Where Have You Gone, Tom Courtenay?



Last night I picked another "Out of the Hat" movie and came up with King and Country (1964), a WWI film directed by Joseph Losey about the trial of a British soldier, Private Arthur Hamp (Tom Courtenay, right, pictured with Dick Bogarde), accused of desertion. This tremendous anti-war picture is normally compared to (and overshadowed by) Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1957), which is a better film, but Losey's effort is also impressive. Yet no one talks about King and Country or its star Tom Courtenay.




The first time I can remember seeing Courtenay is in The Dresser (1983), another film that's almost completely forgotten. His role as Norman, the personal assistant to a veteran (and volatile) stage actor (Albert Finney) was tremendous, earning Courtenay an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. You've probably seen him in Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), Billy Liar (1962), and perhaps in the more recent films Quartet (2012) and 45 Years (2015). Sir Daniel Thomas Courtenay (now 82) is better known as a stage actor, but he continues to work in film. I wish more people were talking about him.


You can read more about Courtenay in this article from 2018, but I urge you to see his films.




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