Monday, 22 May 2017


#MONSTERMONDAY: COLLECTORS can be very strange folk! I have come across a quite few in my time, while managing PCAS. Not all weird, but ...some 🙂 The passion for collecting and completing is a strong force. When is it time to say, 'The collection is now, complete'? Where do you draw the line?


I loved working with Jack Palance, and I’m happy to say we were able to work together on two movies, although the second was less than memorable. He is a wonderfully educated man about many diverse subjects including, of course his passion, fine art. I always got the impression that acting was only a means to an end by allowing him to buy art. During filming it also became obvious that Jack would have loved to have been an Englishman as he seemed to like everything that was English. At the time I had a Bentley (business was good), and Jack used to love to ride in it either with me or my driver (business was very good). He would sit in the front seat, next to the driver, wearing a bowler hat. This was the most incongruous sight that you could possibly imagine. Picture if you can a Hollywood tough guy wearing an English bowler and sitting in a Bentley. I suspect this sight raised a few eyebrows in Knightsbridge when he drove up to the Royal Garden Hotel where he was staying. I never did find out whether Jack bought the bowler for the Bentley or whether he had possessed one before he was given free rein with the car. He would also wear it when we went to a pub called Harrows near Sheperton Studios because he thought that’s what Englishmen did. I have to tell you he stood out like a sore thumb.”

IN CUSHING'S 'The Man Who Collected Poe' story in Amicus films, 'Torture Garden (1967) the line is well and truly crossed, well before we join the story. Just WHAT is in that room? Jack Palance, as Ronald Wyatt needs to know. In a two-hander story, with Cushing and Palance, Amicus accidentally discovers a great feat of casting. Both Cushing and Palance appear to be really enjoying their roles, and playing off each other, in what is fabulous watch. And then, being a short's over. It would have been great to have seen them again, in another film, maybe? Palance as Wyatt, passionate, driven, blinded, maybe? A Monster? You decide. . . 

TRIVIA: The Man Who Collected Poe, was originally to have had Cushing AND Christopher Lee in the roles of Lancelot Canning and Ronald Wyatt. Lee was edged out by Colombia, who were financing the film for Amicus...and they wanted Palance as Wyatt instead...!

IN 'THE MAN WHO COLLECTED POE',” Palance manages to hold his own with horror icon Peter Cushing as the two actors discuss Poe’s work with great enthusiasm. Palance, much like Cushing, does not treat the genre with disdain and seems to relish his roll while chewing-up and spitting-out the scenery. His character is delightfully devilish and uncommonly urbane while he smokes his pipe and devotes his attention to Gothic literature. In the real world, Palance was a Stanford University graduate with a degree in Journalism and Theatre as well as a passionate art collector who enjoyed painting and writing poetry. You get a genuine sense of the real man that Palance was underneath his tough-guy Hollywood image in Torture Garden, which allowed the actor to flaunt his genuine appreciation for the written word as well as his sincere enthusiasm for collecting. Palance was also a reported Anglophile and must have relished being able to make movies in the United Kingdom with a British cast and crew.


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