Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Lowe

Despite Arthur Lowe's exhaustive theatrical, film and TV career spanning five decades, it's rather inevitable that, in the final reckoning, he's probably remembered by many for one role and one role only.
Lowe's alter ego, the pompous* Captain Mainwaring - a role he played for almost 10 years - must ultimately have weighed him down. 
He will have had as many, if not more, Dad's Army fans come up to him in the street and shout 'Stupid Boy' than Alan Partridge acolytes have yelled 'AHA!' at Steve Coogan whenever he's nipped out for a pint of milk.

*Who remembers him voicing over the Mr. Men animated series back in the late seventies? Towards the end of Lowe's career he was a functioning alcoholic and could, allegedly, be every bit as pompous as Mainwaring himself. I'm not sure if Roger Hargreaves ever wrote a Mr. Pompous book, but here's Mainwaring Lowe reading Mr. Uppity. Fall in at the back.



14 comments:

  1. The day I don't laugh out loud at the line '...don't tell him Pike...', you'll know that there's something seriously wrong with me.

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    1. I know what you mean. I could watch the re-runs again and again. And again.

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  2. Hadn't seen the "Lowe" album cover before. Fair brightened up my day. Thank you.

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    1. It also ties up quite nicely with the Nick Lowe/Bowi story...

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  3. Ditto both of the comments above - He might have been weighed down by Mainwaring (love these English names that sound nothing like they are spelt, also Cholmondeley) but not too bad a character to have been weighed down by.

    His son, for many years, lived on a houseboat on the Caledonian Canal not far from where we live.

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    1. Like father like son. Lowe and the missus spent a lot of time on their boat throwing drinks parties.

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  4. Great character actor. His wife Joan Cooper was, by all accounts, a nightmare. A rep actress she demanded he find her a role in almost anything he was involved with, including Dad's Army in which she played one of Godfrey's sisters. She too was an alcoholic and, I've read, a nymphomaniac.

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    1. Did you know Croft & Perry wanted to give the gig to Jon Pertwee? I wonder how that would've panned out?

      I knew she was a lush, but didn't know about her sex life.

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    2. I can't recall where I read it now, but the picture the author conjured up was of a very nasty woman who placed great demands on her husband, both in terms of career and sexually!

      I did know that yeah...I can see it, but I can't see it being anywhere near as successful. As the dismal recent big screen version proved, Dad's Army was lightning in a bottle thanks to its impeccable cast. You really can't replace them. That said, I'm intrigued by Gold's decision to remake a couple of 'lost' episodes with Kevin McNally as Mainwaring, Robert Bathurst as Wilson, Kevin Eldon as Jones and Timothy West as Godfrey

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    3. My other half's boss is a big Dad's Army fan and recently went to see the filming of those 'lost' episodes at Pinewood Studios. It's all a bit hush hush I believe but he said it was very good and the actors did the characters great credit, so we'll see!

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    4. That's reassuring to hear C. Of course they have a better shot of it because they're working from original Croft and Perry scripts rather than a ridiculously poor new story as with the recent movie, a screenplay which had no understanding of what made the series such a success. It felt more like Carry On England.

      Shame Bernard Cribbins had to pull out from the Godfrey role though.

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  5. C/M - Mighty big shoes to fill, but, I look forward to seeing it, I really do.

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  6. This is a Yank who loves Dad's Army and Bless Me, Father. Big fan of Lowe's work. Big thanks to my local PBS station for bringing those to me when I was a lad. I used to watch them with my father.

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    1. Good on ya, Brian!

      Dad's Army is peerless. And like all the great sitcoms it's not about the thing that everyone thinks it's about. Dad's Army is not about the War; it's about normal people being thrown together & reacting to abnormal circumstances. It's about class. It's about camaraderie. It's about not telling the Germans your name.

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