ransom was paid by Eleanor of Aquitaine (Queen consort of Henry II of England) resulting in him rejoining the court of King Henry II. heath ledger a knight's tale

He went on to receive the title of Earl of Pembroke through marriage.  He spent many years as champion tournament competitor, and was an inspiration for Heath Ledger’s character, William Thatcher, in the movie A Knight’s Tale.tomb of William Marshal

In 1216, he was appointed Regent and protector for the nine-year-old Henry III, and regent of the kingdom.  He continued in the role until his death three years later.  He was invested into the order of the Knights Templar on his deathbed and was subsequently buried in the Temple Church in London, his tomb remains there to this day.

This is a brief snapshot of an incredible life, and surely one that deserves a movie. 

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I normally try to avoid writing anything political on this site, however once in a while some things shouldn’t be left unsaid. Films unlike any other art form (with the possible exception of music) have the ability to inform, educate and provoke debate at the same time as entertaining.  That is why on this day, 50 years after the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a dream” speech, I can’t help thinking someone should make a film about this important turning point in history.  A film to inform those unaware of the history and to remind the rest of how far we have come and how far we sadly still have to go.march on washington martin luther king jr

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

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Later this year we will see the movie Rush directed by Ron Howard about James Hunt and Niki Lauda and their rivalry throughout the 1976 Formula One season. A season whose outcome owed as much to behind closed doors tribunals as it did to races on the track, but one was often mentioned in commentary throughout the 1980’s when I started watching F1 racing. This got me thinking of other racing drivers who could have movies made about them. The obvious choice is national hero and “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship” Stirling Moss, however he isn’t actually the most interesting Moss. That would be his less well known, his sister Pat Moss who had a successful rally career through the 1950’s and 60’s.Rush

Taught to drive by her brother at the age of eleven, then in 1953, aged just 18 she started driving in club rallies, a year later she bought a Triumph TR2 and started taking on more serious rallies. She approached Standard-Triumph for sponsorship for the 1955 RAC Rally. They offered to supply a car but no cash. Already having a car she walked away, their loss!

Moss and Moss

BMC offered her a place as a works driver and gave her expenses and a works MG TF 1500. She went on to achieve 4th place in a Morris Minor of all things in a 1958. Her finest hour came in 1960, having already achieved 4th Place at Belgium’s Liège-Rome-Liège Rally to years earlier, she won the over-all title. She won several ladies events including five European Ladies’ Rally Championships but continued to race against men. Her race results include 2nd at the Coupe des Alpes, 2nd in the British RAC and 3rd at the East African Safari Rally. The success of the Mini Cooper is well know, what is often overlooked was its first victory. It wasn’t a man in the more famous Monte Carlo Rally, it was Pat Moss at the Netherlands Tulip Rally.pat-moss-erik-carlsson1

Moss sadly died of cancer, aged 73 five years ago. She married fellow rally driver “Mr. Saab” Erik Carlsson in 1963, she contined to race for a further decated for Ford, Saab and Lancia. The pair had a daughter, now a successful show jumper, Susie Rawding. In 1967 she wrote a memoir The Story So Far that could form a basis for any movie project. Suggested casting, Emily Blunt as Pat Moss.Emily Blunt Pat Moss

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