My all-time favourite film, set during wartime, is 633 Squadron (1964), starring Academy Award Winner Cliff Robertson. You may know him better as Peter Parker’s uncle in Spider Man.
633 Squadron is also one of my favourite movies of all time. The editing is tight and the action is the edge-of-your-seat stuff of legend. Here’s some trivia for you: did you know 633 Squadron was George Lucas’s inspiration for the Death Star attack in Star Wars IV – A New Hope? A great deal of the credit for the film’s taught style and human depth can be attributed to Cliff Robertson, who had enough influence in Hollywood at this time to ask for rewrites of film scripts. Cliff was at the very pinnacle of Hollywood’s acting elite and is still, to my knowledge the only actor to win a Grammy each for film, theatre and advertising. His Oscar for Charly was well-deserved and if you haven’t seen that, PT 109 (where Cliff played John F Kennedy) or 633 Squadron, see them.
Cliff was one of my childhood heroes and I was lucky enough to correspond with with Cliff at the end of his life. Along with many other fans, I always wondered what happened to his character, Roy Grant, at the end of the film. He is badly wounded but we can’t be sure whether he survives or not. After a heated discussion on youtube, I decided to try and contact Cliff to find out. With the help of Stephen Thompson, Cliff’s Press Agent, I was able to write a letter with a set of questions and get these to Cliff. Continue reading “Cliff Robertson Honorary Documentary”
Just a quick post:
I had a very short correspondence with Cliff at the end of his life because I was a huge fan of his since I was a child and I wanted to ask him some questions about my favourite film 633 Squadron. He was mad about aircraft himself. I found Cliff to be incredibly warm and friendly and he tried to answer most of my questions. He even asked me over to do a ‘mano a mano’ interview. I would have loved to have gone but I couldn’t really find the time. I regret this now because I didn’t know how ill he was. Please help raise some money so we can honour this outstanding and inspirational man. Click on the link below and find out more:
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I have asked Steve Thompson who is guiding this project to post about this project on this blog in the next few weeks.
Cliff Robertson has died. I don’t know how at the moment. His website is down but I am going to send our little group’s condolences to him via his Press Agent – when I can find his address. It will probably be swamped in the welter of messages from other people but it’s the best I can do.
I only had the briefest of correspondences with him but I was struck by how open, warm and friendly he was. He asked me to go to his house to conduct an interview ‘Mano a Mano’ but it wasn’t the right time for me. I did feel also that he was possibly not well by some of the things he said. It’s sad I won’t now have the chance to talk to him but at least we have some answers to questions about 633 Squadron.
Cliff, if you are watching or listening, you will be missed.
Cliff Robertson R.I.P.
Steve Thompson has given me this address if anybody wants to leave a message about Cliff.
If you haven’t already read it, you can find Cliff Robertson’s answers to a questionnaire I I sent him on the film 633 Squadron a year before he died here.
If you’ve watched the popular war movie, you’ve probably asked one of two questions:
Did Cliff Robertson die in 633 Squadron?
Did Roy Grant die in 633 Squadron?
Well, I asked Cliff Robertson while he was alive, and the answer is in this post!
This post has been copied from the original post on my old blog (now deleted – see Reference Note at end of page). It would be a shame to lose it. Cliff, who played Roy Grant, was nice enough to reply by letter to a questionnaire I sent him about 633 Squadron. Below is my original letter. (Please note, Cliff did not answer all questions and here I have left the response blank.)
Note: Cliff died in 2011, but I have left the post in its original form.
Dear Mr Robertson,
633 Squadron is the film in which I first saw you and made me a fan of yours. Ever since then I have sought out any film with you in it and recently, at last, I managed to see Charly (which I have never seen scheduled in England on TV).
633 Squadron has always been a very popular movie in England: filmed at Bovingdon airfield, it was regularly shown on TV during my childhood and is my favourite film. Today I think the film has entered the national psyche and is even the subject of contemporary adverts. The theme music is one of the best-loved pieces of music here and for myself, I never tire of watching your performance as the laconic Roy Grant. I think, more than any other film (certainly on flying or war), it has come to represent the best, something fundamental, about the British character. Many fans would love to know more about the film and about your part: you only have to look at the posts on youtube alongside excerpts (illegal I am sure) of the movie to see how popular it is, and yet you have been almost silent on it. Please Cliff, would you be so kind as to try and find time to answer the following questions for your fans in England (I cannot speak for Wales, Ireland and Scotland but I am sure they feel the same).
A movie and aviation buff. Continue reading “Questions I asked Cliff Robertson about 633 Squadron in 2010”