Friday, 11 May 2018


NEWS! THE CAMERAS are ROLLING ONCE AGAIN at the ICONIC BRAY FILM STUDIOS . . FOUR years after it's last tenant moved out!

A NEW PROJECT is already underway at the former home of Hammer Horror, with an Elton John biopic called Rocketman currently being filmed.The studio will be opened on a temporary basis, expected to be around nine months. Council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), said: “It’s incredibly exciting, there are a number of projects that are being filmed. They are really exciting projects and there’s a possibility that there will be some investment.”

ROCKETMAN will star Taron Egerton, who stars in the Kingsman films, as Elton John.Cllr Dudley said the reopening of the studios makes the borough stand out even more. He said: “I think it’s something where the Royal Borough now has a real unique selling point. It’s very exciting because there are a lot of people here who are involved in the arts, media and entertainment.” Bray Film Studios is of course, as we know most famous for the work done there in the 1950s and 1960s. The original Hammer Horror films, The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy. with Peter and Christopher Lee were all filmed in Bray in the 1950s. 

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was filmed there in the 1970s, as well as parts of Ridley Scott’s Alien. The fate of the studios have hung in the balance after it was purchased by developer Farmglade Limited in 2013, which made plans to convert the site and surrounding areas into housing. According to Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray), the developer decided to reopen the site due to the high demand. In a video on the Maidenhead Conservatives website, he said: “The demand for filming, mainly because of companies like Netflix, is increasing and there is not enough studio capacity, so the owner of the land has reinstated the studio. We will see yet again Hollywood film stars in Bray which has to be good for our local economy.”

TERRY ADLAM, who worked on the Gerry Anderson production Terrahawks, filmed at the studios in the 1980s, said: “It’s brilliant news, I’m really pleased. “It’s a huge part of the history of British films, and to have an iconic studio opening in Bray is great. It’s great for the new generations of filmmakers, who will now have this to enjoy.” Ian Pankhurst, of Farmglade, said: “The studio is opening for a particular production and we are allowing them to film here. There is planning consent that is currently shelved because of the housing market not supporting it.”

WE ALSO ARE WISHING YVONNE FURNEAUX a happy birthday today, she was born 11th May 1928. As you would have read in the above piece on BRAY, Yvonne starred with Peter in THE MUMMY which was shot at the studio. 'VERY mixed and elective' is probably the best qualificative that defines the career of Yvonne Furneaux, even though she always gave believable and superb performances, her name and magical presence on screen, has sadly never earned her a more memorable place in the public memory.

YVONNE was born in Roubaix, in the North of France in 1928. She was immediately placed under the sign of bilingualism, her father being English and her mother French. As a result, once this alluring brunette had become an actress, she could as easily play in an English or a French film, which did not prevent her from being a regular in Italy and in West Germany, with a foray into Spain.

FURNEAUX has appeared in films noirs.... (Enough Rope (1963), The Champagne Murders (1967), sword & sandal movies (Slave Queen of Babylon (1963), The Lion of Thebes (1964) comedies (Temptation in the Summer Wind (1972) to chillers (Repulsion (1965)). The quality of her films, ranging from bombs (Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie (1984), mediocre run-of-the mill products (The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse (1964) . . . and has sadly always read as an actor, who in every sense of the word was 'a working actor, an actor for hire.....but a very adaptable one! 


MY NAME IS DOUG MCCLURE... and you may now me from films like....' TODAY we also celebrate the birthday of McClure, born and educated in Los Angeles, had small parts in the local film industry, starting with a submarine drama, The Enemy Below (1957) Soon, television stardom beckoned in The Overland Trail, as William Bendix's sidekick, and in a private eye series, Checkmate, and John Huston made him Burt Lancaster's younger brother in his western The Unforgiven (1960). He was a natural man of the West, enlivening The Virginian, the first television western series to have 90-minute episodes. In The Virginian, which ran from 1962 to 1970, McClure played Trampas, friend of the ranch foreman of the title, played by James Drury.

IN 1975 McClure came to Britain to star in The Land That Time Forgot, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1918 science fiction novel. It was strictly double-bill fare, and he appeared in three follow-ups: At the Earth's Core (1976) with Peter Cushing as Abner Perry, The People That Time Forgot (1977) and Warlords of Atlantis (1978).

AMICUS PRODUCTIONS did the producing duties, with co-operation on the last two from American International Pictures, temporarily deserting teenagers on motor-bikes. Fighting dinosaurs and such, McClure was energetic, especially as he looked as if he had had a heavy night. Later movie appearances included Cannonball Run II (1983) and Omega Syndrome (1986). McClure has been regularly parodied as Troy McClure, an ageing star of the 1950s, in the television series The Simpsons. David Shipman Doug McClure, actor: born Glendale, California 11 May 1934; married three times; died Los Angeles 5 February 1995. Remembered and Missed.....

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