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Harry Andrews - A Profile

by Dale Pierce

September 2005

For films starring Harry Andrews
on (re)Search my Trash
click here !


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Harry Andrews was born in Tonbridge, England in 1911 and died in 1989, leaving behind a long list of feature films and television appearances to his credit. He was surived in the celluoid world by his son, the actor, Dave Andrews, as well.

Most often, Andrews was and associated with his roles as the stiffnecked, strutting British military officer, uttering cliches such as "Carry on, Pip, pip and right then". His cameo in Play Dirty and his costarring role in The Hill, a bilm about a British miltary prison located in the Liberian desert, serve as prime examples. Ditto for the Battle Of Britain and - though a different war in a different century - in Valley Forge.  Though he was sterotypical of the pompous officer the Monty Python crew liked so much to satire, he was always acclaimed for these roles. The Hill, in particular, earned him much credibility as an actor, as he played the commander of the aforenoted military prison, where in a state of drunken boredom and fixation with regulations, was losing control over the grounds to a pack of sadistic, manipulative guards. In the end, he loses not only total control of the jail, but his own mind as well, but by this point you hate him so much you do not know whether to feel sorry for him or applaud.

Yet in spite of recognizability by face, if not name, by film fans in general, Andrews also worked in a great deal of horror and suspense movies. He might be considered a "horror actor" just as much as a star in "military roles" for if the truth be known, he played in more scream cinema than he ever did in war pictures.

In fact, the last major film of his career was the tv mini-series, Jack the Ripper, in 1988. Though reduced to playing the role of a coroner, it was a decent film to round out his career. He died some months after shooting was complete.

Andrews likewise played one of a group of arrogant drama critics targeted by the vindictive stage actor, Edward Lionheart, as performed by Vincent Price, in the cult classic, Theatre of Blood. Presumed dead by suicide after killing himself when his performances were panned by the press and he failed to win an award he anticipated, he is rescued from his attempt to drown himself, by a group of street people. Turning these winos, bums and crazies into a small army, the Lionheart character enlists the help of his daughter and sets out for revenge. The critics die one by one, murdered in accordance with the killings found in various plays. Andrews gets his too, in an interesting revision of Shakespeare. If you have not seen the film, find it on video or DVD and see for yourself.

Likewise, he played a supporting  role of the housemaster in The Nightcomers, a strange prequel to The Turn Of The Screw, in which the ghosts, Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, are seen in mortal form and are murdered by the children they later come back from the dead to influence. The film itself is not a great one, with a hopelessly overacting Marlon Brando in the role of Quint, spouting the phoniest Irish accent this side of the Lucky Charms cereal commercials.

Other horror films in which Andrews took part include The Curse Of King Tut's Tomb (a factual film about the deaths of those who discovered this dead pharoah's grave), Tales Of the Unexpected, Child Of the Night and Burke & Hare. The last item on this list tells the real life horror story of two grave robbers in England who sold corpses to a doctor for medical experiments. When they ran out of graves to dig up and fresh corpses, they created their own by killing people.

Andrews, of course, played in numerous other roles. He was a sailor in Moby Dick, Peter in the biblical epic, Barabas, and an Amish father come to New York to retrieve a wayward daughter in the Night They Raided Minsky's.

American wrestling fans might also note the stunning resemblance Andrews had to the late wrestler, Fritz Von Erich.

 

 

© by Dale Pierce


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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