Monday, April 09, 2007

George Cole: Living history

I am watching Diamond Geezer, which is a piece of nonsense put together for David Jason to star in. But what has struck me is the appearance of George Cole, still apparently hale and hearty at the age of almost 82.

It is worth recording what a piece of living British cinema history Cole is. Many people will remember him from Minder in the 1980s or as Flash Harry in the St Trinian's films before that. But his career goes back much further.

His first adult role was in the Powell and Pressburger film Gone to Earth in 1950. This was not their greatest, but you won't find me objecting to something filmed in the Shropshire hills in glorious Technicolor. Before that he appeared as the Boy in Olivier's wartime Henry V.

The only comparable figure I can think of who is still working is James Fox, who starred in his own Ealing Comedy (The Magnet) as a child and later in two of the defining films of the 1960s - The Servant and Performance.

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