An Important British Film: Bryan Forbes’ “Whistle Down The Wind”

The other week, watching an old TV interview of Alfred Hitchcock by fellow film director Bryan Forbes, I was struck not only by Forbes’ wide jacket lapels, but also his seeming nervousness when confronted by the director of Pyscho: a nervousness he covered well by a somewhat contrived eloquence, and the casual lighting of a cigarette. After ten minutes or so, with Hitchcock given room to tell his often witty and dead-pan stories, Bryan Forbes had turned what might have been an awkard encounter between star and fan into an enlightening masterpiece.

But then enlightening masterpieces is what Forbes did, and Whistle Down The Wind is one of them.

Director Brian Forbes
Director Brian Forbes

1959 was a busy year for Bryan Forbes and his film producing partner Richard Attenborough, not least because of the creation of Allied Film Makers, a production company that had come about through the production of The League of Gentlemen, with a superbly witty script by Forbes. Continue reading

Why British film needs to form a countryside alliance

Out on Friday, new British film The Levelling is a breath of fresh air from its very first shot of a country lane. Why? Because this is a film that has escaped the cities with which British filmmakers are so obsessed – and not only that, offered an authentic depiction of our nation’s countryside for once.Our film industry has an awful habit of regurgitating successful movies until way after the dead horse has been flogged. Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels led to a plethora of cheap East End gangster film replicas. As we laughed and cried at Four Weddings and a Funeral, producers Working Title were busy starting a conveyor belt of upper-middle-class metropolitan comedies. Merchant Ivory created a cottage industry around [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: Why British film needs to form a countryside alliance