English actor and voice actor Sir John Vincent Hurt, CBE sadly died 25 January 2017. He was born 22 January 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. In 1937, his family moved and his Father became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen’s Church in Woodville, south Derbyshire, until 1952. When he was eight, Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael’s Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he developed his passion for acting and decided he wanted to become an actor. His first role was that of a girl in a school production of The Bluebird (L’Oiseau Bleu) by Maurice Maeterlinck. In 1952 Hurt’s father moved to Old Clee Church in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and Hurt became a boarder at Lincoln School in Lincoln. He often went with his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr Franklin, also derided his ambitions. Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art. In 1959, he won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher’s Diploma (ATD) at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and In 1960, he won a scholarship to RADA, where he trained for two years.
Hurt’s first film was The Wild and the Willing, but his first major role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons. He also played Timothy Evans, who was hanged for murders committed by his landlord John Christie, in 10 Rillington Place earning him his first BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the TV play The Naked Civil Servant earned him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. Hurt also portrayed Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius. In 1978 Hurt appeared in Midnight Express and won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor He also voiced Aragorn in Ralph Bakshi’s animated film adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Hurt then voiced Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down and later voiced the villainous, General Woundwort, in the animated television adaptation. In 1980 he portrayed John Merrick in The Elephant Man for which he won another BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1979 he memorably portrayed Kane in the film Alien.
He also portrayed art school radical Scrawdyke in Little Malcolm and had a starring role in Sam Peckinpah’s film The Osterman Weekend. He also starred opposite Laurence Olivier’s King in King Lear and appeared as Raskolnikov in a BBC television adaptation of Crime and Punishment. Hurt also portrayed Winston Smith in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and starred in Disney’s The Black Cauldron voicing the Horned King. Hurt provided the voiceover for the AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone, public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS and also portrayed the on-screen narrator, in Jim Henson’s television series The StoryTeller. Hurt had a supporting role as “Bird” O’Donnell in Jim Sheridan’s film The Field , getting another BAFTA nomination and In 1997 He portrayed reclusive tycoon S.R. Hadden in the film Contact. Hurt also provided narration on the Art of Noise’s concept album The Seduction of Claude Debussy and narrated a four-part TV series The Universe (1999).
In 2001 Hurt portrayed Olivander, the Wand Maker In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and returned for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. he also played the role of Adam Sutler, leader of the Norsefire fascist dictatorship in the film V for Vendetta and appeared as Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He voiced the Great Dragon Kilgharrah, in the TV series Merlin, who aids the young warlock Merlin as he protects the future king Arthur. In 2009, Hurt reprised the role of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York and also returned to Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, playing the on-screen Big Brother for a stage adaptation. Hurt won the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema At the 65th British Academy Film Awards. In 2013, Hurt appeared in Doctor Who as a ‘forgotten’ incarnation of the Doctor, known as the War Doctor. In 2015, Hurt provided the voice of the main antagonist Sailor John in the Thomas & Friends film Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure along with Eddie Redmayne and Jamie Campbell Bower. His last movies are That Good Night, in which he plays a terminally ill writer, and Darkest Hour, portraying Neville Chamberlain, opposite Gary Oldman. John Hurt leaves behind some great films.
Best known for his work in the horror film genre,the American film director, screenwriter, and producer William Tobe Hooper was born January 25, 1943 in Austin, Texas, the son of Lois Belle (née Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He first became interested in filmmaking when he used his father’s 8 mm camera at age 9. Hooper took Radio-Television-Film classes at the University of Texas at Austin and studied drama in Dallas under Baruch Lumet. Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. His first short film The Heisters (1965) almost made it into the short subject category for an Academy Award, but was not finished in time.
He directed The low budget American horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974. It features Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), who travel with three friends, Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail), and Pam (Teri McMinn), to visit the grave of the Hardestys’ grandfather to investigate reports of vandalism and grave robbing. Afterwards, they decide to visit the old Hardesty family homestead. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal) who talks about his family who worked at the old slaughterhouse. He then starts causing trouble so The group eject him and drive on. They stop at a gas station to refuel, but the proprietor (Jim Siedow) tells them that the pumps are empty.
When they arrive at the homestead, Franklin tells Kirk and Pam about a local swimming-hole and the couple head off to find it. They find the swimming-hole dried up but hear a generator running in the distance. They stumble upon a nearby house. So Kirk knocks on the door When he receives no answer he enters through the unlocked door, but soon wishes he hadn’t When he meets Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and meets a gruesome fate at the hands of Leatherface. Pam enters soon after, looking for Kirk but she also regrets it when she too encounters Leatherface and tries unsuccessfully to escape. After a while Jerry becomes increasingly concerned so heads out to look for Pam and Kirk but he also suffers a grisly fate when he encounters Leatherface. With darkness falling, Sally and Franklin also set out to find their friends however Leatherface confronts Franklin with gruesome results. Luckily Sally initially manages to escape Leatherface and flees to the gas station for help however The proprietor ties her up, gags her and drives her back to the house. The hitchhiker also arrives, and Sally finds herself attending a rather Macabre meal attended by Leatherface, The hitchhiker, Grandpa (John Dugan), and his family who all turn out to be cannibals and Sally faces a a grisly fate at the hands of Leatherface, Grandpa and his family unless she can escape…
Due to the film’s violent content, Hooper struggled so he limited the quantity of onscreen gore in hopes of securing a PG rating, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it R. Upon its October 1974 release, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was banned outright in several countries, and numerous theaters later stopped showing the film in response to complaints about its violence. Tobe Hooper later directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in 1986. The character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein and It is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure.
In 1982, Hooper also directed the enjoyable supernatural horror film Poltergeist. This was based on a story by Steven Spielberg who wrote and produced the film but was making E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at the time and could not direct another movie. Poltergeist features the Freeling family who live a quiet life in Cuesta Verde, Orange County, California where Steven Freeling works as a successful real estate developer while Diane Freeling looks after their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne. However one night Carol Anne begins acting strangely and suddenly the Earth tremors and Carol Anne announces “They’re here”. Bizarre events then start occurring: glasses break, silverware bends and furniture moves of its own accord. The phenomena seem benign at first, but quickly becomes terrifying. That night, a gnarled backyard tree grabs Robbie through the bedroom window. While Steven rescues Robbie, Carol Anne is Taken by sinister supernatural forces.
So A group of parapsychologists from UC Irvine — Dr. Lesh, Ryan, and Marty — come to the Freeling house to investigate and discover that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist intrusion involving more than just one ghost. Steven then discovers that Cuesta Verde is built on an ancient Native American cemetery, but rather than relocating the whole cemetary The developers just removed the headstones and left the bodies behind. So Lesh and Ryan call in Tangina Barrons, a spiritual medium to try and sort this paranormal nightmare and she states that Carol Anne has been taken by a demon known as the “Beast”. Tangina then discovers that there is an portal to another dimension through the children’s bedroom closet, while the exit is through the living room ceiling. So the group attempts to rescue Carol Anne,
Unsurprisingly the Freelings decide to move and Steven hands in his notice. Sadly though before they can leave Diane, Robbie, and Carol Anne are once again attacked by the Beast. Robbie is attacked by an inanimate clown figure while Diane is seized by an unseen malevolent force which drags her into the swimming pool and attempts to drown her. Elsewhere coffins, skeletons and rotting corpses begin erupting out from the ground in their yard and throughout the neighborhood as more spirits begin coming through the Portal and all hell breaks loose in Cuesta Verde.
Hooper’s first novel, Midnight Movie, was published on Three Rivers Press in 2011 and the supernatural thriller film Djinn premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Tobe Hooper sadly died on August 26, 2017 in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, at the age of 74. Many Filmmakers have been influenced by Hooper including Hideo Nakata, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie,Alexandre Aja, Jack Thomas Smith and Director Ridley Scott who stated that Alien was influenced by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.