Michael Caine, the star who never hid his “cockney” accent

When Michael Caine’s father died at the age of 56, he had only three shillings and eight pence in his pocket. At that moment, Alfie’s future hero swore that he would succeed in both versions of The Man Who Would Be King and Footprint. This is one of the many details that the actor tells in the German Margarete Kreuzer’s documentary MCaine, which has been on the screen since last Tuesday. Kreuzer, who had previously produced Sound of Sound: Tangerine Dream, a very different documentary focusing on the electronic and emerging music group, had something important in these situations: the active presence of Caine (who turned 90 on Tuesday). from his life and work.

A still from 1967’s The Desired Night with Michael Cane and Jane Fonda.

A director, Christopher Nolan, who knew him very well, joined the case; Photographer David Bailey, who took some of the most defining photos of his career in the 1960s, and Chas Smash, a member of the Madness group. All contribute their knowledge of a London-based actor who was one of the members of the working-class-led art revolution in the golden 60s, amid the currents of rocking London and Carnaby Street fashion. Along with him are the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, actors Richard Burton and Sean Connery, and painter David Hockney.

The name of the movie is MCaine, which is the anagram of cinema. Follow chronologically in the footsteps of this self-taught actor who never hides his accent, quite the opposite. He arrived on the London stage and was a substitute for Peter O’Toole in Ambush in the Jungle, about a group of British soldiers. Later, he participated in the first piece of the then unknown Harold Pinter. As a publicized fan of Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, he adopted the name Caine when he saw the title of Bogart’s The Caine Mutiny on the glittering fringes of a Leicester Square movie theater. His name is actually Maurice Joseph Micklewhite.

difficult beginnings

The beginnings were not easy. In the documentary, Caine explains that at the time he had to wash dishes, drill roads and work as a night watchman in a disreputable hotel, “having to cross the street frequently to avoid creditors.” Because of this uncertainty, his first marriage did not go well. She shared an apartment with Terence Stamp, the actor originally chosen to play in Zulu (1964). Stamp failed, and Caine, who would become his first major movie success, took his place. The director, American Cy Endfield, paid no attention to Caine’s East End London underground accent. It was a kind of class revolution when a British officer spoke with this accent in South Africa in 1879.

Stamp went through his life again. He took a role in the play Alfie in cinemas. The producers thought of him when preparing the film adaptation. The stamp was rejected as the game did not perform well among the public. He was succeeded by Caine, a longtime acquaintance of the film’s director’s son, Lewis Gilbert. The film, which was released in 1966, is the most important film in his career. From that moment he decided to use sexual ambiguity in theater and cinema. And it imposed a new aesthetic. David Bailey remembers that it was Caine who fashioned the rimmed glasses in the movies.

lots of anecdotes

The documentary is filled with not-so-well-known anecdotes, footage of the Battle of Britain and The Funeral in Berlin, and good archival material such as the party Shirley MacLaine gave her while she was shooting A Love Thief. 1966) together. . Caine remembers being friends with Alfred Hitchcock, but not accepting the role of the female murderer he offered for Frenesí (1972). Barry Foster finally did it. After a while, they met on a street in Berlin. Hitchcock looked at him and shook him off.

If The Smiths used a photo of Terence Stamp for one of their singles and Yo La Tengo has a song called Tom Courtenay, Madness composed the hit Michael Caine in 1984. It is Chas Smash, who reveals that Caine’s stolid spy, Harry Palmer, portrayed in three films, is the working-class James Bond. Together with the real Bond Sean Connery, they made The Man Who Would Be King.

He retired in Miami in the mid-1990s, but Jack Nicholson, who also lived in the city, persuaded him to co-film Blood and Wine (1996). Caine returned to the movies with notable success: three years later he won an Oscar for The Cider House Rules, and in 2000 Elizabeth II awarded him the title of sir. After another pullback, it was Nolan who convinced him to return to play the butler Alfred in Batman Begins (2005). “He warmed up something that could have been very dark,” says Nolan. Since then, no film has been made by this director outside of Dunkirk without Caine’s help, but in this war story his voice can be heard momentarily speaking to Tom Hardy on the radio.

Source: Informacion

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