Two Friar Tucks

Above is a publicity poster for Noel Langley’s film adaption of Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, released in London on 26th November 1952. Appearing amongst a whole host of stars, including Joyce Grenfell, Hermione Gingold, Nigel Patrick and James Donald was James Hayter (top left), in the main role as Samuel Pickwick. This was his fourth movie to be released in 1952 and would earn him a nomination for a BAFTA as ‘Best British Actor.’

Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men had its Royal Premier in March of that year and Hayter’s Friar Tuck had ‘almost stolen the show.’ Another actor appearing in Pickwick would be next to put on the Franciscan habit of Robin’s faithful Friar, and go on to make 89 episodes of the classic television series, The Adventures of Robin Hood - Alexander Gauge (1914-1960) (bottom row-second from the left). Gauge played the character Tupman in Pickwick and had been a celebrated Shakespearean actor, but will always be remembered for his role as Friar Tuck, alongside Richard Greene as Robin Hood in Hannah Weinstein’s ground-breaking television production for Lew Grade’s newly formed ITC Company.

The Pickwick Papers was filmed at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, where from 1955 to 1960, a hundred and forty-three half hour, black and white episodes of the hugely successful The Adventures of Robin Hood were recorded for the small screen. James Hayer would later appear as Tom the miller in two of the stories, following in the footsteps of two other stars from Disney’s Story of Robin Hood-Hal Osmond who played four separate characters and Patrick Barr, who re-created his role as King Richard the Lionheart.

(To read more about James Hayter and Patrick Barr, please click on their 'Labels' in the right-hand panel or below).

1 comment:

Clement of the Glen said...

James Hayter
The Pickwick Papers
Alexander Gauge
Friar Tuck
The Story of Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Patrick Barr
Hal Osmond