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BBC Report About Leslie Howard's Death

[BBC Report of Leslie Howard's Death] On Saturday, July 30, I posted on Facebook the 2014 BBC report on Leslie Howard's Death ...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Leslie Howard: On & Off Screen

Recently, Tom Hamilton, Writer, Producer and Director of the documentary films Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn and The Mystery of Flight 777, the story of the ill-fated flight of the IBIS in which Leslie Howard met his death, made some of his Leslie Howard memorabilia available for purchase online at LeslieHowardMemories. [Items are still available for sale.] Of course, I had to purchase a few items—more than a few really—and Tom was kind enough to forward me a copy of Leslie Howard: On & Off Screen. [To see a write up of the original screening of the film by The Cinema Museum, click here.]

Leslie Howard: On & Off Screen is a compilation of material Mr. Hamilton was not able to use in his main documentary due to time constraints. The DVD is a full two hours and contains Leslie Howard's actual home movies, along with portions of Mr. Hamilton's interview of Leslie Ruth "Doodie" Howard, Leslie Howard's beloved daughter. Viewers will hear Doodie tell several of the stories about her father that she recounts in her book, A Quite Remarkable Father—with a few extra details—and never before heard additional stories. The viewer sees what Leslie Howard saw through his camera lens, along with clips taken by others of Leslie playing polo and Leslie with family and friends such as Marion Davies, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper among others.

[Leslie Howard and Marion Davies at San Simeon]

Mr. Hamilton explains how he happened upon Leslie's home movies—these truly wonderful glimpses into Howard's life. Also included is the movie Bookworms (1920), one of Howard's first appearances on film which is shown in its entirety. This is a version I have not seen anywhere else. The only version available here in the US is not of good quality and the film is cut off at the end—an end which I now see has a little surprise I did not know was there up until now. Also included is Leslie's public service announcement filmed with Noël Coward on the set of In Which We Serve (1942) and an extended clip from the documentary, Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn which contains a voice recording of a portion of Leslie's performance in Hamlet (1936). You will also hear from one of Doodie's school friends with personal stories of Doodie and what it was like for a 12-year-old schoolgirl to meet Leslie Howard, film idol of millions of women.

[Leslie Howard as Hamlet by Alfredo Valente]

This DVD contains amazing historical home movies of New York's Times Square and Great Neck where Leslie lived and spent time with many friends including F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. Viewers will also see Leslie at home in England and Beverly Hills, Hearst Castle in San Simeon and film of at least one of his crossings during the 1920s and 1930s. Personally, I was excited to see that I had stood in many of the very same spots where Leslie filmed.

As a Leslie Howard fan this DVD is priceless. However, Mr. Hamilton is making it available to the general public for only £17.49 ($21.59). It is well worth the price for anyone who loves Leslie Howard and all fans of that era. I hope you will support Mr. Hamilton and his good works by purchasing the DVD.

DVD available at Leslie Howard: On & Off Screen.
Other memorabilia available at LeslieHowardMemories.

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