1967 : Danny the Dragon
Ten 17-minute episodes Filmed: Summer 1966 Released: 1967
A Children’s Film Foundation / Ansus Films Ltd Production
Director: Pennington Richards
Producer: Frank Godwin
Screenplay: Pennington Richards, from an original story by Henry Geddes, Adaptation by Michael Barnes
Sally Thomsett (Jean), Christopher Cooper (Peter), Jack Wild (Gavin), Peter Butterworth (Farmer Godwin), Frank Thornton (Sergeant Bull), Patrick Newell (P C Potter), Jack Le White (Danny the Dragon), Kenneth Connor (voice of Danny the Dragon)
Danny the Dragon was filmed on location in Surrey in the summer of 1966 and completed at Halliford Studios. Three children meet a friendly dragon from outer space and have a series of adventures in which they try to help the dragon and keep him away from the suspicious farmer and the bumbling local police. The serial was later described as ‘possibly the most successful ever produced by the C.F.F. in 10 glorious episodes… of fantasy, comedy and slapstick with inventive youngsters, comic policemen and the most endearing dragon you could ask for.’ (The Times, July 31st 1968)
For two decades, the Children’s Film Foundation specialised in producing short films and serials for younger audiences, and was responsible for giving many young actors their first experience of big screen work.
Episode 1 . The Invisible Space Bubble.
Episode 2. Stranger from Dragonara.
Episode 3. Dannicaforilithermidor.
Episode 4. The Tent with four legs.
Episode 5. Dragon Hunt.
Episode 6. Danny gets Jet-Propelled.
Episode 7. The Runaway Bubble.
Episode 8. Potter in Pursuit.
Episode 9. In search of Zoomite.
Episode 10 Dragon Trap.
1968 : Oliver!
Rehearsed and Filmed throughout 1967
September 26, 1968, Royal World Premiere at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London
Columbia Pictures / Romulus Films
Director: Carol Reed
Screenplay: Vernon Harris
Book, Music and Lyrics: Lionel Bart
Producer: John Woolf
Choreography and Musical sequences staged by: Onna White
Musical Supervision and Arrangement: Johnny Green
Filmed at Shepperton Studios, England
Ron Moody (Fagin), Oliver Reed (Bill Sykes), Harry Secombe (Mr Bumble), Shani Wallis (Nancy), Mark Lester (Oliver Twist), Jack Wild (The Artful Dodger), Hugh Griffith (The Magistrate), Joseph O’Connor (Mr. Brownlow), Peggy Mount (Widow Corney), Leonard Rossiter (Mr Sowerberry), Hylda Baker (Mrs Sowerberry), Sheila White (Bet), Clive Moss (Charlie Bates), Kenneth Cranham (Noah Claypole), Megs Jenkins (Mrs Bedwin), Wensley Pithey (Mr Grimwig), James Hayter (Jessop), Fred Emney (Chairman), John Baskcombe, Norman Pitt, Arnold Locke, Frank Crawshaw (Workhouse Governors), Elizabeth Knight (Charlotte), Veronica Page (Oliver’s Mother), Henry Kay (Doctor)
Fagin’s Gang: Robert Bartlett, Jeffrey Chandler, Chris Duff, Nigel Grice, Ronnie Johnson, Nigel Kingsley, Robert Langley, Peter (Stuart) Lock, Ian Ramsey, Billy Smith, Kim Smith, Freddie Stead, Ray Ward, John Watters.
The film needs little introduction as it was a huge hit at the time and became a perennial favourite. The great success of Lionel Bart’s long-running stage show made it an inevitable candidate for a screen version, but the late 1960s was a period of decline in movie musicals: Doctor Doolittle, Star! and Camelot all disappointed at the box office. So adapting Oliver! did not guarantee success, but veteran director Carol Reed knew how to get the best performances out of everyone, and the entire production team, from Onna White’s inventive choreography to John Box’s amazing production designs, made the resulting film a classic. It was made almost entirely at Shepperton studios, rehearsing and filming throughout 1967.
Wisely, the film made few major changes to the hit show. One alteration was the strengthening of the bond between Fagin and Dodger. In Dickens’ original, Dodger is sentenced to transportation and is not present in the final chapters, whilst Fagin is last seen awaiting execution at Newgate prison. In the stage show, Bart had Dodger arrested in the climactic scene when Sikes is shot, and Fagin escaping alone. Vernon Harris’s screenplay invented the marvellous coda in which Fagin and Dodger meet up and dance off into the sunrise, presumably to continue their criminal careers somewhere else, and it became one of the most memorable scenes in the picture.
Initial reviews were mixed: John Russell Taylor in The Times didn’t think much of it, but Ian Christie, writing in the Express, thought it was excellent. The movie didn’t find favour with the British film establishment, and gained no major awards at the BAFTAs, but it was a different story in the U.S. where the film won a string of Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. Ron Moody and Jack were both nominated but didn’t win.
A Sid & Marty Krofft Production
Director: Hollingsworth Morse
Writers: John Fenton Murray & Si Rose
Executive Producers: Sid & Marty Krofft
Producer: Si Rose
Music: Charles Fox
Lyrics: Norman Gimbel
Choreography: Paul Godkin
Jack Wild (Jimmy), Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo), Martha Raye (Boss Witch), Mama Cass (Witch Hazel), Billy Barty, Jane Dulo, Allison McKay, Jan Davis, Princess Livingston, Sharon Baird, Joy Campbell, Roberto Gamonet, Andrew Ratoucheff, Angelo Rossitto, Feliz Silla, Johnny Silver, Van Snowden, Lou Wagner, Hommy Stewart, Pat Lytell, Buddy Douglas, Jon Linton, Bob Howland, Scutter McKay, Roberta Keith, Penny Krompier, Brooks Hunnicutt, Barrie Duffus, Evelyn Dutton, Tony Barro, Ken Creel, Fred Curt, Dennis Edenfield; Character Voices: Al Melvin, Walker Edmiston, Joan Gerber, Don Messick
Filmed in the Winter of 1969-70 Pufnstuf reunited Jack with the fabulous Billie Hayes and many of the great performers who worked on the H R Pufnstuf tv series. The film went into production whilst the tv series was still on its first run. The movie had different writers, composer and choreographer to the series, plus a Witches’ Convention and more of the real world Jimmy leaves behind. Otherwise, things were largely unchanged on Living Island, with more elaborate schemes from the ‘evil but ineffective’ Witchiepoo, the familiar characters of Seymour, Orson, Cling, Clang, and the reassuring presence of the benevolent yellow dragon. The soundtrack album produced by Charles Fox (Capitol SW-542) was released at the same time, and Jack features in several songs: If I Could, Living Island, A Friend in You, Pufnstuf and Zap the World.
1971 : Flight of the Doves
Filmed: Summer / Autumn 1970 Released: Spring 1971 (U.S.) August 1971 (U.K.)
A Rainbow / Columbia Production
Producer & Director: Ralph Nelson
Screenplay: Frank Gabrielson & Ralph Nelson, from the novel by Walter Macken
Music: Roy Budd
Lyrics: Alf Elson, Brendan O’Dbuil
Ron Moody (Hawk Dove), Jack Wild (Finn Dove), Dorothy McGuire (Mary Magdalene St Bridget O’Flaherty), Stanley Holloway (The Judge), Helen Raye (Derval Dove), William Rushton (Uncle Toby), Niall Toibin (Sergeant O’Casey), Dana (Sheila), Noel Purcell (Rabbi), John Molloy, Barry Keegan, Brendan O’Reilly, Thomas Hickey
Jack and Helen Raye play two children who run away from their cruel stepfather (William Rushton) and travel to Ireland to try and find their grandmother (Dorothy McGuire). But their journey is a hazardous one, as they are pursued by their wicked uncle Hawk (Ron Moody). The film has splendid location photography, a touching central relationship between Finn and Derval, a great Irish supporting cast (including Dana), an excellent score by Roy Budd (including the whimsical production number ‘You Don’t Have to be Irish to be Irish’), and a superb, anarchic performance by Moody as he adopts a range of disguises in his increasingly desperate efforts to catch the children.
1971 : Melody
107 minutes Filmed: Summer 1970 Released: Spring 1971
Hemdale Group / Sagittarius Productions
in association with Goodtimes Enterprises
Director: Waris Hussein
Original Story and Screenplay: Alan Parker
Producer: David Puttnam
Music by the Bee Gees
‘Teach Your Children’ by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Additional music and arrangements: Richard Hewson
Production Supervisor: Gavrik Losey
Art Director: Roy Stannard
Editor: John Victor Smith
Jack Wild (Ornshaw), Mark Lester (Daniel), Tracy Hyde (Melody), Roy Kinnear (Mr. Perkins), Ken Jones (Mr. Dicks), Sheila Steafel (Mrs. Lattimer), James Cossins (Headmaster), Kate Williams (Mrs. Perkins), Hilda Barry (Granma Perkins), Colin Barrie (Chambers), Billy Franks (Burgess), Ashley Knight (Stacey), Craig Marriott (Dadds), William Vanderpuye (O’Leary), Peter Walton (Fensham), Camille Davies (Muriel), Dawn Hope (Maureen), Kay Skinner (Peggy), Lesley Roach (Rhoda), June Jago (Miss Fairfax), June Ellis (Miss Dimkins), Tim Wylton (Mr Fellows), John Gorman (Boys Brigade Captain), Petal Young (Betty), Robin Hunter (George)
Melody was widely promoted as the on-screen reunion of Jack and Mark Lester for the first time since Oliver! It was a coup for the Hemdale group which represented both actors at the time. The script by Alan Parker certainly played to their relative strengths: Mark once again the well-spoken innocent, this time falling for an eleven-year-old girl at his school (the title-role charmingly played by Tracy Hyde); Jack again playing a scruffy, down-at-heel, quick-witted ragamuffin. The film tackles the young love of Daniel and Melody and the ultimate rebellion of the schoolchildren (orchestrated by Ornshaw) against the establishment. Funny, touching, and slightly disturbing in places, the film retains its energy after 40 years, thanks to Parker’s sharp writing, the excellent direction of Waris Hussein, the stalwart supporting cast and the energy of the youngsters. It also benefits from great location work in London some of which (e.g. when Daniel and Ornshaw take a trip to West End) was shot with hidden cameras.
1972 : The Pied Piper
90 minutes Filmed: Summer 1971 Released: May 1972 (U.S.) December 1972 (U.K.)
Sagittarius Productions Inc present a Goodtimes Enterprises Film
Director: Jacques Demy
Writers: Andrew Birkin, Jacques Demy, Mark Peploe
Producers: David Puttnam, Sanford Lieberson
Music composed and sung by: Donovan
Music arranged and conducted: Kenneth Clayton
Director of Photography: Peter Suschitzky
Associate Producer: Gavrik Losey
Editor: John Trumper
Production Designer: Assheton Gorton
Donovan (Piper), Michael Hordern (Melius), Jack Wild (Gavin), Donald Pleasence (Baron), John Hurt (Franz), Cathryn Harrison (Lisa), Roy Kinnear (Burgomaster Poppendick), Diana Dors (Frau Poppendick), Peter Vaughan (Bishop), Keith Buckley (Mattio), Peter Eyre (Pilgrim), John Welsh (Chancellor), Hamilton Dyce (Papal Nuncio), Arthur Hewlett (Otto), Andre Van Gyseghem (Friar), Patsy Puttnam (Helga), Paul Hennen (Karl), Gertan Klauber (Town Cryer), David Netheim (Kulik), Mary McLeod (Maidservant), John Falconer and Clive Elliott (Priests), David Leland (Officer), Roger Hammond, Edwin Brown, George Cormack and Michael Goldie (Burgers), Sammie Winmill (Gretel),
Jacques Demy directed this distinctive version of the Grimm fairytale, with a sombre emphasis on the Black Death and religious persecution. A superb British cast filmed much of the picture in the atmospheric medieval setting of Rothenberg ob der Tauber in Germany. A unique twist was the casting of singer-songwriter Donovan in the title role: he provided a haunting soundtrack. Jack played the young apprentice to the ill-fated old alchemist, played by Michael Hordern.
(Poster for the first run of The 14 in London, June 1973)
Director: David Hemmings
Screenplay: Roland Starke
Producers: Robert Mintz and Frank Avianca
Director of Photography: Ousama Rawi
Art Director: William McCrow
Editor: John Shirley
Title song (“Kids never hurt anybody at all”) composed by Biddu Arriah, sung by Brian Keith)
Music Score Composed and Conducted by Kenny Clayton
Filmed in London and at Pinewood Studios
Jack Wild (Reg), June Brown (The Mother), Liz Edmiston (Sylvia), John Bailey (Mr Sanders), Cheryl Hall (Reena), Anna Wing (Mrs. Booth), Diana Beevers (Miss Field), Alun Armstrong (Tommy), Keith Buckley (Mr Whitehead), Tony Calvin (Father Morris), Anne Dyson (Mrs Gibbs), Jane Wood (Sister Dolores), Jaqueline Hurst (Sister Irene), Brian Smith (Mr Thomas), Malcolm Tierney (Mr Michael), Raymond Byrom (Bus Conductor), Judy Leibert (Nun in Shower), Matthew Guinness (Reporter)
The Family: Christian Kelly (Roy), Frank Gentry (Terry), Peter Newby (Billy), Paul Daly (Freddy), Richard Heyward (John), Terry Ives (Mick), Christopher Leonard (Eugene), Sean Hyde (Brian), Alfons Kaminsky (Paul), Wayne Brooks (David), Mark Lee Hughes (Alan), Wayne Dyer (Marie), Snowey (Dog)
The 14 was a departure for Jack, playing his first adult role as the eldest brother of 14 children, who struggles to keep his family together when their mother dies. The story was based on the real-life struggles of a British family whose case had been used to highlight social problems in deprived areas. Extensive location shooting in derelict parts of London during the autumn of 1972 added to the gritty realism of the film. The film premiered in London on June 28th 1973. The following week director David Hemmings won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his outstanding direction of the child actors. Unfortunately the film was not a big commercial success and is now seldom seen.
KEEP IT UP DOWNSTAIRS
Filmed: July-September 1975
Released: Summer 1976(UK)
A Pyramid Film/ EMI
Director: Robert Young
Producer and Writer: Hazel Adair
Music: Michael Nyman
Lyrics: Clare Moray
Music played by: Keith Nichols’ Cinema Orchestra conducted by Cliff Adams
Director of Photography: Alan Pudney
Art Director: Jacquemine Charrott-Lodwige
Production Manager: Ron Fry
Editor: Mike Campbell
Filmed on location at Knebworth House, Stevenage, Hertfordshire and at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire
Diana Dors (Daisy), Jack Wild (Peregrine Cockshute), Neil Hallet (Hampton), William Rushton (Shuttleworth), Aimi MacDonald (Actress / Christabelle St. Clair), Mark Singleton (Lord Cockshute), Sue Longhurst (Lady Cockshute), Francoise Pascal (Mimi), Julian Orchard (Bishop), Simon Brent (Rogers), John Blythe (Francis), Carmen Silvera (Lady Bottomley), Olivia Munday (Lady Kitty), Anthony Kenyon (Mellons), Seretta Wilson (Betsy Ann), Joan Newall (Mrs Burgess), Peter Halliday (PC Harbottle / Old Harbottle), Craig Marriot (Newsboy), April Olrich (Duchess), Nigel Pegram (Count Von Schilling), Sally Harrison (Maud), Mary Millington (Polly), Maria Coyne (Vera), and Heidi as herself
The only ‘X’ certificate film Jack ever made. This decidedly eccentric British comedy had extra saucy scenes filmed without the knowledge of the main cast. Playing an innocent young inventor, Jack managed to keep his clothes on throughout.
(aka ALICJA; ALICIA)
Filmed: September – December 1979
Not widely released.
A Cibalco Poltel production for South Street Films Ltd.
Original story by Jacek Bromski & Jerzy Gruza (Based on characters created by Lewis Carroll)
Directors: Jerzy Gruza & Jacek Bromski
Writers: Joseph R. Juliano and Jacek Bromski
Additional Dialogue: Judy Raines, Susannah York, Jacek Bromski, Jerzy Gruza
Producer: Baudouin Mussche
Directors of Photography: Witold Sobocinski (SFP), Alec Mills
Film Editors: Keith Palmer (CBFE), Brian Smedley-Acton, Bill Blunden, Charles Nemes
Musical Numbers staged by: David Toguri
Original Music: Henri Seroka, Lyrics: Gyllianna
Music Arranged & Conducted by: Charles Blackwell
Alice’s vocals sung by: Lulu
Sophie Barjac (Alice), Jean-Pierre Cassel (Rabbit), Susannah York (Queen of Hearts), Paul Nicholas (Cheshire Cat), Jack Wild (Mock Turtle), Dominic Guard (Gryphon), Tracy Hyde (Mona), Peter Straker (Mad Hatter), Marc Seaberg (March Hare), Joanna Bartel (landlady), Wieslaw Golas (Killer 1), Andrzej Wasilewicz (Killer 2), Julia Hubner (Little Girl), David Toguri (Hairdresser), Henri Seroka (Florist), Dominique Mucrel (Patient), Joachim Hubner (Maitre D’Hotel), Kris Juliano (2nd Landlady), Gregory Knop (Jogger)
This quirky fantasy, more a variation on the theme of Alice in Wonderland than a modern version of it, was not shown until long after it was made and has almost vanished without trace. Jack nearly died during the making of it, and his ‘drinking career’ meant it was his last film in a decade. Ther are some lovely performances; a charming leading lady in Sophie Barjac, a charismatic White Rabbit from Jean-Pierre Cassel who demonstrates his excellent dancing, and a commanding Queen from Susannah York, but the film is hampered by some curious dubbing and music tracks which were pre-recorded with other people’s voices. Jack said the finished result made him sound like Barry White!
Filmed in Marseilles, Warsaw, Szczechin and at Pinewood Studios, England.
ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES
Filmed: Autumn 1990
Released: Summer 1991 (US & UK)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Writers: Pen Densham, John Watson
Producers include: Gary Barber, David Nicksay, James G. Robinson, Pen Densham, Richard Barton Lewis, John Watson, Michael J. Kagan, Kevin Costner (uncredited)
Original Music: Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen, Jeff Lynne
Filming Locations: Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surry; Buckinghamshire (Burnham Beeches); Hampshire (New Forest); North Yorkshire (Aysgarth Falls; Hardraw Force); Northumberland (Alnwick Castle; Hadrian’s Wall; Hulne Park; Hulne Priory), Wiltshire (Old Wardour Castle, Salisbury); France (Calvados; Carcassonne, Aude; Metz, Moselle)
Kevin Costner (Robin of Locksley), Morgan Freeman (Azeem), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Marian Dubois), Christian Slater (Will Scarlett), Alan Rickman (Sheriff of Nottingham), Michael McShane (Friar Tuck), Brian Blessed (Lord Locksley), Michael Wincott (Guy of Gisborne), Nick Brimble (Little John), Jack Wild (Much the Miller’s Son), Daniel Peacock (Bull), Sean Connery (King Richard)
A hugely successful film which needs no introduction. Jack had enormous fun as one of the Merry Men, his comic dialogue in the scenes with Danny Peacock largely made up by them at the time. Unfortunately filming overran and Jack was already committed to a West End show, Heaven’s Up, which is the reason his character disappears from parts of the film.
Filmed: Spring 1997
Released: various from summer 1998
Director: Radha Bharadwaj
Writer: Radha Bharadwaj, from the Wilkie Collins novel
Producers: Radha Bharadwaj, Fuminori Hayashida, Donald Kushner, Peter Locke, Lawrence Mortorff, Christian Slater
Original Music: Richard G. Mitchell
Locations included: Gaddesen Place, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, and Wales, where Jack’s scenes were filmed
Christian Slater (John Mannion), Jared Leto (Basil), Derek Jacobi (Father Frederick), Claire Forlani (Julia), Stephanie Bagshaw (Emma), Jack Wild (Peddler)
Another film which, despite its interesting cast, was not widely seen. Jack filmed his scenes in April 1997.
MOUSSAKA AND CHIPS
Filmed: early 2005
Film festival showing: November 13, 2005
Director: Danny Patrick
Writers: Emily Corcoran, Danny Patrick
Producer: Danny Patrick
Original Music: Sean C Davies
Executive/Co-Producer: Miles Petit
Editors: Simon Lowe, James Westcott, Danny Patrick
Director of Photography: Jane Scanlon, David LeMay
Production Designer: Maria Chysrioska
Sound: Simon Gillman
Ron Moody (Officer David Tomlinson), Mike Reid (Shalom Godsall), Miles Petit (Miles Foster), Danny Ogle (Danny), Jason Gerard (Jay), Helena Roman (Charlotte Green), Matthew Hendrickson (Agent Joshua Marks), Spiros Merianos (Theo Papaphillpou), Jack Wild (Durgen Fleece), Abbie Balchin (Clare Marks), Rachel Balchin (Joanna Marks)
Jack’s final screen role after losing his voice, a cameo in this comedy thriller involving inept Irish assassins on a Greek island.