Sir John Mills

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Moving Memories
B I O G R A P H I C A L  D V D

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John Mills

  • Running Time: 55 mins
  • Certificate: Exempt
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Subtitles: Yes
  • Region: 2 (UK & Europe)
  • Dvd Release Date: 9 Sep 2002

When Sir John Mills started shooting 16mm home movies in 1946, little did he realise that these hours of film would become a national archive treasure.

Discovered years later in an attic clear out, and seen here for the first time, this extraordinary footage, which spans 25 years, has a cast list which reads like a who's who of British cinema. Never before has there been such an intimate behind the scenes look at the life of an actor, who without doubt is considered to be a legend in his own lifetime.

The footage includes behind-the-scenes shots in colour, from movies which were released in black and white, such as Dunkirk, Tiger Bay, Ice Cold In Alex and Morning Departure. Other films featured include Pollyanna, Swiss Family Robinson, King Rat, Sky West & Crooked and Scott of the Antartic.

Moving Memories is an essential and unique addition to all classic film collections.

    “I couldn’t wait to see this film, to see shots he’s never shown me before” – Lord Attenborough

    “A fascinating, charming and indeed unique glimpse behind the scenes of the life, work and times of one of Britain’s greatest film actors” – Barry Norman

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    Just got my copy of the book Still Memories by the late Sir John Mills (this book accompanied the Dvd release). It's a treasure trove of photographs by the great British actor, spanning his long and important career and wonderful life. As he was involved in some of the most important films in British cinema, there are behind the scenes photos aplenty of those that made and shaped a golden age long since past. And his anecdotes are terrific, but that is hardly a surprise as anyone familiar with the man would know he always gave great value.

    I particularly liked the photos from the 1940s when British cinema was at its peak. As so many there in this book are now dead, the faces stare out of the pages like beautiful ghosts. Margaret Lockwood, David many...and later, at family get togethers, people like Richard Attenborough, Forbes, Bette Davis, Jack Lemmon...the list is almost endless.

    At the end of the book there are some photos of Mills with Stephen Fry in his back garden at his home from the mid-1970s to 2004, Hills House in Denham Village, Buckinghamshire. Well, when he passed away a couple of months ago and knowing he was buried in the graveyard right next door to his old garden, I went to pay my respects. My god, how the other half lives! I have never seen such a beautiful home! The wisteria-covered Tudor mansion and four-acre garden is on the village main street and when you first enter the enchanting village and turn the corner the site of it almost takes your breath away! It's a place I dream of living in but know I will never have enough pennies to ever contemplate putting an offer in for!

    The house once belonged to the actress Merle Oberon and her then husband, Alexander Korda, one of the godfathers of British Cinema in the 30s and 40s. He was responsible for the creation of Denham Film Studios and at the other end of the village is the place where once it stood, now converted into a business park.

    Sir John's grave is found by walking into St Mary's Church in Denham and following the left hand path passed the church approx 200 yards. There, under a dead chestnut tree you'll find his grave in a corner. To me it seemed a lonely spot though it is at the foot of his old garden. But then isn't every grave lonely, a realisation that we enter the world alone and leave it as such?

    If you peep round the corner you will see golfers in the distance. Life goes on, I guess.

    For me, I can watch any film by Sir John just because he is in it and no matter what the overall quality of the film is. Why? Because he had that British decency prevalent in 1940s Britain that has just vanished from the landscape of today's Britain. He was also a fine actor to boot.

    In his obituaries there was not a word of criticism about him. The decent man you saw on the screen was what you got in real life. The worst thing some idiot said about him was there were no great films. Er, excuse me? Hobson's Choice, Great Expectations, Ice Cold in my book they are bloody great movies!

    And he made them great. He will be missed because there will be nobody like him again.

  • Still Memories: An Autobiography in Photographs

  • Dvd Price: £19.99
    UK Sterling (excludes postage & packaging)

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