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The Strange World of Gurney Slade (1960 Comedy)


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Old 18-08-2013, 16:46
Michael_Eve
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Just mentioned this series in another thread where great ITV sitcoms have cropped up, but thought I'd start one specifically related to it.

If anyone likes the idea of a comedy which mixes the surrealism of 'The Prisoner' and the mundane but identifiable observations of Tony Hancock at his peak, this might be the show for you. Breaking the 'fourth wall' long before other shows, IMHO this is a masterpiece by the maverick Anthony Newley as the titular character. An 'everyman' figure who breaks out of a typical sit-com to explore...well, lots of things. Very odd and I love it to pieces. (only 6 episodes and how it ends? Brrrr. Post-modern before the term was (over)used.)

It's on DVD and, um, elsewhere....is there anyone out there who remembers it at the time or has seen it subsequently?
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Old 18-08-2013, 16:57
seawitch
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I remember it. It had such an impact and Anthony Newley seemed so talented as actor/writer/director.

He then wrote "Stop The World - I Want To Get Off" but after that his career seemed to fizzle out. He ended up appearing as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" in Southampton - a year or so before his death.

Newley reminds me a bit of Orson Welles - so exciting and innovative and multi-talented at first but that initial promise never fully fulfilled. Now mainly remembered for having married glamorous women - Rita Hayworth in Welles' case and Joan Collins in Newley's.
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:08
jsmith99
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I have the DVD, and as you say it was years ahead of its time. Watching it again, it's still enjoyable, but, dare I say, not as enjoyable as I remember it to be.
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:24
fenlander
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Just watched one for old times sake (well half of one, to be truthful). I suppose it must have seemed funny at the time.
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:54
Michael_Eve
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I remember it. It had such an impact and Anthony Newley seemed so talented as actor/writer/director.

He then wrote "Stop The World - I Want To Get Off" but after that his career seemed to fizzle out. He ended up appearing as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" in Southampton - a year or so before his death.

Newley reminds me a bit of Orson Welles - so exciting and innovative and multi-talented at first but that initial promise never fully fulfilled. Now mainly remembered for having married glamorous women - Rita Hayworth in Welles' case and Joan Collins in Newley's.
Good comparison. Got the feeling Newley (who I also adore for the Gene Wilder 'Willy Wonka' film score...'Pure Imagination'! Part of my childhood ) gave up a bit in the 70's and became a bit transatlantic tuxedo cabaret-esque; where the money was. I know he did a sub-Fellini (? That's just going on clips. Doesn't look like a masterpiece anyway!) film with a long title in the late 60's that flopped and seemed to lose his edge. Ah well.

Fair enough, fenlander! Cool theme tune though, daddio?

jsmith99 - don't 'dare', fair enough again!

Still amazed that in Episode 4 ('round about the time ITV shunted it into a graveyard slot after a, um, 'mixed' reaction)) Gurney/Newley is put on trial for making an unfunny programme .Obviously filmed well before the series started. Maverick stuff.
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Old 18-08-2013, 18:20
corriander
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He was a huge figure. especially through his massive influence on David Bowie throughout his career. I suspect that Gurney Slade may have been a prime influence. The V and A exhibition of Bowie's work largely ignored this prime influence, and it is much more than the dire Laughing Gnome. Newley comments on rock and celebrity in his hit singles of 1959 to 1962, which are spoofs of the sentimental light rock of the time. Working with the songwriter Leslie Bricusse he has a huge body of work including the Candy Man for Sammy Davis Junior.
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Old 20-08-2013, 17:43
Jaycee Dove
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One of the first TV shows I ever properly watched when really young. My parents thought I was rather odd to find it amusing as they said it was just too silly and made no sense. I told them that was why it was good!

I asked for the theme music for Christmas. One of the first records that I ever got,
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Old 21-08-2013, 09:20
Michael_Eve
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One of the first TV shows I ever properly watched when really young. My parents thought I was rather odd to find it amusing as they said it was just too silly and made no sense. I told them that was why it was good!

I asked for the theme music for Christmas. One of the first records that I ever got,
Cool! You clearly weren't odd, just had impeccable taste from a very early age.

I love the music and the way Newley uses it so well with his 'air piano' playing. It's part of the charm of the series, daddio!
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Old 21-08-2013, 09:31
oldhag
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I remember that I watched it and fell in love with Antony Newley. Can't remember anything else. Off to hunt it down.
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Old 21-08-2013, 12:08
valkay
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I thought I was the only one to still remember this. It was very avant gard for its time and not a lot of people really got it. I think it got a bit of stick from the critics.
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Old 21-08-2013, 13:24
Michael_Eve
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I thought I was the only one to still remember this. It was very avant gard for its time and not a lot of people really got it. I think it got a bit of stick from the critics.
Yeah, I think that's why it ended up in the 'graveyard' slot! Apparently, it was repeated a few years later (1963?) and got a much more positive response from the critics and found a (admittedly not huge!) following. Pleased as punch that there are others out there who recall Mr Slade. My 'Mulberry' thread died on it's ar*e.

(Hope you enjoy, oldhag. The DVD is brilliantly presented...and no, I don't work for the company.)
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Old 21-08-2013, 13:57
C Horse
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It's the music that stands out to me ... the theme was also used in VisionOn.

Took me ages to find it, though!
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Old 21-08-2013, 13:58
UnrealityTV
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Splilge! Clutterbug!!

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Old 21-08-2013, 14:29
Granny McSmith
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I remember that I watched it and fell in love with Antony Newley. Can't remember anything else. Off to hunt it down.
I, too, was very much in love with Antony Newley.

It's the music that stands out to me ... the theme was also used in VisionOn.

Took me ages to find it, though!
When I read this thread's title the music plays in my head immediately.

But apart from the wonderful Antony and the odd music, I don't remember anything about it - except that I liked it!
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Old 21-08-2013, 14:40
Michael_Eve
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Splilge! Clutterbug!!

Flangewick!!
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