The sixties: 1965– 69
in Charles Crichton
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Chapter 8 follows Charles Crichton’s career through the second half of the sixties. He made only one feature film during this period, the thriller He Who Rides a Tiger (1965). Based on the experiences of cat burglar Peter Gulston (aka Peter Scott), the film was written by Trevor Peacock and starred Tom Bell and Judi Dench. The production was plagued by money problems and the erratic behaviour of producer David Newman, and the reviews were mixed. It would be more than two decades before Crichton directed another feature. The subsequent years were filled with TV work, notably on The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase and The Strange Report. There was, however, a suggestion of things to come when Crichton was briefly considered as director for a project being developed by future Monty Python’s Flying Circus stars John Cleese and Graham Chapman. The film, then titled Rentasleuth, went ahead without him, appearing in 1972 under the title Rentadick. It was a total flop, but the short-lived collaboration between Crichton, Cleese and Chapman would go on to bear fruit almost twenty years later with A Fish Called Wanda.

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