Wednesday 23 January 2013

Michael Winner (1935 - 2013)

In my vast DVD and Blu-ray collection (I'm not a digital man) one film is missing, one film that to me reminds me of my childhood years.

No its not Star Wars or Gremlins or Jaws or the various Planet of the Apes films,  its Hannibal Brooks.

You see before the age of multichannel television and video to go certain films popped up the schedules on TV, for many World War 2 was not a distant memory and war films had been a staple diet of any child growing up in the early 1970s.

With a film script written by comedy writers Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, Michael Winner directed a film with a plot about a British prisoner of war (Oliver Reed) rescuing an elephant from Munich Zoo and escaping over the mountains to Switzerland - a war film for all the family.

Roll on to 2011 and can you buy Hannibal Brooks on DVD anywhere ? It was released on a long deleted Japanese issue, but you can't buy a copy for love nor money.

In the age of social media, what should you do ???? I know lets ask the director, step forward Twitter, lets ask Mr Michael Winner how on earth I get a copy of Hannibal Brooks.

 @MrMichaelWinner kind Sir, will the 1969 classic Hannibal Brooks every come out on DVD?Sorry to disturb you if your eating your evening meal

- he had this reputation of being a bit grumpy, so I thought best be polite.

 MrMichaelWinner Michael Winner
@fragglehunter sadly i am not in control of that, there are versions avaiable on internet i bought some

- blimey I got a reply, but oh I think he's hinting a pirate copy ??

That evening, in passing I mention it to my father-in-law (not that he understands anything about Twitter or similar such works of the Devil you understand) and out come some the family photographs. Turns out he was backpacking in Austria when Hannibal Brooks was being filmed in the town of Egg.

@MrMichaelWinner Good Sir ! turns out the inlaws saw some of Hannibal Brooks being filmed 1968? and took some pics 

Egg, Austria - one of Oliver Reed's drinking holes

SS car from the film Hannibal Brooks

 Egg, Austria - one of the locations used in the film Hannibal Brooks

 Egg, Austria, Aida the elephant "Lucy"

 Aida the elephant "Lucy" on location for the film Hannibal Brooks

 MrMichaelWinner Michael Winner
@fragglehunter takes me back when i saw yr pix

RIP Michael Winner

Michael Winner will be sadly missed for many reasons (I rather liked the Esure adverts), but his now classic film Hannibal Brooks is a gap in so many film collections for people of my age I suspect., come on lets have a release or am I the only person who buys shiny discs these days ?

or should I do as Michael Winner hinted ?

Michael Winner 30 October 1935 – 21 January 2013

***Update 24th January 2013 ***

Turns out Amazon do sell this title now, sold on a DVD-R R1 disc

 This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching it on TV many years ago, I thought it was great. Typical of the sort of thing that used to be on Sunday afternoons a few decades ago.
    If the film's in the public domain, and the director endorses you grabbing a copy through whatever means, then why not?

    Also, 'Egg', great name for a town!