Hey folks, Harry here... Just as I was about to shutdown this computer for the next 5 days, I got word that Michael Winner has died. Now, sharp eyed viewers of the first season of AINT IT COOL with Harry Knowles, might have spotted a poster from time to time called PLAY IT COOL. I love the mod sensibilities of the poster and the film was a fun musical experience - if a bit simple. This was one of the early works of Michael Winner, the director that most of us know for a slate of really badass movies in the 1970s.
You seen CHATO'S LAND? Think Rambo, with out the military background. You see Charles Bronson is Chato - and Chato killed a US Marshall and gets hunted by Jack Palance... and it is AWESOME!
Even before that, Michael directed Oliver Reed in a WWII escape from the Nazis flick... where Oiver Reed escapes with an Elephant he was taking care of... this film also features the awesome of Michael J Pollard - who you should find everything he did to enjoy.
I mention these two rarely appreciated flicks - because the films we all know Michael Winner for... are often praised. Flicks like THE MECHANIC with Bronson or the first 3 DEATH WISH films. Hell, I love his remake of THE BIG SLEEP with Robert Mitchum - and I really love its one sheet by Amsel. He did SCORPIO with Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon which is a really great spy/assassination flick.
The point being, Michael Winner understood action. How much so? He was offered THE FRENCH CONNECTION to direct along with the Dino KING KONG - it would have been fascinating to have seen what he would have done, especially on KING KONG.
To get a real flavor for the man himself, check out his quotes over at IMDB - he was a hoot.
Our thoughts go out to wife Geraldine Lynton and those that knew him. Another good one is gone.