Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 19 June 2020

Sir Ian Holm

Very sad to learn that Sir Ian Holm, the distinguished actor, died today. He was 88 years old.


He had a remarkably successful career in movies, and I have a particular fondness for him. Of course he will mostly be remembered as Bilbo, and for his roles in Chariots of Fire and Alien, but he also has the unique distinction of having played the part of Napoleon in two films. OK - neither of them was what you would call an orthodox take on European history. One was Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits, and the other is one of my very favourite movies of all time, The Emperor's New Clothes, released in 2004 and directed by Alan Taylor, which must be one of the supreme "what-if" stories ever.

If you haven't seen The Emperor's New Clothes, I would recommend wholeheartedly that you try to do so. In fact, I'm going to watch it again this evening. Here's a taster:


12 comments:

  1. Holm was also Frodo in the BBC Radio series of LOTR.

    I’ll have to have a gander at the Emperor’s New Clothes. Never heard of it before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, that's a good film. I'll have to dig it out again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sad to hear about Sir Ian - I've just put the Emperor's New Clothes on my list of movies to get. Very suitable for watching in this hibernation period. Cheers Greg (Delta Coy)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, seems I'll have to add this to my viewing list

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gentlemen - please be warned (if you don't already know) that "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a fairly light romantic comedy - no battle scenes, and an American friend once complained that he had to stop watching it because the uniforms weren't correct. This is not "War and Peace" by any stretch of anyone's imagination, but it is a lovely movie, I think.

    When I was a kid, I had an idea that if Christ came back to Britain at that time they would put him in an asylum and he would never be heard of again. This movie is out of that same bag. It does raise a few questions, though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I suspected as much and I'm sure I've read the book, the film is based on years ago. Your story of Christ meminds me of an old British move were a criminal on the run hided in a barn and is discovered by a group og kids who think he is Christ and look after him. I can't remember the name of the film but I can remember a few scenes. Cheers Greg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg - film was "Whistle Down the Wind", I think. With Hayley Mills. I don't think I've ever seen it, which surprises me.

      Delete
  7. I received an email, pointing out that Holm also starred in a 9-part TV series, "Napoleon and Love" in 1974. Something about short actors getting typecast? This series is available on DVD at amazon.uk, but is currently going at £52.95 the set. Ouch. I'll swerve that for the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had another email, this time from Dan, suggesting that Billie Whitelaw's performance in the TV series as Josephine is worth the price of the set. I'll still wait for the price to come down a bit, though.

      Stingy. You know it makes sense.

      Delete
  8. I do remember his Napoleon in 'Time Bandits' chuckling at 'the little people' - given that Sir Ian's most famous roles (according to the BBC news, hmm) seem to have been Bilbo/Frodo Baggins, I assume he was not a tall man. Interesting coincidence that he died just after 'Waterloo day'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He described himself as "very small". His most recent appearances (on stage) were as a highly-praised King Lear.

      Poor chap suffered with Parkinson's Disease in last few years.

      Delete
    2. Time Bandits was shown on Saturday. Can’t believe it was done as a tribute as Holm only had a small part.

      (I’ll get me coat),

      Delete