Comedy Man, The

Date: 1964
Director: Alvin Rakoff
Production Company: Consant Films, Gray-Film

Stars: Kenneth More, Cecil Parker, Dennis Price, Billie Whitelaw
Location(s): London, Surrey

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

The story of a struggling, middle aged provincial actor searching for bigger and better things in the capital.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson from source material provided by Bob Nicholls

 

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An establishing shot of the Palace Theatre where a provincial repertory company performance is coming to an end. In reality, this is Richmond Theatre on Little Green.

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Charles ‘Chick’ Byrd (Kenneth More) watches as his picture is removed from a billboard when he is fired. Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond.

The middle-aged actor heads for the railway station. Outside Richmond Theatre on Little Green, Richmond in Surrey. Also seen in 'The Krays', 'Half a Sixpence', 'Curtain Up' and 'The Naked Truth'.

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From the same angle by Ian Hedgcock.

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Chick boards a train bound for London.

The train from the provinces arrives at London's St Pancras station in N1. The location was used in 'Shirley Valentine' and 'The Servant'.

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Peter provides this image from platform level.

Chick alights and walks from the platform. St Pancras station on Euston Road, London.

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A good comparison by Peter.

The out of work actor takes a taxi to a boarding house. Facing Harrow Road from Chichester Place in W2 with Ranelagh Bridge in the background.

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The background still exists beyond Westway.(PW)

Chichester Place in Maida Vale with the Maze Hotel on the extreme left. Information from Colin. This and the nearby streets were also used in 'Never Let Go', 'The Naked Runner' and 'Innocent Meeting'.

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As it is now. (RL)

The taxi draws up. Facing north on Chichester Place W2. Everything in this shot was swept away to be replaced by The Westway, a realigned Harrow Road and Westbourne Green.

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Not the easiest of locations to revisit but I think from about here. (PW)

Old friends call down as Chick calls up for a hand with his luggage. A long gone property on Chichester Place W2.

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Looking upwards at this point 53 years on gives this view. (PW)

Appearing through the front door of the shabby house, Prout (Frank Finlay) welcomes Chick to Camden Town. Chichester Place in W2.

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The nearest buildings are now some distance away. (PW)

Forgotten boots are thrown down as Prout moves out of his rooms. Chichester Place and the surrounding streets were cleared in 1965 to allow construction of The Westway.

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Taken from a similar position. (PW)

Looking along Chichester Place towards Harrow Road and the junction of Kinnaird Street with Bayswater Synagogue, dating from 1862, on the right.

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The background and what can be seen of Ranelagh Bridge provides some re-assurance. (RL)

Julian Baxter (Edmund Purdom) and Chick leave Tommy Morris's theatrical agency. West Street in WC2. The building is Guild House, the headquarters of Equity, the UK trade union for professional performers.

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The building in the background has been rebuilt. Image from Peter.

Chick leaves without work whilst Julian lands a part playing a car park attendant. Passing St Martin's Theatre on West Street.

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Peter captured the same place.

The two head off for lunch as they discuss getting a break. Crossing West Street at the junction with Litchfield Street.

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Moving with the actors, Peter took another.

After performing a screen test for a part in a film, Julian rushes home. Chichester Place facing the corner of Chichester Street in W2.

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The slope has been increased for landscaping purposes. (RL)

When he gets the part, a Rolls Royce is sent to pick Julian up.

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Rather difficult to get a Roller in there now. (RL)

Chick is given a lift home from a rowdy evening at the pub. The corner of Chichester Place and Chichester Street.

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No place for a corner shop now. (RL)

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Outside the Labour Exchange, Chick takes a bow before hailing a cab.

The taxi drops Chick off outside the offices of Tommy Morris. Facing Upper St. Martin's Lane from West Street.

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Peter nearly got knocked over by a cyclist while taking this shot.

Chick meets fellow actor Jack Lavery (Alan Dobie) outside the offices. West Street in WC2. Older views of the location are seen in 'Midnight Episode' and 'The End of the Line'.

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The same location now from Peter.

Jack tells Chick that he's been working as a night porter. The corner of West Street and Tower Court in W2 with St Martin's Theatre as the backdrop.

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And Peter followed the shot with this picture.

Chick tries to cheer his despondent friend up. Outside Ambassadors Theatre on West Street.

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Same drain pipe but different lamppost. Image by Peter.

Prout is approached to see if there's any acting work. Outside the Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue which became an ABC Cinema in 1970. Playing is Laurence Olivier in Semi-Detached, made into the film 'All the Way Up' in 1970.

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The far side of the corner has been redeveloped. Picture from Peter.

Chick has no comment to make when Prout tells him that he'd be better off running a sweet shop in Streatham. Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2.

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Peter found alterations to the doorways and windows.

Thomas Rutherford (Cecil Parker) leaves the lodging house and heads for the bus stop as Chick follows with his case. Facing Harrow Road from Ranelagh Bridge W2. The background terrace was seen in 'Herostratus'.

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Westway has taken over: very pedestrian-unfriendly now. SJ

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Chick leaves after visiting Jack's widow when news of his friend's death is seen in the press.

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Jack's wife, his landlady and Chick attend the funeral.

During a party at which the now successful Julian turns up, Fay Trubshaw (Angela Douglas) rushes out of the house to find Chick getting into a taxi. Chichester Place with Chichester Street to the right.

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Fay would find jogging easier now. (RL)

As the taxi leaves, Fay watches. The now demolished Chichester Place in London W2.

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Now a more verdant vista. (RL)

Facing Harrow Road from Chichester Place with houses on Porchester Terrace and Gloucester Terrace visible in the distance.

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At least the distance remains much the same. (RL)

The taxi carries the disheartened actor towards Euston station. Ranelagh Bridge in W2 with Harrow Road at the bottom of the image.

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A view from ground level. It might be possible to improve from a higher view should one find oneself in gridlock on Westway! SJ

The camera pans over the Great Western Main Line out of Paddington station, behind which the spire of the now demolished Holy Trinity Church on Gloucester Terrace comes into view.

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This is taken from the corner of Ranelagh Bridge to show the unchanged corner as Orsett Terrace meets Westbourne Bridge on the left. SJ

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