Jack Gold 1930 – 2015

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Another loss for the British Film Industry. Jack Gold did not have a high profile but he directed some fine cinema and television films. My first encounter was The Bofors Gun (1968), set in the era of National Service and with compelling performances from Nicol Williamson and David Warner. His following film The Reckoning (1970) also starred Williamson returning to Liverpool on the death of his father. Both were sharply made with complex characters and powerful plots. The Sailor’s Return (1978) dealt with racial prejudice before the issue acquired a sharper focus on film. Some of his later films lacked the subtlety of his earlier work. The Medusa Touch (also 1978) had a ludicrous plot: but the climatic disaster remains a must for subversives and republicans. There were also many fine films for television. The Lump (1967) was a Wednesday Play written by Jim Allen, dealing with casualised labour with a strong social consciousness. And Mad Jack (1970) was an effective treatment of the ordeal of Siegfried Sassoon during World War I. Then there was the better known The Naked Civil Servant (1975), splendidly led by John Hurt. Later there was The Praying Mantis (1983, in two parts) with an unsettling Cherie Lunghi in the lead. And later again one of the best of and the final Inspector Morse films, The Remorseful Day (2000). Jack Gold was a fairly prolific filmmaker, look at his list of productions on IMDB. Looking back, apart from his skills in film production what is clear is that he was also a fine director of actors: and he worked with some of the finest in British film and television.

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