End Credits #45: Cinema's 2016 Lost Treasures
Adrienne Corri (November 13, 1931 - March 13, 2016) the talented Scottish actress has died at age 84.
Guest contributor Bob DiMucci has provided this tribute to many of her motion picture accomplishments:
The Films of Adrienne Corri
In Adrienne Corri's first major role, in Jean Renoir's THE RIVER, she played a wealthy eighteen-year-old neighbor named "Valerie." At one point during filming, Renoir told Corri that she had spoiled a take by moving her eyes twice instead of once. She later said that she "had no idea that such a small thing could mean so much". For a kissing scene, Corri reportedly had to do fifty takes in temperatures of 106 degrees. The 1951 film's score was by M. A. Partha Sarathy.
In 1951's QUO VADIS. Corri played a Young Christian Girl. Mervyn LeRoy directed the film.
In the British sci-fi film DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS, Corri plays "Doris," a maid at a remote manor on the Scottish moors. David MacDonald directed the 1954 film. Edwin T. Astley composed the unreleased score.
In Boris Karloff's 1958 film CORRIDORS OF BLOOD, Adrienne Corri played "Rachel," the accomplice of an East End pub owner (Francis De Wolff) who masterminds a gang of criminals. The film sat on the shelf until 1962, when it was released in Britain. It finally hit U.S. theaters in mid-1963. Robert Day directed, and Buxton Orr provided the score.
THE HELLFIRE CLUB was set in 1752 England where, years after fleeing his ancestral home with his mother, "Jason" (Keith Mitchell) returns home to claim his birthright, only to find his way blocked by his evil cousin "Thomas" (Peter Arne). Adrienne Corri plays "Lady Isobel," who is to marry Thomas but falls in love with Jason. Robert S. Baker directed the 1961 film, which was not released in the U.S. until 1963. Clifton Parker provided the unreleased score, which was conducted by Muir Mathieson.
LANCELOT AND GUINEVERE (aka SWORD OF LANCELOT) was another retelling of the Camelot legend, with Cornel Wilde as Lancelot and Jean Wallace as Guinevere. Adrienne Corri played "Lady Vivian," a duplicitous handmaiden to Guinevere. Cornel Wilde also directed the film. A few tracks from Ron Goodin's score have been released on various compilation CDs.
In 1965's Sherlock Holmes adventure A STUDY IN TERROR, Corri played a prostitute named "Angela." James Hill directed the mystery. John Scott's score was released on LP by both Roulette Records and CAM Records (with somewhat different programs), and was later re-recorded and expanded by Scott for a 2002 CD release. Columbia Pictures, which released the film in the U.S. in April 1966, came up with a ridiculous advertising campaign that tried to piggyback on the popularity of the "Batman" television show, which had premiered in January of that year.
Corri had a small role in Otto Preminger's 1965 psychological thriller BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING. Intrada released Paul Glass's score earlier this year.
As mentioned above, in the 1965 David Lean epic DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, Adrienne Corri played Lara's mother, the dressmaker "Amelia." Maurice Jarre's score was last released by Sony Classical in 2010.
In the 1967 Hammer Films adventure THE VIKING QUEEN, Carita plays "Salina," the daughter of "Priam," the dying king of the Iceni tribe. Adrienne Corri and Nicola Pagett play Salina's sisters, "Beatrice" and "Talia." Don Chaffey directed the film. Gary Hughes composed the unreleased score.
Vittorio De Sica's 1967 film WOMAN TIMES SEVEN starred Shirley MacLaine as different characters in seven vignettes. In one of the stories, entitled "At the Opera," Andrienne Corri co-starred as "Mademoiselle Lisiere," a woman who happens to be wearing the same gown as MacLaine to the opening of the Paris Opera. Riz Ortolani's score was released on a Capitol LP and reissued on CD by Quartet in 2013.
Adrienne Corri appeared in the 1969 espionage drama THE FILE OF THE GOLDEN GOOSE. But sources differ as to what character she plays. The IMDB says that she played a character named "Angela Richmond." The AFI Catalog and the New York Times say that Corri played a character named "Tina Dell." But it's either one or the other--both characters do not appear in any source. In any case, Sam Wanamaker directed the film, and the unreleased score was by Harry Robinson.
Set in the year 2021, MOON ZERO TWO was billed as "The First Moon 'Western'." In this sci-fi tale from Hammer Films, Adrienne Corri plays "Liz Murphy," Police Chief of Moon City. During production, as a practical joke, Corri poured a glass of iced water inside James Olson's rubber space suit, in which uncomfortable state he was obliged to wear it for the remainder of the day's shooting. Roy Ward Baker directed the 1969 film. The main theme from Don Ellis's score appeared on a GDI compilation CD in 1998.
In perhaps her most famous role, Adrienne Corri played "Mrs. Alexander," wife of writer "Frank Alexander" (Patrick Magee), who gets raped during a home invasion by "Alex DeLarge" (Malcolm McDowell) and his gang of "droogs" in Stanley Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Corri was not the first actress cast in the role. Filming the rape scene was so difficult for the actress originally cast (reported to be Bernadette Milnes) that she quit, and the part was recast with Corri. She was said to have been furious with Stanley Kubrick for the scores of takes he required for this infamous scene, feeling that it should have been done swiftly. Malcolm McDowell, however, has stated that Corri was very "game" about the brief but difficult role throughout filming. Before the scene was filmed, Corri walked up to McDowell and said, "Well, Malcolm, today you're going to find out I'm a real redhead".
Despite this, Corri enjoyed a good relationship with Kubrick, who joked with her that in the home invasion sequence she was cast in "the Debbie Reynolds part", a reference to Reynolds' role in the film SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, a song that is sung by Malcolm McDowell during the sequence. After completing A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Corri kept in touch with Kubrick, who once complained to her about the problem he had of losing socks whenever he did the washing. So for Christmas, she gave him a pair of bright red socks, a humorous reference to her scene in ORANGE, where after Alex had finished snipping off her red pajama suit, she was naked except for a pair of red socks. Walter (Wendy) Carlos did the electronic score for the 1971 film, which had its most recent release by East Side Digital in 1998.
In the 1972 Hammer film VAMPIRE CIRCUS, Adrienne Corri plays a sinister gypsy woman who leads a bizarre travelling circus. Robert Young directed the film. Nine minutes of David Whitaker's score was released on a GDI compilation CD in 2001.
In 1974's MADHOUSE, Vincent Price plays horror film actor "Paul Toombes." Adrienne Corri plays former co-star "Faye Carstairs." Jim Clark directed the film, the last that Price made for American International Pictures. Douglas Gamley provided the unreleased score.
Corri appeared in her second film for Otto Preminger with 1975's ROSEBUD, a story about a terrorist kidnapping. Corri played "Lady Carter," the mother of young heiress "Margaret Carter" (Lalla Ward), one of the kidnap victims. A suite from Laurent Petitgirard's score appeared on a 1988 Milan CD.
In the 1978 Blake Edwards comedy REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER, Robert Webber co-stars as millionaire businessman "Phillipe Douvier." Adrienne Corri plays Douvier's wife "Therese," who discovers that he is having an affair with his secretary, "Simone Legree" (Dyan Cannon). Henry Mancini's score was most recently released by Quartet in 2012.
Adrienne Corri's final appearance in a feature film was in a small role in her third and final Otto Preminger film, 1979's THE HUMAN FACTOR. It was also Preminger's final film. Its score was by Gary and Richard Logan, about whom I can find no information, not even as to whether they are brothers. According to the IMDB, this was their only film credit. The film's score is sparse and played completely on guitars.
Adrienne Corri retired from screen acting in 1992. While never a lead actress in feature films, she will be remembered for giving many memorable supporting performances.