Susan Fleetwood

1. – Hayley Mills, Mr Forbush and the Penguins, 1971. “We made the front of it twice,” John Hurt told me in Hampstead about the most careless UK productions since Casino Royale, 1967.   “How [Elstree studio chief] Bryan Forbes could choose a man who’d never made a feature film to go to the Antarctic with one actor, 250,000 penguins – little fuckers, I hate ’em, thick as bricks! – live in a hut, no   rushes, just piling up film for five weeks… He lost it completely in the studio. The Boulting brothers [the producers] said: What is this rubbish!. They should have bothered to see the man before   entrusting that kind of gamble.” The opening was re-written, finding room, obviously, for Mrs Roy Boulting (Roy directed the re-staged scenes). “Hayley,” said   Hurt, “is a truthful actress, with the right director.” Original director was Al Viola, a fortysomethinbg hippy, who directed (uncredited) only one other film, Thieves, 1977.   Hurt said Vola’s first direction to him was: “John, man, go over   to the pool, say all the shit and   fuck with it.”

(Clic to enlarge)

* In the hands of an untried US director, the 1971 British comedy Mr Forbush and the Penguins was a mess. The Antarctic footage survived (too pricey to re-shoot)  but the opening London  sequences were directed anew by Roy Boulting. And he, naturally, brought his wife to the party. That’s how  Hayley Mills  re-made all of Susan Fleetwood’s scenes. Minus any strip-tease. 

  [© Associated British Productions, 1971]



 Birth year: 1944Death year: 1995Other name: Casting Calls:  0