Tuesday, June 7, 2016

R.I.P., Alan Rickman

This is quite obviously belated; and I did notice his demise at the time: but, R.I.P.  And let me advise readers who have not seen the truly excellent miniseries The Barchester Chronicles (the BBC’s adaptations of Trollop’s The Warden and Barchester Towers)—do it.  There are infelicities, to be sure, but the stellar performances of the ever-delightful Susan Hampshire as Signora Madeline Neroni and Alan Rickman as (of course) the villainous but also misunderstood and somewhat put-upon Mr. Slope are not to be missed—not to mention Donald Pleasance’s turn as the warden himself.

Did you know that Donald Pleasance, who played the
birdwatcher in The Great Escape, was initially a conscientious
objector during WWII?  That he then changed his stance, and
joined the R.A.F.?  That his plane was shot down,
and he spent the last year in a POW camp?  I didn’t either …

Alan Rickman is VERY young, deliciously slimy, and delightfully … well, I had better not say anything else about Mr. Slope, or I will be giving away spoilers.  Let me just add that the final words of that character, as Rickman uttered them (they are not in the novel Trollop wrote, alas) are unforgettable.

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