Peter Wyngarde The Innocents BBC Radio 3 Night Waves





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Published on Dec 2, 2013

Shows up the unspeakable dross that British cinema has become now Hollywood, CIA and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, the Cultural Cold War, has done its evil work.

The actor was one of the faces of the '60s, an actor with a magnetic screen presence which the camera caught brilliantly. Wyngarde always brought an edge to a character portrayal, a sense of dynamism, smouldering sexuality and an intense presence. Effortlessly he dominated the screen. Wyngarde was already a familiar face when the character he portrayed, 'Jason King', catapulted him to world recognition. Simply the man dazzled, and exuded star quality. How fortunate therefore that Roger Langley's meticulously researched, well constructed, and skilfully written work does Wyngarde great credit. http://www.peterwyngarde.me.uk

A Landmark edition recorded in front of an audience at the British Film Institute as part of the Sound of Cinema season: Matthew Sweet is joined by the film's stars Peter Wyngarde and Clytie Jessop, psychoanalyst Susie Orbach, writer and critic Christopher Frayling and stage and screenwriter Jeremy Dyson to examine the British horror classic The Innocents.

The Innocents is a supernatural horror film based on the novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James starring Deborah Kerr as Miss Giddens, the young governess who begins her first assignment caring for two orphaned children on a remote estate. She becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted - the film achieving its gothic effects through lighting, music and direction rather than conventional shocks, as we follow the increasingly erratic behaviour and visible deterioration of the ever present governess. But are we watching a real ghost story or is this just the projection of the imagination of the repressed governess?

As part of Radio 3's Sound of Cinema season, Matthew Sweet and guests are joined by an audience at the British Film Institute for a Landmark edition of Night Waves, to examine how the combination of cinematography, the script of William Archibald and Truman Capote and Georges Auric's original music and the direction of Jack Clayton created a masterpiece that terrified even the critics.

Producer: Laura Thomas

Matthew Sweet, Peter Wyngarde, Christopher Frayling, Clytie Jessop & Jeremy Dyson

Peter's many and varied TV roles were always delivered with great flair and, when required, flamboyance. His portrayal of the whip-wielding rogue in the "Avengers" story about the Hellfire Club "A Touch of Brimstone" was remarkable and his other "Avengers" multi-roles in the episode "Epic" gave him a real opportunity to show off his wide-ranging acting talents. He injected comedy into his roles in "The Saint" and played also a variety of crooks and characters in other TV shows, including often foreign characters, once or twice even wearing dark make-up to present a Middle-Eastern look. The TV shows of the sixties did not really propel Peter into the showbusiness limelight but his role at the end of the decade in the 1969 "Department S" and the follow up "Jason King" shows brought him international stardom. He received hundreds of fan letters every week and made many public appearances. He enjoyed this time of huge popularity and gave many interviews to magazines and was always filmed with a glamourous actress or model on his arm. However, there was always the private side of Peter and as I have put in my biography, he once said "I prefer to be a man without a past, and my entire philosophy is based on that. Each phase of my life has been lived and is dead."


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