Monday, 29 May 2017

Roger Moore and his tailor

Doug Hayward
Douglas Frederick Cornelius Hayward (5 October 1934 – 26 April 2008), was an English tailor, who dressed many famous people during the 1960s. The inspiration for customer Michael Caine's characterisation of his role in the 1966 film Alfie, he was also the model for client John Le Carre's Harry Pendel, aka The Tailor of Panama.

Born in Kensington, West London, Hayward and his brother grew up in Hayes. His father cleaned heating boilers for the BBC and worked a second job cleaning buses in Uxbridge; while his mother worked during World War II in a munitions factory. Hayward won a scholarship to Southall Grammar School. He had had a trial at inside-left for the Middlesex county football team, but lost out to future England captain Johnny Haynes who was also a left footer.

An unfocused rebel, Hayward left school at 15, looking for a white-collar job:
“We didn't have a careers master, but I found a booklet which listed possible occupations. I went down the list and when I got to T for tailor, I thought: "I don't know any tailors. I can't ever be judged as being a bad or a good one, so I'll be a tailor."        ”
Apprenticed to a Shepherd's Bush Green tailor who visited the flats in Cadogan Square, where his uncle was a caretaker. During this period he worked a summer in Clacton-on-Sea as a Butlins Redcoat, and after finishing his apprenticeship served his National Service in the Royal Navy, an experience he later admitted got him focused.

Returning to civilian life, he continued working for his original employer, but also started after hours work on his own creations. Early clients like Peter Sellers, Terence Stamp and lyricist Herbert Kretzmer, came through his excellent theatrical links at the local theatre, the BBC's Lime Grove Studios, or through his first wife, Diana, sister-in-law of film director Basil Dearden.

Unable to gain a cutters job on either Savile Row or even Oxford Street due to his accent, Hayward then joined fellow showbiz specialist tailor Dimitrio Major, based in Fulham. It was here that he developed a service mentality, driving his Mini Countryman estate car to allow him to attend customers wherever required, including Richard Burton at the Dorchester Hotel.

Hayward first set up on his own operating out of a small room in London's Pall Mall, before moving to 95 Mount Street in Mayfair in 1966 where he lived above the shop which soon became a club for his famous clients. In the rear was the cutting room overlooking the Mount Street Gardens.

His weekend home was on the Oxfordshire estate of client and friend Lord Hambleden, near Henley on Thames); Described by many as like a gentlemen's club, the shop acted as a hub for all of Hayward's clients when in London. Tea or something stronger was often served and the coffee table was littered with autographed copies of books written by writer clients including Joseph Heller who wrote Catch 22 Doug's favourite book. There was also a collection of teddy bears, a gift from his client Ralph Lauren, whose later Purple Label line was inspired and advised by Hayward. but Hayward's best pal was his Jack Russell terrier Burt who had his own made to measure suits. Client Michael Parkinson said of the shop:

“              Hayward ran the best salon in London. Anybody who's anybody was there. It soon became apparent in the 1970s that everyone that was in town to do the show would visit there. I met Alec Guinness there and Tony Bennett. He had this great ability to treat everybody the same.   ”
Hayward's client list included: actors Clint Eastwood, Sir John Gielgud, Michael Caine, Terence Stamp, Ray Austin; film director, then renowned stuntman and 1966 World Cup England captain Rex Harrison, Steve McQueen and John Osborne; actor Tommy Steele; singer Tony Bennett; newsreader Tom Brokaw; footballer and 1966 World Cup England captain Bobby Moore; Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart; and businessmen Lord Hanson and Mark Birley. Female clients included Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Jean Shrimpton and Sharon Tate. His design of suits for singer Mick Jagger lead him to designing the wedding suit for Bianca Jagger, and later many of her iconic white jumpsuits. His film credits included Caine's suits in The Italian Job, and Roger Moore in James Bond. Actor James Coburn called Hayward "the Rodin of tweed". Many of his clients became close friends. An early friend was Ralph Lauren, who met Dougie in the early 80's on one of his first visits to London. Ralph realized that Hayward's approach to his clients, and their corresponding support of his style and tailoring, was very similar to his own and exactly what he envisioned for his eventual entry into the London market. Dougie recognized Ralph's ideas and talent and became a great friend and supporter. In his approach to his clientele as a complete source of style, Hayward sold hand-made shoes, and his own line of watches and leather luggage. He lectured at the Royal College of Art on tailoring, placing emphasis on cutting: "You can't do anything unless you can cut." Pragmatic and undemanding of his clients body, Hayward believed that any one could be made to look sleeker:

“              People always wanted to know who had been the tailor to Cary Grant or Fred Astaire. But what I'd want to know is who was Sydney Greenstreet's tailor? He was a large man in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, who always looked good.     ”

Every week until her death in 1984, he visited his mother, Winifred. Each time he would present her with a £1 note, to pay for her Meals on Wheels. He also gave her regular sums of money, always in cash. Convinced that her son was running either a brothel or a game of chemmy, she kept it all. After her death, the family found it beneath her bed in 15 empty ice cream boxes, with a note: "This money is to get Doug out of prison when they finally get him."

Which Tailor Dressed Roger Moore Best?
3 January 2017

While Sean Connery had the consistency of being dressed by Anthony Sinclair for all six of his James Bond films, Roger Moore was fitted by three different tailors over his seven Bond films. Cyril Castle, Roger Moore’s tailor throughout The Saint and The Persuaders, dressed Moore for his first two Bond films, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun. Italian tailor Angelo Vitucci of Angelo Roma dressed Moore for The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. The famous Douglas Hayward came in to dress Moore for his three 1980s Bond films: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, and Hayward went on to dress Moore until the former passed away in 2008. Moore’s three tailors each gave him a unique look, from the ultimate in fashion to understated elegance. Vote at the end of the article for who you think dressed Moore best.

Cyril Castle was a neighbour of Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair on Conduit Street, though his cut was more flamboyant and focused on fashion trends. Building on the first major* foray into fashion Bond took in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Castle dressed Moore in tailored clothes that took hints from the fashions of the early 1970s. He introduced Bond to flared suit trousers, though they are more of a subtle bootcut than a bold flared leg. The lapels are of a classic width in Live and Let Die but widened to a trendier width in The Man with the Golden Gun. Castle also introduced the double-breasted suit to Bond, though George Lazenby previously wore a double-breasted blazer.

Though Castle cut a jacket in the English tradition for Moore with soft shoulders and a full chest, the small details also fascinated Castle. The cuffs of most of the jackets are notable for their flared shape with a kissing link fastening. The silk ivory jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun dispensed with the link cuffs for gauntlet (turnback) cuffs, a classic Edwardian detail that also featured on Connery’s early dinner jackets. The English details were important to Castle, and they also included deep double vents and slanted hip pockets.

Castle mostly made clothes for Moore in the classic Bondian blues and greys but also included brown, black and olive suits. Connery had previously worn the first two of those three. Castle more prominently used some of the flashier fabrics that Connery wore on occasion in his Bond films, such as mohair and silk.

Angelo Roma is the tailor Roger Moore is more usually associated with due to the bold 1970s look he gave Moore. Angelo Vitucci’s suits are beautifully cut in the Roman style with straight shoulders and an elegant clean cut. For The Spy Who Loved Me, Vitucci widened the already wide lapels that Moore previously wore in The Man with the Golden Gun, and he also widened the flared trouser legs for an update look.

The details of Vitucci’s clothes included flapped breast pockets on some of the sportier jackets and front-pocket-less trousers. But he normalised the jackets an ordinary four-button cuff and used a regular width for the pocket flaps so not to overwhelm the front beyond the oversized lapels.

Vitucci dressed Moore in one blue suit and one grey suit in Moonraker, but his most infamous suit for Moore is a rich brown silk suit in The Spy Who Loved Me. Though the colour could not be more flattering to Moore’s warm complexion, and it’s worn appropriately in the Mediterranean, the shade of brown is unfortunately most associated with 1970s fashions. Vitucci also modernised Moore’s blazers with four-hole metal buttons rather than the more traditional shanked style. Following Bond tradition, Vitucci used silver-toned metal rather than yellow-toned metal, except on the double-breasted blazer in Moonraker.

Though Vitucci’s look was only featured in two films, Moore will forever be notoriously remembered for wearing these fashionable 1970s clothes, despite the many positive traits of these clothes.

Douglas Hayward is the most famous of Roger Moore’s three Bond tailors for his work on many films beyond the Bond series and celebrity clients such as Michael Caine and Terence Stamp. Of Moore’s three tailors, Hayward gave Moore the most classic style appropriate for the 1980s without worrying too much about 1980s fashions. Hayward brought back a more traditional English air to Bond, with soft shoulders punctuated by roped sleeve heads. Hayward narrowed the lapels for For Your Eyes Only, and then even more for Octopussy so they were back down to a balanced, timeless width. The trousers no longer were flared but featured a straight leg, which also got narrower from For Your Eyes Only to Octopussy.

Whilst Hayward was not into gimmicks, his jackets feature a very low button stance that was a hallmark of 1980s and early 1990s tailoring. Apart from this, the suits would not look at all dated today.

Hayward tailored suits mostly in blue and grey flannel solids and chalk stripes for city wear along with an appropriate tan or light brown gabardine suit for the sunnier locales in each film. For evening wear, Hayward tailored beautiful dinner jackets in black and midnight blue wool and ivory linen, with either peaked or notched lapels. He also gave Moore a variety of navy blazers and understated tweed sports coats for more informal occasions.

Each of Moore’s three tailors offered the Bond films something special. Cyril Castle brought a unique creativity to Bond’s tailored wardrobe. Angelo Roma made Bond look current, and despite the clothes being some of the most dated in the series, they still look fantastic on Moore. Douglas Hayward returned Bond’s wardrobe to the classic elegance that defined Sean Connery’s Bond wardrobe, but he did it in a way that was appropriate for an older Moore. Which approach do you like best?

Designing 007: James Bond's style celebrated in Barbican exhibition
Barbican showcases costumes and props from the films' 50-year history, from suits and swimwear to gadgets and diamonds
 James Bond exhibition

Thursday 5 July 2012 15.39 BST First published on Thursday 5 July 2012 15.39 BST

The Chesterfield coat and hat Sean Connery wears in Dr No for his first meeting with M; Roger Moore's yellow ski suit and red backpack seen on the slopes in The Spy Who Loved Me; George Lazenby's kilt donned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service; the Brioni suit Pierce Brosnan wore to drive a tank in Goldeneye; and Daniel Craig's infamously snug baby-blue swim trunks of Casino Royale fame. All are featured in the Barbican's blockbuster summer show Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, which opens on Friday

Every aspect of this extensive retrospective of the Bond films has been carefully thought through. It is as camp and fun as it is nerdishly packed with facts, production sketches, storyboards and costume drawings. Film screens playing classic clips are dotted throughout, with scenes relating to the paraphernalia, from clothing to props, gadgets to 25-carat diamonds.

The opening scene of Dr No, the first Bond film, featured a close-up of a turned-back silk cuff on a tuxedo jacket designed by Anthony Sinclair for Sean Connery. The tailor's involvement in shaping the look of Bond is integral to the character's image. A three-piece grey-check suit by Sinclair is worn by a Connery-lookalike mannequin leaning on a DB5 Aston Martin in this show.

Bronwyn Cosgrave, fashion historian and co-curator of the exhibition, says Sinclair's designs are the male equivalent of a Chanel suit. Its athletic cut, she says, inspired designers such as Hedi Slimane, Tom Ford and Thom Browne.

Ford's mohair and cashmere tuxedo, worn by Craig in 2008's Quantum of Solace, also puts in an appearance in a section of the exhibition dedicated to Bond casino moments.

As well as Craig's trunks, there is a recreation of Connery's Thunderball shorts, which Bond costume designer and Oscar-winner Lindy Hemming – the exhibition's other key curator – asked British brand Sunspel to recreate. Such is the power of Bond – Cosgrave says many fashion trends have been inspired by the fashions of this franchise – that Sunspel, who also created clothes for Craig's Casino Royale wardrobe, has launched a new swimwear line.

Designed to take visitors on a Bond-style narrative journey – there are rooms dedicated to M, ski slopes and foreign locations. Cosgrave says the show aims to reflect all 23 films. Visitors walk through a bullet-shaped entrance covered with stills from the films, before arriving in the Gold Room, which features a revolving circular bed complete with white sheets and a gold-painted female body – a nod to the classic scene from Goldfinger.

Pussy Galore's gold waistcoat and Scaramanga's golden gun are displayed in glass cases alongside black-and-white footage of Connery arriving at the premiere of Goldfinger and being mobbed by fans. "The film Goldfinger made Bond a pop-culture phenomenon rivalled only by the Beatles," says Cosgrave.

Other costume highlights in the exhibition include Ursula Andress's Dr No bikini, which was created from the actor's bra and some bottoms found locally during filming, alongside designs by Prada, Gucci and Versace.

In 2002's Die Another Day, Halle Berry's Jinx Johnson paid homage to Andress by emerging from the sea in a similar bikini. But it is Berry's Versace evening dress that is one of the exhibition's standouts. It is a typically flesh-revealing gown in a pinkish purple and featuring glittering jewels across the top section. Alongside the dress are the original sketches by the designer Donatella Versace.

Similarly eye catching is a canary yellow Roberto Cavalli affair which is slashed in the front and splattered with Swarovski crystals around the bust. This was worn by Ivana Milicevic to play Valenka, the girlfriend of Casino Royale's villian Le Chiffre. There is also the red silk georgette, one-shouldered dress worn by Eunice Gayson to play Bond's girlfriend Sylvia Trench in Dr No. This dress was apparently bought by the actor herself from an inexpensive shop near Pinewood studios following the film director Terence Young vetoing costume designer Julie Harris's original choice.

In a section dedicated to Bond villains and enigmas, Madonna's fencing ensemble from Die Another Day and Jaws' metal teeth also feature.

"It's the longest running and most successful film franchise of all time – and the most glamorously made," says Cosgrove. "Nothing can touch it. That is why Bond and his sidekicks are inspirational to people all over the world and to all ages."

Doug Hayward
Working-class tailor to the stars

Veronica Horwell
Saturday 3 May 2008 00.10 BST

Doug Hayward's distinctive sense of style came out of his working-class childhood, a world where men like his dad, who had laboured all week in mucky boiler suits, went out of a Friday night scrubbed, shining and metamorphosed by their best - their only - suits, pressed to perfection. He shared the satisfaction of the better persona that a man puts on with proper tailoring, and for almost 50 years, until his death at the age of 73, he suited blokes like himself, only with more money - movie stars and footballers and snappers and hacks and even Americans. He upheld the centuries old British tradition in which male style ascends, and transcends, classes.

His anecdotage and attitude were the source for the character Harry Pendel in John Le Carré's The Tailor of Panama; his charming manner, though not his emotional history, was the model for his mate Michael Caine's 1966 performance as Alfie.

That remembered childhood had been in Hayes, on the edge of London: his Cockney father stoked boilers at the BBC, his mother was recruited into wartime bullet manufacture, and Hayward was bright enough to win a grammar school scholarship, which was followed by an apprenticeship to a Shepherd's Bush Green tailor since he did not have the accent to crack Savile Row. The social ease began with a holiday gig as a Butlin's redcoat and national service in the Royal Navy, another environment where working-class men appreciated cut and finish of kit, and technical expertise outranked background.

Hayward's early clients, including Peter Sellers and Terence Stamp, were acting at the local theatre or the BBC at Lime Grove, or came through his first wife, Diana, sister-in-law to the film director Basil Dearden. Then he joined Dimitrio Major in Fulham, also a specialist in showbiz. Hayward was, and stayed, so driven that he attended customers wherever wanted, arriving by secondhand Mini for fittings with Richard Burton in a suite at the Dorchester.

His own first premises were a niche in Pall Mall (10 fearful days passed before a single customer called), and then business was sound enough for him to move in 1967 not to Savile Row - wrong, Victorian, vibes, too many portraits of the Queen Mum - but to a house at 95 Mount Street, Mayfair. He lived upstairs during the week; his cutting room overlooked the back garden; in the front room, with its grey flannel walls, were sofas and armchairs. Nobody glared at potential customers; they were poured tea or champagne, and so were their girlfriends ("I get a lot of birds in"). Attendees felt it was like a gentleman's club, but it was more liberal, never silent, closer to an 18th-century coffee house, liquor welcome and parties liable to break out. Hayward's services cost a fortune, but his patient ear for clients' troubles, his advice, his contacts, and the therapeutic effect of a visit were thrown in for free. The photographer Terry O'Neill, a regular on the sofa, especially after a long mutual lunch at Langham's Brasserie, called him "the Buddha of Mount Street". The premises got tatty with wear, and their suavity was not improved by Hayward's Jack Russell terrier molesting the besuited teddy bears supplied by customer Ralph Lauren, whose Purple Label line is homage to, and was advised by, Hayward. They were still just right, though.

The clothes were just right too, even if Hayward was heretic over details of Savile Row dogma - he did not disapprove of machine-sewn buttonholes - shock, horror. He was pragmatic, undemanding of a body beautiful beneath - any man could be made to look sleeker; he said people always wanted to know who had been the tailor to Cary Grant or Fred Astaire but "What I'd want to know is who was Sydney Greenstreet's tailor? He was a large man [in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca] who always looked good." Hayward was a careful observer of hands shoved in pockets, shoulders braced or slumped, legs hitched or crossed, and he structured to allow for the way that the repertoire of Anglo-American gesture became more expansive and relaxed in the 1960s. He didn't do tight - a female client who demanded a constricted elbow complained that he tried to get her to swing her arms up as if she were about to shoot a grouse to test the roominess of the armholes. The Hayward cut flattered stage and screen: Caine, Roger Moore in his final, non-Austin Powers, James Bond mode, Sir John Gielgud, John Osborne, Tom Brokaw, Tony Bennett, Clint Eastwood, even the Zen cowboy James Coburn, who called him "the Rodin of tweed". Rex Harrison gave him the ultimate establishment nod of approval.

He tailored sportsmen, too, including Bobby Moore, thought him a classic neat dresser, same as his football. The game was Hayward's real love (he had a trial as an inside-left for the Middlesex county team, but the follow-up letter never arrived), and he easily persuaded his pal Steve McQueen to stand in the London rain watching footie of a Saturday afternoon. His eye was for the movement of a match rather than a particular team, although he was fond, if not a fan, of Fulham and Arsenal. He had his own team, the Mount Street Marchers and Social Club, fielding Richard Harris and Tom Courtenay. Kickabout venue Hyde Park, Sunday mornings.

His second wife was the journalist Glenys Roberts, with whom he had a daughter Polly (she took over the business in 2006); that ended in divorce in 1978. None of his flings lasted, though Janet Street-Porter kept the full length double cashmere coat he had made for her back in 1973: she had to - despite their tendresse, she had only wheedled a small discount. His mother was his definitive woman; she had suspected when the money rolled in that he was running either a brothel or a chemmy game, and kept the hard cash he gave her; one of his stories was that after her death the family found it all stashed beneath her bed with a note: "This money is to get Doug out of prison when they finally get him." He didn't intend to end in the nick, although he'd have done something sharp yet casual with the uniforms if he had; but he always anticipated that the party would be over soon.

· Douglas Frederick Cornelius Hayward, tailor, born October 5 1934; died April 26 2008

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Volvo P1800 / Simon Templar (Roger Moore) The Saint / Video: The Best Volvo 1800 Car Chase Ever! - Roger Moore in "The Saint" - "Roug...

The Volvo P1800 received prominence in the early 60's when a white 1962 Volvo P1800 with number plate ST1 was driven by the character Simon Templar (Roger Moore) in the hit TV series The Saint (1962–69). When asked to name his favorite "movie car" many years later, Moore said it was the Volvo P1800, commenting: "I have a great affection for the Volvo P1800, as, of course, I owned one, as well as used one in the series. It’s a beautiful car and I still drive a Volvo to this day."

Two new cars had been introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961, a Jaguar E-Type and the Volvo P1800. Jaguar was first offered the opportunity to provide an E-Type for the TV series but declined. Volvo accepted and offered a P1800, leading to increased sales. Initially, Volvo lent two cars for the series, one for static studio shots and the other for moving shots. When the P1800S came along, one of the earlier cars was cut up to allow better interior shots. When the series Return of the Saint was created in the 1970s, Jaguar offered the then-new XJ-S for the series.

The Volvo P1800 is a two-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive sports car manufactured and marketed by Volvo Cars as a coupe (1961–73) and shooting-brake (1972–73).

While the P1800 was more of a stylish touring car rather than a sports car when it came to its speed capabilities, the P1800 first became popular when it was featured as the main car driven by Roger Moore in the hit television series The Saint which aired from 1962-1969. The P1800 featured styling by Pietro Frua and mechanicals derived from Volvo's Amazon/122 series.

The car was marketed as the Volvo P1800, 1800S, 1800E and 1800ES.

In 1998, an 1800S was certified as the highest mileage private vehicle driven by the original owner in non-commercial service — having exceeded three million miles (over 4.8 million km) as of 2013.

The project was originally started in 1957 because Volvo wanted a sports car to compete in the US & European markets, despite the fact that their previous attempt, the P1900, had failed to take off with only 68 cars sold. The man behind the project was an engineering consultant to Volvo, Helmer Petterson, who in the 1940s was responsible for the Volvo PV444. The design work was done by Helmer's son Pelle Petterson, who worked at Pietro Frua at that time. Volvo insisted it was an Italian design by Frua and only in 2009 officially recognized that Pelle Petterson designed it.[9] The Italian Carrozzeria Pietro Frua design firm (then a recently acquired subsidiary of Ghia) built the first three prototypes between September 1957 and early 1958, later designated by Volvo in September 1958: P958-X1, P958-X2 and P958-X3 (P:Project, 9:September, 58:Year 1958 = P958, X: eXperimental.).

1957 Prototype P958-X1
In December 1957 Helmer Petterson drove X1, (the first hand-built P1800 prototype) to Osnabrück, West Germany, headquarters of Karmann. Petterson hoped that Karmann would be able to take on the tooling and building of the P1800. Karmann's engineers had already been preparing working drawings from the wooden styling buck at Frua. Petterson and Volvo chief engineer Thor Berthelius met there, tested the car and discussed the construction with Karmann. They were ready to build it and this meant that the first cars could hit the market as early as December 1958. But in February, Karmann's most important customer, Volkswagen VAG, forbade Karmann to take on the job.[citation needed] They feared that the P1800 would compete with the sales of their own cars, and threatened to cancel all their contracts with Karmann if they took on this car. This setback almost caused the project to be abandoned.

Other German firms, NSU, Drautz and Hanomag, were contacted but none was chosen because Volvo did not believe they met Volvo's manufacturing quality-control standards.

It began to appear that Volvo might never produce the P1800. This motivated Helmer Petterson to obtain financial backing from two financial firms with the intention of buying the components directly from Volvo and marketing the car himself. At this point Volvo had made no mention of the P1800 and the factory would not comment. Then a press release surfaced with a photo of the car, putting Volvo in a position where they had to acknowledge its existence. These events influenced the company to renew its efforts: the car was presented to the public for the first time at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1960 and Volvo turned to Jensen Motors, whose production lines were under-utilised, and they agreed a contract for 10,000 cars.[citation needed] The Linwood, Scotland, body plant of manufacturer Pressed Steel was in turn sub-contracted by Jensen to create the unibody shells, which were then taken by rail to be assembled at Jensen in West Bromwich, England. In September 1960, the first production P1800 (for the 1961 model year) left Jensen for an eager public.


1963 Volvo P1800
The engine was the B18 (B for the Swedish word for gasoline: Bensin; 18 for 1800 cc displacement) with dual SU carburettors, producing 118 hp (75 kW). This variant (named B18B) had a higher compression ratio than the slightly less powerful twin-carb B18D used in the contemporary Amazon 122S, as well as a different camshaft. The 'new' B18 was actually developed from the existing B36 V8 engine used in Volvo trucks at the time. This cut production costs, as well as furnishing the P1800 with a strong engine boasting five main crankshaft bearings. The B18 was matched with the new and more robust M40 manual gearbox through 1963. From 1963 to 1972 the M41 gearbox with electrically actuated overdrive was a popular option. Two overdrive types were used, the D-Type through 1969, and the J-type through 1973. The J-type had a slightly shorter ratio of 0.797:1 as opposed to 0.756:1 for the D-type. The overdrive effectively gave the 1800 series a fifth gear, for improved fuel efficiency and decreased drivetrain wear. Cars without overdrive had a numerically lower-ratio differential, which had the interesting effect of giving them a somewhat higher top speed (just under 120 mph (193 km/h)) than the more popular overdrive models. This was because the non-overdrive cars could reach the engine's redline in top gear, while the overdrive-equipped cars could not, giving them a top speed of roughly 110 mph (177 km/h).


1964 Volvo 1800S
As time progressed, Jensen had problems with quality control, so the contract was ended early after 6,000 cars had been built. In 1963 production was moved to Volvo's Lundby Plant in Gothenburg and the car's name was changed to 1800S (S standing for Sverige, or in English : Sweden). The engine was improved with an additional 8 hp (6 kW). In 1966 the four-cylinder engine was updated to 115 PS (85 kW). Top speed was 175 km/h (109 mph). In 1969 the B18 engine was replaced with the 2-litre B20B variant of the B20 giving 118 bhp (89 kW), though it kept the designation 1800S.


1970 Volvo 1800E
For 1970 numerous changes came with the fuel-injected 1800E, which had the B20E engine with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection and a revised camshaft, and produced 130 bhp (97 kW) without sacrificing fuel economy. Top speed was around 190 km/h (118 mph) and acceleration from 0–100 km/h (0–62.1 mph) took 9.5 seconds. In addition, the 1970 model was the first 1800 with four-wheel disc brakes; until then the 1800 series had front discs and rear drums.

Volvo introduced its final P1800 variant, the 1800ES, in 1972 as a two-door station wagon with a frameless, all-glass tailgate. The final design was chosen after two prototypes had been built by Sergio Coggiola and Pietro Frua. Frua's prototype, Raketen ("the Rocket", on the right), is located in the Volvo Museum. Both Italian prototypes were considered too futuristic, and instead in-house designer Jan Wilsgaard's proposal, the Beach Car, was accepted.The ES engine was downgraded to 125 bhp (92 kW) by reducing the compression ratio with a thicker head gasket (engine variant B20F); although maximum power was slightly down the engine was less "peaky" and the car's on-the-road performance was actually improved.

Back on the road, the 1962 Volvo driven by Roger Moore in The Saint which was found rotting away on a farm 22 years ago
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 01:57 BST, 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 15:57 BST, 23 September 2013

It was found rotting away 22 years ago with the engine on the back seat. Today it looks as good as when The Saint last stepped out of it.
The iconic original Volvo P1800 coupe driven by Roger Moore as Simon Templar in the 1960s TV series has been fully restored by car enthusiast Kevin Price.
It went on public display at the weekend for the first time since he finished the labour of love.
Mr Price found the car on a farm in North Wales in 1991 and persuaded the owner to sell it to him in 1997. He spent ten years collecting parts and another six on the restoration.
In The Saint, which featured Moore as a suave modern-day Robin Hood-style adventurer and was screened by ITV between 1962 and 1969, the car bore the number plate ST1.
Although four more P1800s, one of which was used  by Sir Roger personally, were later  supplied by Volvo, Mr Price’s vehicle – registered as 71 DXC – is the original.
It was displayed at the Footman James Manchester Classic Car Show.
Mr Price, 57, who founded the Volvo Enthusiasts Club, drove it there from his home in Bewdley, Worcestershire.
He said: 'I fell in love with the shape of the car and it became a quest to find one.
'After I’d set up the club I was approached by a guy from North Wales who said he had the original car from the The Saint.
'I went to have a look and it was just sat next to the barn covered in brambles and nettles with the engine on the back seat.
'But when he finally agreed to sell and I got it home it was in surprisingly good shape considering it had been there so long.
'As much of the original car was retained as possible and it drives beautifully. You wouldn’t think it was a 1962 car.'
 Show organiser Andy Rouse said: 'The Saint car is a project we’ve been aware of over the years and it’ll be great to see the final results of Kevin’s incredible hard work and dedication.'
The car needed extensive rust removal to its panels, wheels and front axle and it’s body shell had to be rebuilt.
Further work to the gear box, rear axle and engine, which included a conversion for unleaded fuel, was also undertaken to make it roadworthy.
Once asked to name his favourite movie cars, Sir Roger said: 'I have a great affection for the Volvo P1800, as, of course, I owned one as well as used one in the series. It’s a beautiful car and I still drive a Volvo to this day.'
But Sir Roger and The Saint producers had initially wanted to feature a Jaguar E-type.
But Jag were inundated with offers and declined to take part so the P1800, which was first-built at the Jensen Motors factory in the West Midlands before production was switched to Sweden, was used instead.
Sir Roger’s performances as Templar pre-dated his role as James Bond as he was reportedly asked to play 007 at least twice during the series but had to turn the role down both times due to his television commitments.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Irreverent and knowing as James Bond: Sir Roger Moore obituary / VIDEO: Roger Moore: A Matter Of Class

Irreverent and knowing as James Bond: Sir Roger Moore obituary

Actor who brought humour, panache and suavity to his starring roles in The Saint, The Persuaders! and seven James Bond films

by Ryan Gilbey

Sir Roger Moore, who has died aged 89, considered himself to be only the fourth best actor to have played Ian Fleming’s secret-service agent James Bond on screen: in his estimation, he came in behind Daniel Craig (whom he called “the Bond”), Sean Connery and George Lazenby. Though Moore was rarely regarded as the best or most definitive Bond, his inimitable humour and panache made him many viewers’ favourite. His tally of seven films – beginning with Live and Let Die (1973) and ending with A View to a Kill (1985) – equalled that of Connery, though Moore occupied the role for a longer consecutive period. He was eloquent on the distinction between their portrayals. “Sean played Bond as a killer and I played Bond as a lover,” he said. Only on Fridays did he resemble a cold-blooded mercenary: “That’s the day I received my paychecks.”

His casting was sometimes erroneously considered to be the catalyst for a new-found levity in the series; in fact, the two films prior to his arrival (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969, and Diamonds Are Forever, 1971) had already tipped the tone towards silliness. What Moore did very cannily was to underline the absurdity of Bond himself. “My whole reaction was always – he is not a real spy,” he said. “You can’t be a real spy and have everybody in the world know who you are and what your drink is. That’s just hysterically funny.”

Irreverence and knowingness were integral to his interpretation. But he also seemed far more plausibly endangered as Bond than Connery had ever been. Part of the viewer’s affection and even concern for him could be attributed to his advanced age: Moore was already 45 when he was cast as Bond, whereas Connery made his debut at 32 and Craig was 37. This contributed to the sense that Moore’s wellbeing was actively at risk on screen. Subjected to punishing levels of G-force on a flight simulator in Moonraker (1979) or dismantling a bomb while dressed as a clown in Octopussy (1983), he looked uniquely vulnerable. Clambering up the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge in A View to a Kill seemed inadvisable behaviour for a man of 56.

His range was modest, as he was the first to admit. He credited his success to “99% luck”, and singled out the 1970 supernatural thriller The Man Who Haunted Himself, in which he played a businessman who appears to be living two lives, as “the only film I was allowed to act in”. Such self-deprecation only encouraged critics to contribute their own jibes: Anthony Lane of the New Yorker said that Moore “needed a stunt double for his acting scenes” in the Bond films.

Moore became an object of mild mockery after the 1980s satirical TV show Spitting Image featured a puppet of him that expressed its emotions solely through its eyebrows. The joke proved robust, but not everyone realised that Moore had cracked it first. “The eyebrows thing was my own fault,” he said. “I was talking about how talentless I was and said I have three expressions: eyebrow up, eyebrow down and both of them at the same time. And they used it – very well, I must say.”

He was born in London, to Lily (nee Pope), a housewife, and George Moore, a police constable whose responsibilities included drawing accident scenes to be used in evidence in court. Roger himself had artistic ambitions early in life. He left school at 15 to accept a job as a trainee animator at Publicity Picture Productions, but was sacked a few months later when he neglected to collect a can of film.

Tagging along with friends in 1945 to auditions for film extras, Moore was picked to appear in a non-speaking role as a legionnaire in Caesar and Cleopatra, starring Vivien Leigh and Claude Rains. The film’s first assistant director, Brian Desmond Hurst, took Moore under his wing and encouraged him to audition for Rada. When Moore was accepted, Hurst paid his fees. He left at 18 to become a supporting player in the repertory company of the Arts theatre, Cambridge, before he was called up for military service. Posted to Germany, he succeeded in getting a transfer to the Combined Services Entertainment unit. In 1946, he had married Doorn Van Steyn, a fellow Rada student.

After three years in the army, Moore returned to acting, landing small roles in theatre and film, as well as appearing as a model for knitting patterns and in photo stories. He moved to New York City in 1953 with his second wife, the singer Dorothy Squires (Moore and Van Steyn had divorced earlier that year), and began getting acting work on US television. He signed a contract with MGM and was cast in a series of unmemorable films, including The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) and Interrupted Melody (1955). Returning to Britain, he took the lead in a 1958 television adventure series adapted from Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe.

Other regular TV roles of increasing size followed, including two western series, The Alaskans and Maverick, before Moore finally became a bona fide star, playing the crime-fighter and playboy Simon Templar in the popular television crime series The Saint. Produced by Lew Grade, it ran from 1962 until 1969. Moore, who also directed nine episodes, brought a suavity to the part which makes it a clear precursor of his work as James Bond; even his habit in early episodes of looking directly at the camera prefigures the later Bonds, where he all but winks at the audience.

Two years after The Saint ended, Moore was cast once more as a playboy adventurer in another Grade TV series, The Persuaders!, in which he was teamed with Tony Curtis. The odd-couple pairing (Moore, as Lord Brett Sinclair, was dapper; Curtis, playing Danny Wilde, was a ruffian) and the action staged in glamorous locations made the series a hit. Moore also directed two episodes. During this period, he was appointed the head of Brut Films, an offshoot of the cologne manufacturer. He tried unsuccessfully to entice Cary Grant to make his acting comeback in a Brut production, but succeeded in recruiting him as one of the company’s advisers. Moore was also instrumental in the making of A Touch of Class, the 1973 romantic comedy for which Glenda Jackson won her second Oscar.

His brief tenure as a mogul was abbreviated when he signed a three-film contract to play James Bond, a part which demanded no adjustment to the persona he had already established. Live and Let Die, an attempt to modernise the series with gritty blaxploitation trappings, still had its share of daftness; in one scene, Bond escapes across water using a row of alligators as stepping stones. Moore’s performance here and in his second outing, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), was cool and confident.

But it is his third Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), which is rightly considered his pinnacle. The writing, direction and production design were impressive, the action more than usually taut, and the balance of comedy and suspense acutely judged – as in the iconic opening sequence in which Bond escapes falling to his death by opening a parachute emblazoned with the Union Jack. (The film was released in the Queen’s silver jubilee year.) Moore appeared relaxed but never complacent. He even came up with some of the movie’s nicest touches, such as the moment when Bond, emerging from an underwater drive, deposits a small fish out of his car window.

In between the Bond films, Moore moonlighted in other roles, including Gold (1974), a mining adventure shot in Johannesburg, the romantic comedy That Lucky Touch (1975) and the war movie Shout at the Devil (1975), co-starring Lee Marvin. But nothing came close to eclipsing his day job.

Outside the Bond series, he rarely deviated from action, appearing in quick succession in Escape to Athena (1979), North Sea Hijack and The Sea Wolves (both 1980). The Wild Geese (1978), a clunky, crypto-racist thriller about ageing mercenaries, was unusual in showcasing a more brutal side to Moore. Though he was seen pushing villains to their deaths in The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only (1981), nothing compared to the opening scene of The Wild Geese, in which he kills a drug dealer by forcing him to ingest large quantities of cocaine at gunpoint.

Moonraker (1979), among the silliest of the Bond series, was rushed into production to capitalise on the Star Wars-inspired craze for all things space-related. Moore had a gas playing a mummy’s boy who believes himself to be Roger Moore in the US ensemble comedy The Cannonball Run (1981), before returning to Bond in the comparatively sober For Your Eyes Only and the positively quaint Octopussy. Moore bowed out, not before time, with A View to a Kill, where he looked understandably wary to be sharing the screen, not to mention a bed, with the ferocious Grace Jones.

Though the producer Albert R “Cubby” Broccoli suggested in his autobiography that Moore had refused to accept that his time in the role was over, the actor later denied this. Once free of Bondage, Moore lost his appetite for acting and took on only a handful of roles, few of them distinguished. He had been due to return to the stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love in 1989, but dropped out shortly before opening night, blaming inadequacies in his singing voice.

He joined his friend Michael Caine in Bullseye! (1990), a pitiful Michael Winner comedy in which they played two characters apiece. He also appeared in The Quest (1996), directed by its star, the action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme, and in the Spice Girls’ vehicle Spice World (1997). He had a supporting part in the two-hour pilot for a new series of The Saint (2013), but the show was not commissioned. In 2012, he undertook a highly successful UK stage tour of An Evening With Roger Moore, in which he reflected on his life and career.

Moore devoted much of his time to being a goodwill ambassador for Unicef; it was for this humanitarian work that he was knighted in 2003. He had left Britain in the late 1970s to avoid what he considered the prohibitive tax rate for high earners, and took homes in countries including Switzerland and Monaco. Money continued to be much on his mind: his 2008 autobiography, My Word Is My Bond, is peppered with variations on the line “a rather nice deal was agreed with my agent”.

Moore admitted to being a lifelong hypochondriac; among those to whom he expressed thanks in the acknowledgments of his autobiography are five GPs, four cardiologists, two dermatologists and a proctologist. He visibly enjoyed his time as Bond and expressed only occasional regrets about his career. “I spent my life playing heroes because I looked like one,” he said. “Practically everything I’ve been offered didn’t require much beyond looking like me. I would have loved to play a real baddie.”

He is survived by his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup, whom he married in 2002, and by three children – Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian – from his third marriage, to the actor Luisa Mattioli, which ended in divorce.

• Roger George Moore, actor, born 14 October 1927; died 23 May 2017

Monday, 22 May 2017

Sprezzatura / Baldassare Castiglione / "The Compleat Gentleman" / VIDEO: Sprezzatura in Cinema

Sprezzatura is an Italian word originating from Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by the author as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it". It is the ability of the courtier to display "an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them". Sprezzatura has also been described "as a form of defensive irony: the ability to disguise what one really desires, feels, thinks, and means or intends behind a mask of apparent reticence and nonchalance".

However, while the quality of sprezzatura did have its benefits, this quality also had its drawbacks. Since sprezzatura made difficult tasks seem effortless, those who possessed sprezzatura needed to be able to trick people convincingly. In a way, sprezzatura was "the art of acting deviously".[9] This "art" created a "self-fulfilling culture of suspicion" because courtiers had to be diligent in maintaining their façades. "The by-product of the courtier's performance is that the achievement of sprezzatura may require him to deny or disparage his nature". Consequently, sprezzatura also had its downsides, since courtiers who excelled at sprezzatura risked losing themselves to the façade they put on for their peers.

The Book of the Courtier (Italian: Il Cortegiano) is a courtesy book. It was written by Baldassare Castiglione over the course of many years, beginning in 1508, and published in 1528 by the Aldine Press in Venice just before his death; an English edition was published in 1561. It addresses the constitution of a perfect courtier, and in its last installment, a perfect lady.

The Book of the Courtier is an example of the Renaissance dialogue, a literary form that incorporated elements of drama, conversation, philosophy, and essay. Considered the definitive account of Renaissance court life, it is cited frequently along with Stefano Guazzo's The civil conversation (1574) and Giovanni Della Casa's Galateo (1558). They are among the most important Renaissance works of the Italian Renaissance.

The book is organized as a series of fictional conversations that occur between the courtiers of the Duke of Urbino in 1507 (when Castiglione was in fact part of the Duke's Court). In the book, the courtier is described as having a cool mind, a good voice (with beautiful, elegant and brave words) along with proper bearing and gestures. At the same time though, the courtier is expected to have a warrior spirit, to be athletic, and have good knowledge of the humanities, Classics and fine arts. Over the course of four evenings, members of the court try to describe the perfect gentleman of the court. In the process they debate the nature of nobility, humor, women, and love.

The Book of the Courtier was one of the most widely distributed books of the 16th century, with editions printed in six languages and in twenty European centers. The 1561 English translation by Thomas Hoby had a great influence on the English upper class's conception of English gentlemen.[2]

Of the many qualities Castiglione’s characters attribute to their perfect courtier, oratory and the manner in which the courtier presents himself while speaking is amongst the most highly discussed. Wayne Rebhorn, a Castiglione scholar, states that the courtier’s speech and behavior in general is “designed to make people marvel at him, to transform himself into a beautiful spectacle for others to contemplate." As explained by Count Ludovico, the success of the courtier depends greatly on his reception by the audience from the first impression. This partly explains why the group considers the courtier's dress so vital to his success.

Castiglione's characters opine about how their courtier can impress his audience and win its approval. Similar to the Classical Roman rhetoricians Cicero and Quintilian, Castiglione stresses the importance of delivery while speaking. In Book I, the Count states that when the courtier speaks he must have a “sonorous, clear, sweet and well sounding” voice that is neither too effeminate nor too rough and be “tempered by a calm face and with a play of the eyes that shall give an effect of grace.” (Castiglione 1.33) This grace, or grazia, becomes an important element in the courtier’s appearance to the audience. Edoardo Saccone states in his analysis of Castiglione, “grazia consists of, or rather is obtained through, sprezzatura.”

According to the Count, sprezzatura is amongst one of the most important, if not the most important, rhetorical device the courtier needs. Peter Burke describes sprezzatura in The Book of the Courtier as “nonchalance”, “careful negligence”, and “effortless and ease.” The ideal courtier is someone who “conceals art, and presents what is done and said as if it was done without effort and virtually without thought.” (31).

The Count advocates the courtier engage in sprezzatura, or this “certain nonchalance”, in all the activities he participates in, especially speech. In Book I, he states, "Accordingly we may affirm that to be true art which does not appear to be art; nor to anything must we give greater care than to conceal art, for if it is discovered, it quite destroys our credit and brings us into small esteem." (Castiglione 1.26) The Count reasons that by obscuring his knowledge of letters, the courtier gives the appearance that his “orations were composed very simply” as if they sprang up from “nature and truth [rather] than from study and art.” (1.26). This much more natural appearance, even though it is not natural by any means, is more advantageous to the courtier.

The Count contends that if the courtier wants to attain grazia and be esteemed excellent, it would be in his best interest to have this appearance of nonchalance. By failing to employ sprezzatura, he destroys his opportunity for grace. By applying sprezzatura to his speech and everything else he does, the courtier appears to have grazia and impresses his audience, thereby achieving excellence and perfection. (Saccone 16).

Another feature of rhetoric which Castiglione discusses is the role of written language and style. Castiglione declined to imitate Boccaccio and write in Tuscan Italian, as was customary at the time; instead he wrote in the Italian used in his native Lombardy (he was born near Mantua): as the Count says, “certainly it would require a great deal of effort on my part if in these discussions of ours I wished to use those old Tuscan words which the Tuscans of today have discarded; and what’s more I’m sure you would all laugh at me” (Courtier 70). Here, the use of the old and outdated Tuscan language is seen as a form of excess rather than a desirable trait. Castiglione states that had he followed Tuscan usage in his book, his description of sprezzatura would appear hypocritical, in that his effort would be seen without a sense of nonchalance (Courtier 71).

Federico responds to the Count's assessment of the use of spoken language by posing the question as to what is the best language in which to write rhetoric. The Count’s response basically states that the language does not matter, but rather the style, authority, and grace of the work matters most (Courtier 71). Robert J. Graham, a Renaissance literary scholar, notes that “questions of whose language is privileged at any given historical moment are deeply implicated in matters of personal, social and cultural significance”, which he states is the primary reason for Castiglione’s usage of the native vernacular. This also illustrates the Count’s response on the relativity of language in Latin. With the role of language set, Castiglione begins to describe the style and authority in which the courtier must write in order to become successful.

The Count explains, "it is right that greater pains would be taken to make what is written more polished and correct…they should be chosen from the most beautiful of those employed in speech" (Courtier 71). This is where the style of which the courtier writes encourages the persuasiveness or successfulness of a speech. The success of a written speech, in contrast to the spoken speech, hinges on the notion that "we are willing to tolerate a great deal of improper and even careless usage"[8] in oral rhetoric than written rhetoric. The Count explains that along with proper word usage, an ideal courtier must have a proper sense of style and flow to their words. These words must be factual yet entertaining as the Count states, “then, it is necessary to arrange what is to be said or written in its logical order, and after that to express it well in words that, if I am not mistaken, should be appropriate, carefully chosen, clear and well formed, but above all that are still in popular use" (Courtier 77). This form of emphasis on language is noted by Graham as; "Although the Count is aware that more traditional aspects of the orator (appearance, gestures, voice, etc.)…all this will be futile and of little consequence if the ideas conveyed by these words themselves are not witty or elegant to the requirements of the situation” (Graham 49).

Brett & Kate McKay | July 14, 2009

A Man's Life, On Virtue
In Praise of Sprezzatura: The Compleat Gentleman
Baldassare Castiglione painting portrait sprezzatura

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Brad Miner. Mr. Miner is the author of The Compleat Gentleman.

What was once called sprezzatura, a wonderful word coined by the sixteenth-century writer Baldassare Castiglione, is a kind of graceful restraint that is an elemental characteristic of true civility. It helped define Western ideas about the gentleman, and it helped strangers to manage the slow transition to friendship.

Castiglione was an advisor to Popes Leo X and Clement VII, and to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier appeared in 1528, but it has surprising freshness today. It was considered revolutionary in its time, and yet Castiglione’s take on manliness owed much to Aristotle and Cicero. The ideal courtier was to have Aristotelian arete, which is to say excellence. An aristos (whence our word aristocrat) was educated in the best ideas and tempered by training to possess the best impulses, martial and artistic. He was, in Jacob Burckhardt’s phrase, engaged in “self-fashioning.” For Aristotle — and for men of the Renaissance such as Castiglione and Shakespeare — the standard for self-fashioning was the “golden mean,” the center between extremes. As Peter Burke explains: “Courage is defined as the mean between rashness and cowardice, liberality as the mean between extravagance and parsimony, and so on.” From Cicero, Castiglione took the Stoic concept of neglentia diligens (studied negligence), an obvious precursor to sprezzatura. And like many writers of his period, Castiglione respected Ovid’s famous observation, “Ars est celare artem.”

The purpose of art is to conceal itself.

Castiglione advocates such “art” in the formation of the gentleman, but his critics say he means pretense or dishonesty, and Castiglione’s courtier has come down to us as a superficial fellow content to fake it if he can — so long as the deception is shrewd.

Sprezzatura in Practice

No one is born a gentleman. Becoming one is a matter of education, and Castiglione’s “art” is really the practice of the principles that when finally internalized create the man whose urbanity, wit, athleticism, and restraint have sunk into his sinews.

A gentleman practices sprezzatura so that he can get it right. Confucius said that “although the gentleman may not have attained goodness, he acts in such a way so that he might become good.”

Developing sprezzatura is a worthy challenge in a culture that discourages and is suspicious of discretion and restraint. Many people are simply aghast at taciturnity. We tend to distrust anyone we suspect of not being “open.”

But the whole point of restraint, and the etiquette supporting it, is to give us a chance to negotiate slowly and carefully the difference between being strangers and becoming friends.

The handshake developed as a way strangers could show themselves unarmed. It was a sensible and cautious first step towards friendship. We do well to remember that intimacy must be a process, a negotiation, and that who meets a stranger and jumps quickly into bed, so to speak, has a better than even chance of waking up next to an enemy.

The ability to pause before acting and then to act sensibly is manifest prudence, which is the first among the cardinal virtues.

A man who has sprezzatura is content to keep his own counsel. He not only does not need to have his motives understood, he prefers that they not be understood. His actions, including his carefully chosen words, speak for him. It is not necessary for others—save his intimates—to know more.

Although it is not specifically a reason for embracing circumspection, it so happens that a discrete gentleman amasses, over time, a tremendous edge in the affairs of this world. He hears things that others do not, because people of all sorts confide in him, knowing that he will not betray their trust. The knowledge of the human heart that the compleat gentleman thus develops can be a burden, but it is also something of a liberation. It may call upon every bit of his strength to restrain himself from saying or doing more than he ought with knowledge gained from friendship, but there it is.

The art (and depth) of sprezzatura is defined by a man’s power: the stronger and wiser he is, the gentler his manner and the more circumspect his speech; the more, in other words, his true self is hidden.

Of course there is more to sprezzatura than just restraint. There is the quality people refer to when a man is called suave. Cary Grant was usually a gentleman in his film roles because he seemed able to do difficult things with ease and because he seemed a “man of the world,” not only suave but urbane as well. One could not imagine him saying anything inappropriate, and it was inconceivable that he would blurt out an intimacy, perhaps not even to an intimate friend. He knew the difference between a true friend, an acquaintance, and a stranger.

Implicit in sprezzatura is not only an effortless elegance but also a strenuous self-control. In the end, to be a gentleman is to hold Stoically, quietly to the conviction that he not be seen doing his “gentlemanly thing.” Silence really is golden. As Cervantes has Sancho Panza put it: “A closed mouth catches no flies.”

Intrigued by the concept of sprezzatura? Want to know more about the virtues and attributes that every man should seek to cultivate? Enter to win a copy of Brad Miner’s The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man’s Guide to Chivalry. Mr. Miner reaches back in time to recover the oldest and best ideals of manhood. The book explored the roles every man should embody: warrior (a readiness to face battle for a just cause), lover (he lets a woman be what she wants to be) and monk (a man possessing true knowledge).

Brad Miner is Senior Editor of The Catholic Thing and was the founding editor of American Compass: "The Conservative Alternative," which was formerly a division of Bookspan, a joint venture of Bertelsmann and Time-Warner that operated most of America's commercial book clubs. His Compass Points blog received recognition in the 2007 Webby Awards.
He is the author of five books, including The Concise Conservative Encyclopedia and The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry. With journalist Charles J. Sykes, he co-wrote and edited The National Review College Guide: America's 50 Top Liberal-Arts Schools. His most recent book, Smear Tactics, was published in November by HarperCollins, and will be released in paperback this August. A new edition of The Compleat Gentleman was published by Richard Vigilante Books in 2009.
He has managed bookstores in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton, held senior editorial positions in New York with both Bantam Books and HarperCollins, and from 1989 until 1992 was Literary Editor of National Review, America's leading journal of conservative opinion. As a book editor, he has published the work of a diverse and distinguished group of authors, including Sidney Hook, Evan S. Connell Jr., Hal Lindsey, Mother Angelica, and Chuck Yeager. He is the author of scores of magazine and newspaper articles.
He has been a John M. Olin Visiting Professor at Adelphi University.
Mr. Miner has appeared on many radio and television shows and has been quoted in articles appearing in The Washington Times, The New York Times, USA Today, Columbia Journalism Review, The Los Angeles Times, Newsmax, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, and The American Spectator.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Britain Through A Lens: The Documentary Film Mob Part 1

The unlikely story of how, between 1929 and 1945, a group of tweed-wearing radicals and pin-striped bureaucrats created the most influential movement in the history of British film. They were the British Documentary Movement and they gave Britons a taste for watching films about real life.
They were an odd bunch, as one wit among them later admitted. "A documentary director must be a gentleman... and a socialist." They were inspired by a big idea - that films about real life would change the world. That, if people of all backgrounds saw each other on screen - as they really were - they would get to know and respect each other more. As John Grierson, the former street preacher who founded the Movement said: "Documentary outlines the patterns of interdependence".
The Documentary Film Mob assembles a collection of captivating film portraits of Britain, during the economic crisis of the 1930s and the Second World War. Featuring classic documentaries about slums and coal mines, about potters and posties, about the bombers and the Blitz, the programme reveals the fascinating story of what was also going on behind the camera. Of how the documentary was born and became part of British culture.

Target for Tonight (1941)

Target for Tonight is a 1941 British documentary film billed as filmed and acted by the Royal Air Force, all while under fire. It was directed by Harry Watt. The film is about the crew of a Wellington aircraft. The film went on to win an honorary Academy Award in 1942 and 'Best Documentary' by the National Board of Review in 1941.
Before the film, several text cards explain bombers and the Royal Air Force chain of command. The film begins with an observation aircraft flying over and dropping a box of undeveloped film. Bomber Command develops the film and analyses the resulting photographs, which are presented for the audience to see. There has been a massive build-up by German forces in the subject area for the past few months. The film shows the planning of the mission, even detailing how the bomber wing chooses munitions for the task. The weather forecast is expected to be good and the pilots are briefed. The crew of "'F' for Freddie", the bomber that is the focal point of the film, suit up and take off. While over Germany, the crew bombs the target, dead on for one bomb, but their aircraft is hit by flak from "faceless" anti-aircraft gunners. The radio operator is hit in the leg, and Freddie is the last aircraft to return. Mist covers the water, prompting worry at the Command. Meanwhile, Freddie cannot climb after the flak hit. They are not losing altitude, but are in a bad situation. Tension builds in the film until finally, 'F for Freddie' lands. No aircraft are lost and the mission is a complete success.

The film was shot at RAF Mildenhall and at actual RAF Bomber Command headquarters in High Wycombe, with the head of Bomber Command Sir Richard Peirse and Senior Air Staff Officer Sir Robert Saundby appearing in the film. In order to not give away information to the enemy, RAF Mildenhall took the fictitious name of Millerton Aerodrome and several other aspects were altered involving the day-to-day operations. Squadron Leader Dickson, the captain of 'F for Freddie', was played by Percy Pickard, who went on to lead Operation Biting and Operation Jericho, a raid on Amiens Prison, during which he lost his life along with his navigator, Flight Lieutenant J. A. "Bill" Broadley. The second pilot was played by Gordon Woollatt. Also appearing (and uncredited) is Constance Babington Smith, who as a serving WAAF officer at the time was responsible for photographic interpretation of aerial reconnaissance pictures. Appearing in the control room scene is world record holder John Cobb, then a serving RAF officer. Although the film was about a bomber squadron flying Wellingtons, the aircraft shown on the film poster are Boulton Paul Defiant fighters.

Herman Wouk, in his novel The Winds of War, included a Wellington bomber christened "F for Freddie" in an episode of the story. The lead character, American naval captain Victor Henry, flies onboard "F for Freddie" as an observer during a bombing mission over Berlin. Wouk's fictional narrative evokes portions of the real "F for Freddie's" mission log: one of their bombs hits their target squarely and flak damages the plane and injures one of their crewmembers in the leg (in the novel, the rear gunner rather than the radio operator). They have trouble holding altitude but make it back after a long, tense flight over hostile territory.

Scenes from the film were included in the episode "Whirlwind" from the documentary British World War II documentary The World at War. The documentary criticised the film for what it considered was an unrealistic portrayal of strategic bombing. Until the development of radio navigational aids and the pathfinder force later in the war, many British bombers failed to find their targets.

A possible identity of 'F for Freddie', is Wellington Mk 1c OJ-F (P2517) which was serving with No. 149 Squadron from November 1940 to September 1941.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The origins of "The yellow rain slicker"

 "The origins of the waxed cotton used in the Filson garments and in our Australian riding coats go back to a Scottish mill that wove sails for the British clipper fleet. The mill made flax (linen) sails for the early clipper ships. Linseed oil was produced from the seeds extracted from the flax plants, and the oil was used to waterproof sailcloth for use in seamen's clothing, particularly seamen's capes, the forerunner of the fisherman's slicker. The capes were fully waterproof, but heavy and became very stiff in cold weather. They also turned yellow in time, leading to the traditional yellow of the fisherman's slicker. By the mid 1800's, as the design of the clipper ships developed towards faster ships with larger sails, flax sails proved too heavy. A new cotton sail, made from strong two-ply yarns in both warp and weft, provided the lighter cloth with the extra strength for the larger sails. The new cotton material also was better for waterproof clothing, and, treated with linseed oil, was used for mariners' waterproof clothing with little change up to the 1930's."

Monday, 15 May 2017

Wodehouse in Exile, BBC Four / VIDEO: PG Wodehouse - Plum - Bookmark - BBC Documentary - 1989

Wodehouse in Exile, BBC Four, review
Benji Wilson reviews Wodehouse in Exile, a BBC drama focussing how author PG Wodehouse came to face a treason charge that led to his exile from Britain.

By Benji Wilson7:00AM GMT 26 Mar 2013

The idea of PG Wodehouse being accused of treachery towards his country – a country whose self-image he did so much to create – may seem laughable now, but as BBC Four’s fine drama Wodehouse in Exile showed last night, that was what happened during the Second World War.
His crime, such as it was, was to have been released a few months early from an internment camp in Upper Silesia in 1941, whereupon he was enthusiastically sucked up by the German propaganda machine and put on the radio to tell the Americans in a series of typically peppy dispatches how well he’d been treated.
Wodehouse thought his broadcasts would show the world unbroken British resolve. In fact he had been duped, and back in London the response was incandescent: “The only wisecrack he ever pulled that the world received in silence,” one newspaper said.
This was a classic BBC Four “inspired by real events” film (of the sort that will soon be no longer: BBC Four has exiled drama as of later this year), and it bounded on at a suitably Woosterian lick. Writer Nigel Williams cast Wodehouse as a sweet old man who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, let alone to an unctuous Nazi. It was only later in the piece when Wodehouse’s wife Ethel finally let him have it with a blast of indignation that you began to question whether a man of such brilliance could really have underestimated the impact of his own words to such calamitous effect. But then as Ethel said, “You can never resist it – the chance to amuse.”

Wodehouse in Exile Review – BBC Four
Posted on March 26, 2013

Wodehouse in Exile - BBC FourBBC Four’s historical drama about P.G. Wodehouse felt like an attempt to rehabilitate a novelist who doesn’t actually need rehabilitating. It actually seemed, ironically, a bit like propaganda, showing as it did a version of history that portrayed Wodehouse and his wife as the most lovable people in the world, and all criticism of Wodehouse to be illegitimate in the extreme.

The film told the story of the English novelist’s time in Europe during WW2. He spends some time in a concentration camp, is manipulated by the Nazi’s into broadcasting some propaganda, and then seeks to rescue his damaged reputation in the UK and US. I had many problems with Wodehouse in Exile, not least amongst them the characters.

As I mentioned above, both Wodehouse and his wife, Ethel, are portrayed as being loved by all. Now, that might have been the case, but the work was not put into the film’s writing to justify this portrayal. Ethel is a very annoying character; shouting at people, being rude, suddenly dancing and singing for no reason, flirting with other men. And yet every other character loves her. There is one scene where she somehow storms into a recording studio guarded by the fucking Nazis and protests angrily, to everyone’s amusement. It’s like the film is in complete awe of its characters. That can be okay, but only if you do a lot to convince the audience to be as equally in awe, otherwise it’s just jarring, and you find yourself asking: ‘Why do all these characters love this incredibly annoying, rude person?’

Wodehouse himself was better written, and did seem quite a likable person from the start, mainly because of his wit. ‘I think it’s the German army. Shall we let them in? Or will we pretend we’re out?’ ‘I think it’s time [Hitler] took a firm position on his moustache. Does he want it or not?’

Despite this, the level of love other characters had for Wodehouse throughout the film was way over the top. ‘He’s a kind of saint, in a way,’ says one character, and even the military intelligence officer sent to question his treason loves him. As do all the Nazis. I get it, okay? Wodehouse wasn’t a traitor. You don’t need to ram down our throats how nice he was. Be a little more subtle.

I haven’t read any of P.G. Wodehouse’s works, so I wonder if maybe I’m missing something, and I suspect that fans of his writing might have appreciated the film more. For instance, the characters are almost stereotypes of Englishmen. Everyone is so incredibly wet, and very upstanding. Everyone is ‘old bean’ or ‘chap.’ ‘There’s a bombing raid on at the moment – very boring,’ says Wodehouse’s daughter, who becomes a flustered, hysterical, antiquated version of a woman at one point, being calmed down by her gentlemanly husband. I can only assume such characterisation is a tribute to Wodehouse’s idiosyncratic writing, because if it isn’t, it is bloody awful.

The film’s very flattering portrayal of Wodehouse results in a lack of critique or exploration of his propaganda broadcasts. There is one good scene where a government minister angrily denounces what Wodehouse has done, but we needed more scenes like this. Instead, we got the case against what Wodehouse did put into the mouths of some beastly journalists, with their flashbulbs and shouts, and in every other scene where criticism is raised there is always someone on hand to dismiss it.

The only person in the film who doesn’t like Wodehouse is Mackintosh, a character so irredeemably bad he could fit seamlessly into a Disney film as the villain. He could have been given a moustache to twirl menacingly and it wouldn’t have been out of place. He was a smarmy, snivelling, pretentious, insecure traitor. It’s poor writing to make an antagonist that black and white. And his character made huge shifts to serve the plot: in the beginning he’s dumb and insecure and then suddenly he’s a master manipulator. You could maybe explain this by arguing that Mackintosh was a spy only pretending to be dumb, but if that was the case then the film needed to indicate that in some way.

There’s also some pretty dodgy attitudes towards Germany and the French – ‘You loathsome little frog!’ ‘Fuck the French!’ – and an attitude towards England that bordered on nationalism. ‘Oh England, what do you do to those who love you,’ is a line that is so overwritten I cringed to hear it.

So, yeah, I guess I didn’t like Wodehouse in Exile. I imagine P.G. Wodehouse fans probably disagree though. I liked the character of Wodehouse – and Tim Pigott-Smith’s portrayal was good – but there were too many problems with the film around him. In an essay, George Orwell wrote about Wodehouse’s time in Europe, criticising those who attacked him: ‘It was a chance to ‘expose’ a ‘wealthy parasite’ without drawing attention to any of the parasites who really mattered.’ If only Wodehouse in Exile had approached the subject with as much depth, and with less sycophantic flattery. I would guess that the film’s writer is a huge P.G Wodehouse fan who couldn’t bring himself to criticise what he loves. Kill your idols they say. It might have been a better film if the writer had followed that advice, and had written more objectively.

Random notes:

The scenes with Wodehouse’s daughter seemed shoehorned in to add some pathos at the end, when it’s revealed she has died. To be fair, it’s such a big event in Wodehouse’s life it probably had to be included, and it must have been hard to try and fit it in alongside the main story.
Wodehouse changed over the course of the film, becoming more cynical and critical, which was good.
‘Maybe jolly old England won’t be there anymore ‘old chap’,’ says Mackintosh. Such a line seems almost like a critique of anyone who doesn’t like the whole English upper-class dialogue thing – you must be a villain if you don’t like it.
Quite a captivating beginning: radio voiceover–opening credits – bombs.

At the start of the Second World War Wodehouse and his wife remained at their Le Touquet house, where, during the Phoney War, he worked on Joy in the Morning. With the advance of the Germans, the nearby Royal Air Force base withdrew; Wodehouse was offered the sole spare seat in one of the fighter aircraft, but he turned down the opportunity as it would have meant leaving behind Ethel and their dog. On 21 May 1940, with German troops advancing through northern France, the Wodehouses decided to drive to Portugal and fly from there to the US. Two miles from home their car broke down, so they returned and borrowed a car from a neighbour; with the routes blocked with refugees, they returned home again.

The Germans occupied Le Touquet on 22 May 1940 and Wodehouse had to report to the authorities daily. After two months of occupation the Germans interned all male enemy nationals under 60, and Wodehouse was sent to a former prison in Loos, a suburb of Lille, on 21 July; Ethel remained in Le Touquet. The internees were placed four to a cell, each of which had been designed for one man. One bed was available per cell, which was made available to the eldest man—not Wodehouse, who slept on the granite floor. The prisoners were not kept long in Loos before they were transported in cattle trucks to a former barracks in Liège which was run as a prison by the SS. After a week the men were transferred to Huy in Liège, Belgium, where they were incarcerated in the local citadel. They remained there until September 1940, when they were transported to Tost in Upper Silesia (then Germany, now Toszek in Poland).

Wodehouse's family and friends had not had any news of his location after the fall of France, but an article from an Associated Press reporter who had visited Tost in December 1940 led to pressure on the German authorities to release the novelist. This included a petition from influential people in the US; Senator W. Warren Barbour presented it to the German ambassador. Although his captors refused to release him, Wodehouse was provided with a typewriter and, to pass the time, he wrote Money in the Bank. Throughout his time in Tost, he sent postcards to his US literary agent asking for $5 to be sent to various people in Canada, mentioning his name. These were the families of Canadian prisoners of war, and the news from Wodehouse was the first indication that their sons were alive and well. Wodehouse risked severe punishment for the communication, but managed to evade the German censor.

“I never was interested in politics. I'm quite unable to work up any kind of belligerent feeling. Just as I'm about to feel belligerent about some country I meet a decent sort of chap. We go out together and lose any fighting thoughts or feelings.”

On 21 June 1941, while he was in the middle of playing a game of cricket, Wodehouse received a visit from two members of the Gestapo. He was given ten minutes to pack his things before he was taken to the Hotel Adlon, a top luxury hotel in Berlin. He stayed there at his own expense; royalties from the German editions of his books had been put into a special frozen bank account at the outset of the war, and Wodehouse was permitted to draw upon this money he had earned whilst staying in Berlin. He was thus released from internment a few months before his sixtieth birthday—the age at which civilian internees were released by the Nazis. Shortly afterwards Wodehouse was, in the words of Phelps, "cleverly trapped" into making five broadcasts to the US via German radio, with the Berlin-based correspondent of the Columbia Broadcasting System. The broadcasts—aired on 28 June, 9, 23 and 30 July, and 6 August—were titled How to be an Internee Without Previous Training, and comprised humorous anecdotes about Wodehouse's experiences as a prisoner, including some gentle mocking of captors. The German propaganda ministry arranged for the recordings to be broadcast to Britain in August. The day after Wodehouse recorded his final programme, Ethel joined him in Berlin, having sold most of her jewellery to pay for the journey.

Aftermath: reactions and investigation[edit]
The reaction in Britain to Wodehouse's broadcasts was hostile, and he was widely considered to be a coward and a traitor, although, Phelps observes, many of those who decried his actions had not heard the content of the programmes.  A front page article in The Daily Mirror stated that Wodehouse "lived luxuriously because Britain laughed with him, but when the laughter was out of his country's heart, ... [he] was not ready to share her suffering. He hadn't the guts ... even to stick it out in the internment camp." In the House of Commons Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, regretted Wodehouse's actions. Several libraries removed Wodehouse novels from their shelves.

On 15 July the journalist William Connor, under his pen name Cassandra, broadcast a postscript to the news programme railing against Wodehouse. According to The Times, the broadcast "provoked a storm of complaint ... from listeners all over the country". Wodehouse's biographer, Joseph Connolly, thinks the broadcast "inaccurate, spiteful and slanderous"; Phelps calls it "probably the most vituperative attack on an individual ever heard on British radio". The broadcast was made at the direct instruction of Duff Cooper, the Minister of Information, who overruled strong protests made by the BBC against the decision to air the programme. Numerous letters appeared in the British press, both supporting and criticising Wodehouse. The letters page of The Daily Telegraph became a focus for censuring Wodehouse, including one from Wodehouse's friend, A.A. Milne; a reply from their fellow author Compton Mackenzie in defence of Wodehouse was not published because the editor claimed a lack of space. Most of those defending Wodehouse against accusations of disloyalty, including Sax Rohmer, Dorothy L. Sayers and Gilbert Frankau, conceded that he had acted stupidly. Some members of the public wrote to the newspapers to say that the full facts were not yet known and a fair judgment could not be made until they were. The management of the BBC, who considered Wodehouse's actions no worse than "ill advised", pointed out to Cooper that there was no evidence at that point whether Wodehouse had acted voluntarily or under compulsion.

When Wodehouse heard of the furore the broadcasts had caused, he contacted the Foreign Office—through the Swiss embassy in Berlin—to explain his actions, and attempted to return home via neutral countries, but the German authorities refused to let him leave. In Performing Flea, a 1953 collection of letters, Wodehouse wrote, "Of course I ought to have had the sense to see that it was a loony thing to do to use the German radio for even the most harmless stuff, but I didn't. I suppose prison life saps the intellect". The reaction in America was mixed: the left-leaning publication P.M. accused Wodehouse of "play[ing] Jeeves to the Nazis", but the Department of War used the interviews as an ideal representation of anti-Nazi propaganda.

The broadcasts, in point of fact, are neither anti- nor pro-German, but just Wodehousian. He is a man singularly ill-fitted to live in a time of ideological conflict, having no feelings of hatred about anyone, and no very strong views about anything. ... I never heard him speak bitterly about anyone—not even about old friends who turned against him in distress. Such temperament does not make for good citizenship in the second half of the Twentieth Century.

The Wodehouses remained in Germany until September 1943, when Allied bombing led to the couple being allowed to move back to Paris. They were living there when the city was liberated on 25 August 1944; Wodehouse reported to the American authorities the following day, asking them to inform the British of his whereabouts. He was subsequently visited by Malcolm Muggeridge, recently arrived in Paris as an intelligence officer with MI6. The young officer quickly came to like Wodehouse and considered the question of treasonable behaviour as "ludicrous"; he summed up the writer as "ill-fitted to live in an age of ideological conflict". On 9 September Wodehouse was visited by an MI5 officer and former barrister, Major Edward Cussen, who formally investigated him, a process that stretched over four days. On 28 September Cussen filed his report, which states that in regard to the broadcasts, Wodehouse's behaviour "has been unwise", but advised against further action. On 23 November Theobald Matthew, the Director of Public Prosecutions, decided there was no evidence to justify prosecuting Wodehouse.

In November 1944 Duff Cooper was appointed British ambassador to France and was provided accommodation at the Hôtel Le Bristol, where the Wodehouses were living. Cooper complained to the French authorities, and the couple were moved to a different hotel. They were subsequently arrested by French police and placed under preventive detention, despite no charges being presented. When Muggeridge tracked them down later, he managed to get Ethel released straight away and, four days later, ensured that the French authorities declared Wodehouse unwell and put him in a nearby hospital, which was more comfortable than where they had been detained. While in this hospital, Wodehouse worked on his novel Uncle Dynamite.

While still detained by the French, Wodehouse was again mentioned in questions in the House of Commons in December 1944 when MPs wondered if the French authorities could repatriate him to stand trial. Eden stated that the "matter has been gone into, and, according to the advice given, there are no grounds upon which we could take action". Two months later George Orwell wrote the essay "In Defence of P.G. Wodehouse", where he stated that "it is important to realise that the events of 1941 do not convict Wodehouse of anything worse than stupidity". Orwell's rationale was that Wodehouse's "moral outlook has remained that of a public-school boy, and according to the public-school code, treachery in time of war is the most unforgivable of all the sins", which was compounded by his "complete lack—so far as one can judge from his printed works—of political awareness".

On 15 January 1945 the French authorities released Wodehouse, but they did not inform him, until June 1946, that he would not face any official charges and was free to leave the country.