Peter Seamus Lorcan O’Toole (2 August 1932 – 15 December 2013)

While filming ‘Lawrence Of Arabia‘, O’Toole organised a date for Omar Sharif with “sex-swap pioneer” April Ashley. When Sharif found out that, um, all was not as it appeared, he chased O’Toole around the house with a meat cleaver.

He once went out for a drink in Paris… and woke up in Corsica.

Drinking buddies... O'Toole and Richard Harris

Drinking buddies… O’Toole and Richard Harris

He also loved climbing. His party piece was drunkenly scrambling up the wall of Lloyd’s Bank in Covent Garden. He used to scale it in his “Sunday shoes”.

While shooting ‘The Lion In Winter’, O’Toole cut off the top of his finger in a boating accident. He popped the finger in some brandy he was drinking, before pushing it back into place and wrapping with a bandage. Three weeks later he took the bandage off, and found he’d put it on the wrong way round, “probably because of the brandy, which I drank,” explained O’Toole.

He went out boozing with Michael Caine when he was O’Toole’s understudy for ‘The Long And The Short And The Tall‘ at the Royal Court Theatre in 1959. The last thing Michael Caine remembered was eating egg and chips, before waking up in a strange flat with a headache. “What time is it?” he inquired. “Never mind what time it is,” said O’Toole. “What f***ing day is it?” Two days had passed and they were due on stage in three hours.


Jeffrey Bernard (left) with O’Toole, enjoy a glass of lunch

On one epic session with Peter Finch in Ireland, they tried to order drinks at a small bar after closing time. The landlord refused to serve them, so they wrote out a cheque and bought the bar. Thankfully he didn’t cash it, and they ripped it up the following morning.

(drinking stories via yahoo news)

And The Winner Isn’t (Original Screenplay)

Scrolling through the list of nominees for this year’s Academy Awards it dawns on me just how few movies I’ve been to see over the past 12 months. I saw Up on a plane and Hurt Locker on DVD. Although a huge movie fan, I’ve always shied away from going to the cinema, preferring to wait til the DVD release. Yes, I’m fully aware that films were made to be watched on the big screen, but a trip to the flicks has always been a less than underwhelming experience for me.

Whatever The Drifters may think, Saturday Night at the Movies was a miserable, wasted night. I could never get comfortable, movie houses having a penchant for packing you in, in rows of seats with airliner leg-room. You couldn’t get a beer (well not in the UK anyway), which means 2 1/2 hours of your weekend wasted, and I always manage to sit in front of someone annoying bastard from one of the following categories:
1. He’s seen the movie before and would give his mates/girlfriend a commentary of the film, using helpful phrases like “oh, this is a good bit” or reciting the upcoming line 2 seconds before it was delivered.
2. He’s bought out the concessions stand in the foyer and would rustle and chomp his way through the whole movie, right in your ear hole.
3. Him and his missus are copulating throughout the film with the accompanying squeaks, giggles and groans being very off-putting. And it’s even worse if the couple happen to be sitting in front of you. A silhouetted head bobbing up and down in the row in front of me once made me miss every third frame of Schindler’s List
4. He laughs heartily at every single gag in the movie, as if he was the scriptwriter.
5. He’s pissed, so all of the above could apply.

And before you tell me that multiplexes now have huge sofas and bars with proper food and drinks served to you, it’s too late. The die has been cast, and anyway it’ll still be full of gits.

Ah! That's more like it

No, even for one with such tolerance for and love of my fellow man, I prefer to watch my films at home from the comfort, peace and quiet of my own sofa, where the only sound is the door of the fridge opening when the Incumbent opens another couple of beers.

It’ll be the first time in ten years that I won’t be participating in TIME magazine‘s Oscar Sweep, where we’d predict/guess who will win which category. But seeing as I’ve watched very few movies this year my chances of winning would be, at best, minimal. Although some of the awards they hand out are so obscure that it’s a complete lottery anyway (who makes notes on their favourite Writing from an Adapted Screenplay ? Certainly not that girl sitting in the row in front of me blowing her boyfriend)

So when the time comes I will be hoping that Hurt Locker romps home with the award for Best (Only)Nominated Picture Seen by Me This Year and UP walks away with Best Animated Feature shown by Oman Air Last November.

Obviously we’ll all be biting our nails, hoping Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen wins in the category of Sound Mixing.