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Colin Gordon (1911-1972)

  1. John Cleese, The Magic Christian, 1969.      An uncredited Cleese and his Monty Python writing partner, Graham Chapman, adapted Terry Southern’s satire for Peter Sellers.  And Cleese was terrified of acting opposite his Goon Show idol, not helped by a typical Sellers temper tantrum... because Cleese proved a more credible toff than Sellers’ Sir Guy Grand (whose business happened to be... humiliation). Sellers ordered director Joe McGrath to sack Cleese and suggested such character stalwarts as Gordon (with Sellers in John and Julie, The Mouse That Roared, Heaven’s Above, The Pink Panther) or Brian Oulton to take over. McGrath refused. “He’s good and he’s young” (exactly the reason why Sellers’ co-star was Beatle Ringo Starr).“On your head be it,” snarled Sellers. Joe rehearsed Cleese separately, Sellers shot their scene and approved it.  Begrudgingly. “He’d been the first to say: Let’s get Cleese,” said McGrath, “and the first to say: Let’s get rid of him. He had no allegiance.”




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