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Steven Berkoff film 1970s


 

 

In the seventies Berkoff worked with Stanley Kubrick on A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon, and with Antonioni in The Passenger.  He had the basis for a cult film career.

 


Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - title

Nicholas and Alexandra from 1971, a TV mini-series about the fall of the Tsar.  A tiresome overlong (three and a half hours) film, which suffers badly from comparisons with Dr Zhivago- Freddie Young was Director of Photography in both films.

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - Michael Jayston 

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - four daughters

The fall of the tsar and the rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, but whereas David Lean's film of Dr Zhivago filmed the set pieces with visual flair, and he brought out the characters and how they were affected, Nicholas and Alexandra fails  blandly.

There is no insight into the character and failings of the Tsar.

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra

Steven Berkoff plays Pankratov, one of Lenin's revolutionaries.  Lenin on the right as Berkoff looks on in the background

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - rioters

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - military

The poverty and the oppression lead to the Bloody Sunday demonstration and massacre.

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - parade  Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - soldiers

The internal problems are coupled with the First World War and the need to resist the German invasion.  The parade of soldiers is impressive, but the reality i poorly armed and rained conscripts.

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - Michael Bryant - Lenin

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - the Tsarist royal family

Berkoff like everyone else is lost amid the hoards of stars.  Olivier and many other British actors are in the film. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner in 1971.

"Nicholas and Alexandra boasts terrific performances and gorgeous production design, but it's bloated and unwieldy. There is more history here than the film-makers know what to do with" (Alex von Tunzelmann, 14 Jun 2013, The Guardian).

"Nicholas and Alexandra doesn't sweep. It jerks- from vignette to great moment to vignette, some more effective than others... Nicholas and Alexandra are not really tragic characters, though the movie seems to pretend that they are. They are a nice, loving, fatally uninformed couple who, between them, were ultimately responsible for the death of something like 7 million subjects... The problem with Nicholas and Alexandra is... the attempt to cram too big a picture into too small a frame" (Vincent Canby, 14 Dec 1971, New York Times).

Steven Berkoff - Nicholas and Alexandra - credit

All images from the film.

 

 

 


Steven Berkoff - A Clockwork Orange - Title

A Clockwork Orang, directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971.

A small role in Stanley Kubrick´s filming of the Anthony Burgess novel. The novel, about violence and using futuristic Russian slang, has elements of Berkoff´s East.  Berkoff plays the sadistic policeman, so an early version of his Rambo role, in a scene just after McDowell is arrested.  Berkoff's use of body language is spot on.

Steven Berkoff - A Clockwork Orange - Malcolm McDowell

Steven Berkoff - A Clockwork Orange - Malcolm McDowell

Steven Berkoff in Clockwork Orange  Steven Berkoff in Clockwork Orange

Steven Berkoff - A Clockwork Orange - credit

All images from the film.

 

 



Steven Berkoff - The Passenger - titleJ

The Passenger also known as Profession: Reporter with Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger  Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger

A disillusioned reporter in the desert takes on the identity of anther man who has died, and he turns up at the appointments in the dead man's diary. The reporter finds he is involved in gun running. Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1975.

"The Passenger, arguably Mr. Antonioni's greatest film… was originally titled Fatal Exit… During production, the film was renamed The Reporter and then, Profession: Reporter, the title under which it was released in Europe. It was called The Passenger for the American release, which is too bad because the film turns on what happens to Locke when he abandons the safety of objectivity, which allowed him to keep the world at a distance, with a new, uncharted subjectivity… what seems to matter most now is that few filmmakers have revealed so much beauty inside a film frame… … The film has long been out of view because its rights belong to Mr. Nicholson, who inexplicably chose to keep one of his and Mr. Antonioni's greatest triumphs in limited circulation" (Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 28 Oct 2005).

"... a classic of a difficult and alienating kind, but one that really does shimmer in the mind like a remembered dream. It is the Greeneian tale of a world-weary television reporter in Chad, north-central Africa, called Locke, played by Jack Nicholson. Profoundly depressed by his failing marriage and by a drab professional career that involves conducting non-boat-rocking interviews with potentates, Locke discovers what he believes to be an existential way out: a suicide that isn’t suicide. He swaps identities with a dead man in the neighbouring hotel room, with whom he had struck up a desultory friendship" (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 16 Jun 2006).

"... a remarkable work and a major return to form after the incoherent, shallow Zabriskie Point. It is a bit like a heavily intellectualised Graham Greene story, partly because of its screenplay, by Mark Peploe and structuralist critic Peter Wollen (who was once a political correspondent in foreign parts) and partly because Antonioni was concerned with spiritual values" (Derek Malcolm, The Guardian, 1 Jun 2000).

Steven Berkoff - The Passenger  - credit

All images from the film.

 

 


 

Barry Lyndon Barry Lyndon

Kubrick´s period piece filmed, unusually for him, outside Britain, in Ireland. Berkoff´s second Kubrick film alongside A Clockwork Orange.  Berkoff has two short scenes as Lord Ludd, a dandy. He loses at cards to Robert Ryan and then loses at swords in a duel.  Directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1975.

Berkoff in Barry Lyndon   Steven Berkoff in Barry Lyndon


Joseph Andrews

Joseph Andrews.  A tiresome and reverential film of the novel by Henry Fielding- surely the last thing to do with Fielding.  Directeed by Tony Richardson in 1977 with Peter Firth as Andrews and other well-known British actors including John Gielgud,  and Swedish-American Ann-Margaret fill up the cast.

Joseph Andrews

Berkoff has a small role as "Greasy Fellow".

Joseph Andrews

He tries to take advantage of a woman but is knocked out.

Joseph Andrews

Quietly he revives...

Joseph Andrews Steven Berkoff

... and takes a hostage.

Berkoff and Peter Firth would later work togther in Prisoner of Rio and Michael Horden (Parson Adams) had already worked with Berkoff on the television play "Sir Jocelyn, the Minister Would Like a Word... ".

All images from the DVD of the film.


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