Feeds

Ken Russell dies aged 84

RIP Tommy helmsman

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Obit Filmmaker Ken Russell, the controversial helmsman who brought the world Women in Love and Tommy, died yesterday aged 84.

Russell passed away in his sleep in hospital following a long illness. His son Alex Verney-Elliott said: "My father died peacefully. He had had a series of strokes. He died with a smile on his face."

Fellow director Michael Winner described Russell as "the most innovative director", who was also "a very nice person" and "very cheerful and very well-meaning".

Winner added: "His contribution to TV and cinema in this country is absolutely unique. He took it into areas it hadn't been before. They were riveting movies and TV because this strange mind was at work."

Glenda Jackson, who won an Oscar for her role in 1969's Women in Love, told the BBC it was "just wonderful to work with him and to work with him as often as I did".

She noted: "He created the kind of climate in which actors could do their job and I loved him dearly."

Film poster for The DevilsThe fruit of Russell's "strange mind" included The Devils (1971), which suffered cuts at the hands of the UK censors "almost as long as the rest of the movie", according to Winner.

Russell went on to make The Boy Friend (1971) and Tommy (1975), but his unique filmmaking style declined in popularity with both audiences and funders. His last movie of note, gothic horror romp The Lair of the White Worm, has become something of a cult classic featuring the improbable pairing of Hugh Grant and Amanda Donohoe.

His later work included a 1993 TV adaptation of Lady Chatterley, and the critically-panned The Fall of the Louse of Usher (2002).

It's for films such as The Devils, however, that Russell will be best remembered, as well as Women in Love's famous nude wrestling scene between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates.

Reed claimed that Russell had "started to go crazy" on the set of the film, and said of the British cinema's enfant terrible: "Before that he was a sane, likeable TV director. Now he's an insane, likeable film director." ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.