Saturday, 3 September 2011

Look-In - Brian Moore's On The Ball

Those of you from the 1970s who regularly took possession of the classic magazine, Look-in will remember the page, Brian Moore's On The Ball. On The Ball was the regular feature for, yes, you've guessed it, footie fans! Named after a section of ITV's World of Sport. The feature was headed by Brian Moore who also introduced, On The Ball on TV. Look-in already had from the beginning a football feature, prior to On The Ball. It was called, Young Footballers Club. As well as giving a bit of information on a team or a player, the feature also gave interesting tips and information on improving your game, a feature mirrored in On The Ball later as 'Star Tip' in which a tip was given to improve your skills, sometimes highlighting a player who used this tip in real life.
On The Ball was usually in two parts, a text page which was full of information about a team, player or Football event. This page was always dressed in an array of brilliant drawings by Sheridon Davies who also wrote the page. The second part was a colour poster (as shown above) featuring the team the article was about or more often, one of their star players, these were obviously popular as later Football had as many heartthrobs as Pop Music! The feature ran until early 1979 and a few weeks after finishing Brian Moore reappeared in a new feature called, 'Sports Spotlight' which covered a more varied selection of sports and still included Sheridon Davies' masterful drawings.

Crossplot (1969)

Crossplot was a 1969 film that starred Roger Moore. Italian actress Claudia Lange was also featured in her largest English-speaking role. Bernard Lee, famous for his role as M in the James Bond films, also appeared.
The film is essentially a thriller. Roger Moore is Gary Fenn, a London advertising executive, who is trying to select a model for a promotional campaign. A series of events means that only one girl will be good enough for his bosses, a Hungarian Marla Kugasg (Lange). He finds her among the anti-war movement in the bohemian depths of swinging London. She is in the company of a young man, Tarquin, who is extremely protective of her and overtly aggressive to Fenn.

The young Hungarian, an illegal refugee from her native homeland, accompanies Fenn to a photoshoot. However she admits she is in fear of her life, and seems disturbed by the presence of her aunt. When she is nearly killed, the girl drops out of sight and Fenn has to go on the run himself, suspected of a separate murder. He locates her to a country house, which turns out to be the home of Tarquin, an aristocrat in spite of his anti-war sentiments.

It is revealed that Marla's aunt is part of a shadowy organisation trying to destabilise the existing world order so they can take over themselves. They will go to any length to try and shut Fenn and Marla up, including sending a helicopter after them. Fenn and his friend manage to escape to London, where they realise that the shadowy movement are planning to assassinate a visiting African Head of State in Hyde Park. They manage to foil the plot.

The film is not particularly well regarded by critics. One suggested that the film quickly became "tedious" in spite of the numerous action sequences, and the plot was far too "convoluted" and "confusing". Another critic called it "dull", "unsuccessfully trying to emulate the feel of a Bond film" and it was also compared to feeling like an extended episode of The Saint. It is now seen largely as a dry-run for the Bond role Roger Moore would take on four years later.
Crossplot - 11 x 17 Movie Poster - Style A
Directed byAlvin Rakoff
Produced byRobert S. Baker
Written byLeigh Vance
John Kruse
StarringRoger Moore
Claudie Lange
Alexis Kanner
Music byStanley Black
CinematographyBrendan J. Stafford
Editing byBurt Rule
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date(s)25 November 1969
Running time96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Corrie - the 1960s.

Arguably the 1960s saw the best of Coronation Street, with terrific characters, snappy dialogue and plots mirroring real working-class life. In a tradition it was to continue, it was dominated by powerful female characters, most memorably Ena Sharples, caretaker of the church hall and a no-nonsense upholder of traditional values. Often to be found over a milk stout in the snug of the Rovers Return, the hair-netted Ena would hold court with her friends and confidants, the mousy Minnie Caldwell and the gossipy Martha Longhurst. The pub was run by another tyrannical female, the snobby Annie Walker who - many thought - had ideas above her station. She was married to Jack, an easy-going sort easily over-run by his domineering wife..
Then there was Elsie Tanner, the Street's good-time girl. A brassy divorcee with two grown-up children, she became a national sexpot as she careered from affair to affair and from crisis to crisis. Quick-tempered and fearsome in an argument, she nonetheless displayed vulnerability behind the make-up. Elsie and Ena were chalk and cheese: Ena considered Elsie a flashy harlot with the morals of an alley cat; Elsie thought Ena was a mean-tempered, interfering old battle-axe. Their clashes produced some of the most memorable scenes of the '60s. There were plenty of other women but these were the ringleaders, joined in 1964 by Hilda Ogden, a nosy cleaning-woman whose gauche ways brought a new strain of humour to the series.
The men were less memorable, though the Street's academic - and later teacher - Ken Barlow had his moments, clashing with his father over class and social changes in the sort of arguments subsequently explored in Dennis Potter's early works. Builder Len Fairclough was often at the centre of events and always seemed on the verge of committing to a relationship with Elsie. Ancient Albert Tatlock was a sour-faced pensioner who liked nothing better than to reminisce about the war, and Leonard Swindley was a pompous, by-the-book sort who ran the local branch of clothes shop chain Gamma Garments. (The character proved popular enough to spin-off into his own series, Pardon the Expression, 1965-66.)
All human life was on offer in that first decade; marriages (Elsie Tanner to old flame Steve Tanner), births (the Barlow twins) and deaths (Martha Longhurst for one) made for milestone episodes but it was the everyday consistency of the writing and performances that made it the nation's favourite programme.