Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

In honor of the Christmas season, I'm presenting this Christmas-y two-page Film Fun comic from 1954 featuring Arthur Lucan, aka Old Mother Riley. Be sure to check out Martyn Peter Wilkinson's Old Mother Riley tribute site. It's chock full of info about Britain's most popular pre-Dame Edna drag act, but is disappointingly short on details regarding Lucan's nightmarish marriage to stage "daughter" and manager Kitty McShane. I highly recommend Frank Dello Stritto and Andi Brooks' Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi In Britain for a recounting of the filming of Lucan's last feature, Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (1952), that'll make your hair stand on end. Lucan collapsed and died in the wings just before making his entrance in Old Mother Riley in Paris at the Tivoli Theatre, Hull, in 1954.

click the thumbnails

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Blogger Peter P. Piper said...

Aaron & Nicko. A very Merry Christmas to you both, and all your Bloggers. Thanks for featuring my tribute site to Arthur Lucan/Old Mother Riley. After much thought, I deliberately avoided detailing their turbulent private life as I viewed it as just that - private. I didn't want it to detract from the enormous contribution they made to British entertainment in their time. Now- thanks to the BBC (who own the films) almost forgotten.Although I do think that it (their private life) contributed to Arthur Lucan's decline and sudden death. The BBC should be hung out to dry for not showing the OMR films. If they don't want to show them, they should sell them to somebody who will. Regards. Martyn Peter Wilkinson

2:50 AM  
Blogger Aaron Neathery said...

Merry Christmas, Martyn! You're certainly doing the world of comedy history a service with your site, with or without the private info. However, it's my firm belief that, especially in regard to performers, it's impossible to obtain a full understanding of the public without knowledge of the private. With Arthur Lucan, I believe that applies doubly so.

As for the fate of the films, a great many of them are available on Ebay. I can't vouch for the quality of the prints, though. Does the BBC really own these?

7:45 AM  
Blogger Peter P. Piper said...

Aaron. I'm afraid for their sins, that the Beeb does indeed own the OMR films, and has done for some years. For whatever reasons, the suits in charge show no inclination to give them an airing. There is plenty of discussion on this on the Athur Lucan/Old Mother Riley Yahoo! eGroup (link below), which I founded, Regards and thanks again. Martyn.

3:18 AM  

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