End Credits #75: 2017 Lost Treasures Peggy Cummins, Martin Ransohoff, Bruce Brown, Shashi Kapoor, Anthony Harvey
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2017 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
Another huge loss for cinema fans occurred at the end of last year: British born actress Peggy Cummins died at age 92.
Just a few of her delectable all-in performances can be seen in Moss Rose, Escape, Hell Drivers, Curse (or Night) of the Demon, and perhaps her most notoriously famous role as the ravishing sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr in Gun Crazy (a.k.a. Deadly is the Female pictured at right). She was a most passionately dedicated actress and her performances attest to that. Peggy Cummins (December 18, 1925 - December 29, 2017) R.I.P.
Producer - Writer Martin Ransofhoff has died at age 90. He was an accomplished film producer helping to bring a distinguished array of eclectic motion pictures to fruition such as The Americanization of Emily (1964), The Sandpiper (1965), The Cincinnati Kid (1965, for which he was noted for firing director Sam Peckinpah), Our Mother's House (1967), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967, during which he introduced Sharon Tate to director Roman Polanski), Ice Station Zebra (1968), Castle Keep (1969), Hamlet (1969), Catch-22 (1970), The Moonshine War (1970), 10 Rillington Place (1971), Save the Tiger (1973), The White Dawn (1974), Silver Streak (1976), Nightwing (1979), and Jagged Edge (1985). He also wrote the story of The Sandpiper and co-adapted the screenplay of The White Dawn. Ransohoff founded Filmways Pictures in 1952, the production company behind the hit TV show The Beverly Hillbillies (1962 - 1971) amongst others and the motion picture The Loved One (1965) in which Ransofhoff acted in an uncredited part as Lorenzo Medici. Martin Ransohoff (July 7, 1927 - December 13, 2017) R.I.P.
Noted documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown has died at age 80. He was an avid surfer and made some low-budget films mostly for his surfing buddies before what became his sensationally popular and critically acclaimed feature The Endless Summer (1966). This documentary revolutionised the sport and forever changed the way surfers were perceived. It followed two surfers on a grand, world-wide pursuit of the perfect wave. Budgeted at only 50k, Brown finally found a distributor, his film eventually becoming a huge critical and commercial success, grossing $30 million worldwide. Brown also made another documentary based on a personal interest, the motorcycle racing documentary On Any Sunday (1971). Featuring Steve McQueen, Brown's film was nominated for a 1972 Academy Award for best feature documentary. Brown's final film was The Endless Summer 2 (1994). Bruce Brown (December 1, 1937 - December 10, 2017) R.I.P.
Prolific actor Shashi Kapoor, a leading figure of Indian cinema, has died at age 79. From 1940 to 1959 he traveled around the country with his father's (theatre and film actor Prithviraj Kapoor) acting group, first appearing on stage at the age of four. As a child he made 4 films from 1948 to 1953. Some of his notable Hindi lead acting roles included Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968, in which he had a double role), Raja Saab (1969), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969), Jaanwar Aur Insaan (1972, an action thriller concerning a deadly tiger), Mr. Romeo (1974), Chori Mera Kaam (1975), Phaansi (1978, written by Shashi's brother Ravi Kapoor), Junoon (1979, directed by Shyam Benegal of Hidden Gem #14 fame and Shashi's first film as producer), Kalyug (1981, inspired by the mythological Sanskrit epic "Mahabharata" also directed by Benegal and Shashi's second film as producer), and New Delhi Times (1986). Some of his notable English language films include Shakespeare-Wallah (1965, a Merchant Ivory Production), A Matter of Innocence (1967, directed by Guy Green), Siddhartha (1972, based on the famous novel by Hermann Hesse), Heat and Dust (1983, another Merchant Ivory Production), and In Custody (1994, directed by Ismail Merchant). Of the multi-star films Shashi Kapoor appeared in, Deewar (1975, a notable crime drama), Prem Kahani (1975), Mukti (1977), Trishna (1978), Heeralal Pannalal (1978), Baseraa (1981), Bezubaan (1982), and Alag Alag (1985) stand out. Shashi Kapoor (March 18, 1938 - December 4, 2017) R.I.P.
British Film Director and Editor Anthony Harvey has died at age 87. In his teens he appeared as Ptolemy in the 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra with Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh. He later became a film editor working with the Boulting brothers (John and Roy) on the comedies Private's Progress (1956), Brothers in Law (1957), Happy Is the Bride (1958), Man in a Cocked Hat (1959), and I'm All Right Jack (1959) as well as some distinguished dramatic features such as Tread Softly Stranger (1958, for director Gordon Parry), and The Angry Silence (1960, for director Guy Green). More prestigious projects followed when Harvey worked with director Stanley Kubrick editing the films Lolita (1962), and Dr. Strangelove (1964). His editing credits also include The L-Shaped Room (1962), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965, perhaps the finest espionage film ever made), Dutchman (1966, for which he also made his directorial debut), and The Whisperers (1967). Harvey's second directorial effort was the critically acclaimed film adaptation of James Goldman's play The Lion in Winter (1968, with Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn) for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Katharine Hepburn won a Best Actress Award and the film was nominated for Best Picture. Harvey subsequently directed another Goldman play adaptation They Might Be Giants (1971, with George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward). He directed Katharine Hepburn again in the made for TV movie The Glass Menagerie (1973, based on Tennessee Williams' play). He helmed another TV movie, The Disappearance of Aimee (1976, a dramatisation of the court case involving famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson's 1926 disappearance). Harvey worked with Peter O'Toole again directing the famous actor in the TV movie Svengali (1983), and Katharine Hepburn once more in the comedy Grace Quigley (1984). Anthony Harvey (June 3, 1930 - November 23, 2017) R.I.P.