Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Film Career (Offstage)

June 26, 1959


When I was a young soldier in the United States Army, I was stationed in Germany in 1958 and 1959. In the summer of 1959, I took a ten day leave to London. Being a tourist, and an incurable Anglophile, I gravitated to the river Thames. South of the river, probably in Southwark, I happened across a camera crew shooting a scene for a film. I was told the film was to be called Jazz Boat. Anthony Newley was the star.

I believe I appeared in one scene. The crew was shooting a group of revelers ascending a gangway onto a Thames craft. I was in a crowd of onlookers -- on the left side when facing the boat, and would be easy to locate because I was in uniform. Of course, the scene I was in likely found its way to the cutting room floor. But even if cut, perhaps I was once seen in the rushes. And most of us know David Mamet’s comment that even Moses looked good in the rushes.

Jazz Boat. My brilliant career.

Postscript: I have sought a television showing, a video or a DVD of Jazz Boat for years – to no avail.


  1. Perhaps at this stage it will come as little surprise to reveal that

    a) I am an enormous fan of Anthony Newley,
    b) Jazzboat is one of my favourites of his films,
    c) Of course I have a copy!

    It's pretty low-quality: copied, I think, from a 16mm print in the most primitive way imaginable - but if you have the facility to play multi-region DVDs let me know and I'll send it to you. (Or even if you don't, you can watch it next time you're in Gravesend!)
    By all means send a postal address to if you're interested.

  2. Dear Matthew:

    I am surprised -- yet I am not surprised. (I sound like Lewis Carroll or perhaps Julius Marx.) After all these years, Jazz Boat surfaces. As Ronnie Winslow said near the end of the Mamet version of Winslow Boy -- “How About That!”

    We do not have the capability to play multi-region DVDs, so the latter option is preferable. Will send an Email separately about this. How about that. Thank you as always.