Carol White - A Tribute
A programme which could be transmitted around the first anniversary of Carol's death in Autumn 1992.
Carol left behind her a series of wonderful performances in a half dozen films and as much as half this film could be taken up with clips from these films.
The rest will be taken up with interviews with people who were involved with Carol's life, and voice overs over locations which are relevant, or over stills of Carol and friends.
Carol White - A Tribute
First Half Thinkline;
New Film Style of the Sixties
Second Half Thinkline;
Whatever Happened in Hollywood?
(Note: Either of these two halves could of course make a
programme in their own right)
1. New Film Style of the Sixties
Carol was at the forefront of a new way of acting, itself part of a new way of filming and a new way of looking at British society, pioneered in the sixties by directors and actors who were themselves responding to the exciting new film technology available, and also to the demands of television for films about the lives of actual British people, approached without patronage or gimmickry.
Interviews will include co-stars like Ray Brookes and Terence Stamp, and Ken Loach and Tony Garnett, director and producer or a number of her films, and many others.
(The wonderful Armchair Theatre plays, which preceded them, were of course studio productions, not films.)
I don't know at this point whether we'd look further back to the 'kitchen sink' and 'angry young men' work done in the theatre, especially the Royal Court in London, by writers like John Osborne, Arnold Wester, and actors like Kenneth Haigue and Alan Bates, both of whom appeared in early works of my own, in fact.
We also look at the particular style and artistry that Carol herself brought to her performances.
2. Whatever Happened in Hollywood?
The inevitable occurred and Carol was invited to Hollywood and was groomed to be a superstar.
But something went wrong and in Autumn last year, at the age of 49, she was dead. Alcoholism played its part, but can it be dismissed as simply as that?
As the daughter of a Fulham scrap dealer, Carol had plenty of streetwisdom, or thought she had. But it is clear from her own book, 'Carol's Not Come Home', that she was no match for the sophisticated and often devious ways of Hollywood.
We may ask, why does Hollywood have such a cataclysmic effect on the destiny of so much British talent who export themselves there?
The story includes at least one double crossing psychiatrist, paid large sums to 'muck up' his client Carol.
It inevitably includes drugs as well as alcohol.
Carol always was an adventurer as were so many Hammersmith girls of the sixties.
Now Mike King of the Singing King Brothers, the husband she left to go to Hollywood, looks back on her life and asks; Was it her own recklessness? Was it alcohol? Or must the message be to young British female film stars - 'please watch your step in Hollywood'?
An incomplete list of films in which she starred:
Cathy Come Home (with Ray Brookes)
Up the Junction (Television version)
Poor Cow (with Terence Stamp)
Daddy's Gone A-Hunting
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