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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Carol Reed (1906-1976)

213 Kings Road is adorned with the blue plaque to the director Carol Reed. He was the illegitimate son of Herbert Beerbohm-Tree, whose blue plaque was also recently spotted close by at the excellently named Rosary Gardens. He was also the the uncle of Oliver Reed (who'd a thought it!) He went to school at Kings Canterbury of which Pat Leigh-Fermor was also an alumnus. He is I guess best known for his work in the late 1940s - My fave being the Third Man most recently seen at the Burg Kino in Vienna. Its post-war amorality - the companion piece to the American Noirs reflects the shattered state of Europe at the time and his broken Vienna and its faded glories show a jaundiced eye. Thats not to say that theres not moments of humour there - the ridiculous joint administration of post-war Vienna giving him a rich vein of comedy. We in addition to the Burg Kino also took the obligatory ride of the Riesenrad that Harry and Holly view the antlike citizens - sadly the Vienna sewer tour was timed such that we couldnt partake which M I suspect wasnt too upset about. There are very few identifiable exteriors in the film - we visitied the Central cemetery and there are also a few fleeting glimpses of church towers but the nightmare shadowed streets are ubiquitous (and I suspect deliberately so - becoming every European city - harry every spiv selling whatever they could get there hands on and nary a thought for the consequences. So another inhabitant of the heart of swinging London - The Kings Road.

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