Monday, April 13, 2015

David Hemmings and Robert Powell in Daventry

"People thought I was dead, but I wasn't. I was just directing the A-Team."

That was how David Hemmings described his career in the 1980s in an interview he gave a couple of years before he died.

But at the start of the 1970s Hemmings promised to be an interesting director of British films.

His second film The 14 used to be Youtube and is now available on DVD. It starred Jack Wild and (at the very start) June Brown.

But his first, Running Scared, seems to have all but disappeared. Hemmings' Guardian obituary described it as "an ambitious, if ultimately flawed, exercise in psychological tension, made in an elliptical narrative style seemingly influenced by Antonioni". Antonioni was the director of Blow-Up, the film with which Hemmings is most identified as an actor.

Yet the other day I came across footage of Running Scared being filmed. It is on the Media Archive for Central England site.

I cannot embed it here, but if you follow the link and you will see Hemmings directing his wife Gayle Hunnicutt and Robert Powell in the centre of Daventry.

It would be interesting to see Running Scared, not least because some of it was shot on the Grand Union Canal at Braunston, also in Northamptonshire.

And at least one print of it does exist. In 2011 Braunston Cinema Club somehow located one and showed it in the village hall.

An article in the Daventry Express at the time says it took 600 emails and phone calls and letters across five different countries to find that copy in the USA.

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