Films at WHS  -  Chris Snuggs et al

Chis Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-64: We were talking about 16mm films at WHS the other day. I remember those sesions with great affection as something totally different from the usual routine - AND there were some jolly good films, too: ‘Jules et Jim’ for example. Actually, I can't remember for certain whether I saw that at school or at uni (it came out in 1962, so perhaps not), but there is a very interesting review of it here. I think there is nothing about films shown in "Janus" before 1963! But I remember seeing ‘The Wages of Fear’, ‘Rififi’ and ‘The Seven Samurai’ - and some others. (THE EXISTING LIST OF FILMS SHOWN AS RECORDED IN "Janus" IS HERE.)

Roger Friend - Johnstons 58-63: “On a French film thread, well post WH I enjoyed ‘Jean de Florette’ and ‘Manon des Sources’. I was so impressed with Marcel Pagnol’s screenplay and Claude Beri’s direction that I bought VHS tapes of ‘La Gloire de Mon Père’ and ‘Le Château de Ma Mère’, which turned out not to be so good! I have over the years some great French films.”

Chris Snuggs: “Yes, the Golden Age of French Cinema: glorious creation; great stars.”

Louis Parperis - Orwell 63-70: “There were a number of French films I recall seeing during my time
at WH, including ‘Les vacances de M.Hulot’, ‘Un homme et une femme’ and ‘Jules et Jim’. I fell
in love with Jeanne Moreau the instant she appeared on the screen and I have carried a torch for her ever since.”

Chris Snuggs: “In hindsight (always easy to trot out) it was a shame we never (at least in my experience) got to discuss those films we saw. It would have been interesting to have an hour the next day to talk about the themes, the historical setting, the characters, their motivations - and the production aspects: casting, direction etc. We did that with plays in class, so why not with films? I think it would have been an interesting learning experience.”

Roger Friend: “When Stretch taught, he would often wander off topic and among other things talked about French films, Rififi being one of them. He said that there was a sequence of 40 minutes where there was no dialogue. It was while they were in the vault and I remember looking forward to seeing it and timing it; I did see it but never timed it!”

Chris Snuggs: “I also remember "Rififi". The 40 minutes with no dialogue is famous! As for Stretch in class, I just don't remember much about most lessons, just snippets and generalised impressions. ‘All those moments are lost in time, like tears in the rain’ ....."

Roger Friend: “I sometimes wonder whether those red herrings were planned. Stretch was a smart operator. Not being a teaching professional, I don’t know for sure, but he could have been using the time to retain attention while keeping the topic ‘French’.”

Louis Parperis: “The heist scene lasts about thirty minutes, without any music or dialogue although there is ambient background sound. It was based on a robbery that took place in Marseilles in the late 19th century but the film version became a blueprint for a number of 20th century robberies.

Chris Snuggs: “Teaching about the culture of the target language is hugely important, and Stretch did a fair bit of that. I don't remember discussing the French films we saw (not sure why not, but it could be my memory at fault), but he quite often played us songs by famous singers: Georges Brassens, Edith Piaf et al.”

Robin Skinner - Johnstons 67-74: “He told us about the corner he sat and watched Le Mans ....not the film ... the real thing!”

Chris Snuggs: “I found the end of "Jules et Jim" very sad ..... what was it supposed to tell us?”

Louis Parperis: “Chris Snuggs possibly that our reflections on those who have died shapes how we deal with the inevitability of death itself.”

Chris Snuggs: “Indeed, and/or that true happiness is rare and ephemereal, especially in matters of the heart. À propos, Jeanne Moreau we talked about, but Oskar Werner was a wonderful actor, too. I've really liked him in every role I've seen him play."

Chris Snuggs: “The 1955 movie "Rififi" with English subtitles:

Frederick Townson - Corners 52-58: “‘Whiskey Galore’ in mid 50s.”

Nigel Fletcher - Halls 53-61: “Also showed a Russian film: ‘The Cranes are Flying’.”

Glynne Thomas - Halls 57-62: “‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’!”

Chris Snuggs: “Seen it of course, but can't remember if at WHS.”

John Tuddenham - Hansons 53-57: “‘Sanders of the River’ ..... Paul Robeson - shown circa 1954.”

Ray Hitchins - Halls 62-69: “Some advanced films for schoolboys. Am I right in thinking ‘If’ was one of them?”

Richard Cyster - Orwell 59-66: “I certainly remember seeing ‘The Seven Samurai’ - and not really understanding it until I'd watched ‘The Magnificent Seven’!”

Chris Snuggs: “They had limited means in those days, but did their best to give us a good show now and then, and no rubbish either! That was a great era for French cinema. (50s and 60s).”

Ray Stokes - Halls 70-75: “‘Straw Dogs’ uncut.”

Mark Frost - Hansons 70-77: “Yes, that was quite an eye-opener! Still banned I believe with its violent rape scene. Senior films were for 5th and 6th formers which meant that X films could be seen by 16 year olds, and of course all the younger boys on the roof looking through the skylights! Presumably the X ratings were meant for public performance, whereas WH could be classed as a 'club'?”

Omar James-johnson - Hansons 69-74 : “‘Straw Dogs’ and ‘Easy Rider’.”

Bill Bourne - Corners 57-59: “I remember ‘Great Expectations’ (and being scared by the opening graveyard scene!) and maybe ‘The Ladykillers’ and ‘Fallen Idol’.”

Roger Friend: “‘La Salaire de la Peur’ avec Yvette Montand. I remember seeing that in the hall and ‘The Seven Samurai’, too. Whilst I have seen ‘Rififi’, I don’t recall having seen it at school.”

John Coles - unknown 53-60: ‘The Cranes are Flying’

Thomas Newsham - Johnstons 54-59: ‘Passport to Pimlico' and ’‘Went the day well?’ (full movie).

Chris Snuggs: “Hello Thomas; not heard from you lately. HNY! re those two films, I remember seeing the second, but not the first, with again some doubt as to whether I saw it at WHS.”

Thomas Newsham: “I suspect that the former was shown before you arrived at WH.”

Chris Snuggs: “Never seen it, but perhaps I should.(link to trailer here:"