2019 is packed full of anniversaries, including 70 years of classic Ealing comedies, 50 years since “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and “The Italian Job”, and 55 years since Diana Rigg started filming “The Avengers”. For inspiration, for you or as a gift, here’s Art & Hue’s handy round-up of milestones in 2019 and related pop art prints.
70 years of The Third Man
The classic British film noir “The Third Man” premiered 70 years ago in Hastings. The Grand Gala World Premiere was held at the Ritz Cinema in Hastings, East Sussex, on the 1st of September 1949 before the London opening on the 2nd.
Graham Greene, the late writer of both classic film noirs “The Third Man” & “Brighton Rock”, was born 115 years ago.
70 years of Ealing Comedies
70 years ago in 1949, Ealing Studios released four comedy films in close succession and the classic British film institution of the Ealing Comedies was firmly established.
70 Years of Passport to Pimlico
On the 28th of April in 1949, “Passport to Pimlico” opened at both the Gaumont and Pavilion cinemas in London. The studios had released comedies previously, such as “Hue & Cry” in 1947, but Ealing’s prolific output in 1949 was a boom period for the studios, with critical and commercial success. “Passport to Pimlico” established the pattern of employing a regular cast, similar to repertory theatre, with actors & actresses being used across several films.
70 years of Whisky Galore!
On the 16th of June in 1949, “Whisky Galore!” opened at both the Gaumont and Pavilion cinemas in London and proved to be a box office success, at home & internationally – the film was renamed “Tight Little Island” for American audiences and the French title inspired the name of the world’s first ever discotheque, Whisky à Gogo in Paris.
The Titfield Thunderbolt
Starring John Gregson & George Relph, “The Titfield Thunderbolt” had its Gala Premiere at London’s Leicester Square Theatre on the 5th of March 1953.
Meet Mr Lucifer 66
Starring Stanley Holloway, Barbara Murray, Gordon Jackson, Joan Sims, and Irene Handl, “Meet Mr. Lucifer” opened 66 years ago on the 26th of November 1953 at the Haymarket Gaumont cinema in London.
70 Years of Kind Hearts & Coronets
On the 23rd of June 1949, “Kind Hearts & Coronets” opened at the Leicester Square Odeon cinema in London, appropriately enough on Dennis Price’s birthday. Regarded by many as the finest Ealing comedy, “Kind Hearts & Coronets” stars Alec Guinness as all nine members of the D’Ascoyne family who stand in the way of Dennis Price‘s goal.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’s 50th Anniversary
2019 marks 50 years of the classic 1969 James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Regarded by many to be the best Bond film, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” has it all – Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley, Anouska Hempel, Jenny Hanley, Julie Ege, Verner Panton lighting, a mountain-top lair, a Christmas song, a beautifully poignant love song by Louis Armstrong, and arguably the best John Barry soundtrack ever.
George Lazenby turns 80!
Taking over the successful franchise from Sean Connery was never going to be an easy feat but George Lazenby with Diana Rigg made for what many consider to be the best Bond film ever. The star of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, George Lazenby turned 80 years old in 2019.
The classic Bond film “Goldfinger”, starring Sean Connery & Honor Blackman, with a cracking theme song featuring Shirley Bassey, was released 55 years ago, premiering at the Odeon Leicester Square on the 17th of September 1964.
The Man With the Golden Gun 45
Featuring the stars of “The Wicker Man“, Christopher Lee & Britt Ekland appeared with Roger Moore in his second outing as James Bond 45 years ago. The London Royal premiere was attended by the Duke of Edinburgh on the 19th of December 1974.
Britt Ekland’s 77th
The actress Britt Ekland turned 77 in 2019. From “Get Carter” with Michael Caine and “The Wicker Man” with Edward Woodward, to “Absolutely Fabulous” with Joanna Lumley and “Matt Houston” with Pamela Hensley, Britt’s a film & TV icon.
45 years of The Wicker Man
The cult horror musical “The Wicker Man” had a patchy release history, with previous test screenings and previews in 1973, but the film had its “official” premieres 45 years ago in 1974. The Scottish premieres took place at the Regal Cinema in Stranraer & the Cinema in Newton Stewart on the 13th of January 1974, ahead of the “official” nationwide release on the 20th of January 1974. Starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee & Britt Ekland, the film endures as a unique classic.
Devil Girl From Mars 65
Billed as the first major science-fiction film to be made in England, “Devil Girl From Mars” was first released in British cinemas on the 2nd of May 1954. So bad it’s great, the science fiction film “Devil Girl From Mars” has achieved cult status for the high camp production and low-tech special effects.
The Pink Panther at 55
When Peter Sellers was cast as Inspector Clouseau in what was supposed to be a David Niven vehicle, Sellers stole the film with his bumbling police detective.
Also starring Capucine & Claudia Cardinale, “The Pink Panther” had its London premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square on the 9th of January 1964.
50 years of The Italian Job
On the 5th of June in 1969, the seminal 1960s film “The Italian Job” opened at London’s Plaza cinema.
Dame Twiggy’s 70th
“The” face of the 1960s, Twiggy, also known as Leslie Lawson, turned 70 this year and became a Dame in the New Year’s Honours list.
Jean Shrimpton turns 77
Known as “The Shrimp”, one of the key fashion models of the 1960s marked her 77th birthday in 2019.
The iconic Sixties Supermodel, who appeared in the seminal film “Blow-Up” with David Hemmings, celebrated her 80th this year.
Christy Turlington 50
One of the original “Big Five” supermodels, Christy Turlington turned 50 in 2019.
Kate Moss turns 45
The iconic London model celebrated her 45th birthday this year.
Amber Valletta 45
Actress and model, Amber Valletta turned 45 in 2019.
30 years of Supermodels
In 1989, Peter Lindbergh shot five models for the cover of British Vogue’s January 1990 issue.
Mary Quant turns 85
The Queen of 1960s fashion Mary Quant turned 85 in 2019.
Starring Peter Hinwood, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was released 44 years ago.
90 Years of Hitchcock’s Blackmail, the first all-British talking picture
2019 marks 90 years of “Blackmail”, the first all-British film production with sound. The film premiered at the Capitol cinema in London on the 28th of July 1929.
Antonia Ellis 75
The glamourous actress from “Percy” and “U.F.O.” Antonia Ellis turned 75 in 2019.
Caroline Munro 70
Star of Bond-film “The Spy Who Loved Me” Caroline Munro turned 70 in 2019.
Carol Hawkins 70
The British actress Carol Hawkins celebrated her 70th birthday this year.
Madeline Smith 70
The actress and model Madeline Smith turned 70 in 2019.
Vikki Richards 70
Actress Vikki Richards, who turned 70 in 2019, appeared in saucy films such as “Percy’s Progress“, & “Black Snake”.
Percy’s Progress 45
The saucy British comedy “Percy’s Progress” was released 45 years ago at the ABC Shaftesbury Avenue on the 29th of August 1974.
Up Pompeii 50
The pilot episode of “Up Pompeii” starring Frankie Howerd was aired 50 years ago as part of Comedy Playhouse.
Sandow 130 Years
130 years ago, Eugen Sandow won “The Strongest Man on Earth” challenge and went on to become the Father of Bodybuilding.
Hercules Unchained 60
Starring muscle-man Steve Reeves, the “Hercules” sequel “Hercules Unchained” was released in Italy on the 14th of February 1959.
Hercules in New York 50
Arnold Schwarzenegger made his film debut 50 years ago in “Hercules in New York”, released on the 16th of December 1969.
Nana Mouskouri 85
The world-famous Greek singer celebrated her 85th birthday in 2019.
Françoise Hardy 75
Super-stylish Françoise Hardy turned 75 in 2019.
Diana Ross 75
Diana Ross celebrated her 75th birthday this year.
First Girl Group #1
55 years ago, The Supremes became the first all-female group to reach number #1 in the UK Singles Chart with Baby Love.
BBC2 starts broadcasting
55 years ago, BBC Two launched in 1964 with Play School the first programme to be officially broadcast on the new channel.
50 years of Colour TV
50 years ago, BBC1 and ITV both start broadcasting in colour on the 15th of November 1969.
Alfie Darling 44 years
44 years ago, “Alfie Darling”, the sequel to Michael Caine‘s “Alfie”, premiered at the Universal Cinema in London on the 6th of March 1975.
Roman Holiday 66 years
66 years ago, the classic Audrey Hepburn film “Roman Holiday” was released, premiering at the Venice Film Festival on the 20th of August 1953.
The Love Lottery 65
Helter Skelter 70
70 years ago Basil Radford & Naunton Wayne appeared in their final film together, “Helter Skelter”, released on the 7th of August 1949.
Special Branch Finale
Starring Patrick Mower, the final series of “Special Branch” aired on British television 45 years ago in 1974.
The Sweeney Premiere
45 years ago, “Regan” was broadcast as part of “Armchair Cinema”. 44 years ago, the first series of “The Sweeney” started airing.
30 years of Wallace & Gromit
30 years ago, Wallace & Gromit’s first film “A Grand Day Out” premiered in Bristol on the 4th of November 1989.
Morph & Chas’ TV Debuts
40 years ago, Chas made his debut alongside Morph on “Take Hart”. Morph also appeared in “Hartbeat” which debuted 35 years ago, and “Smart TV” which started 25 years ago.
Babs’ Eastenders Debut
25 years ago, Barbara Windsor made her Eastenders debut as Peggy Mitchell and went on to appear in the show until 2016.
60 years of I’m All Right Jack
60 years ago on the 13th of August 1959, the classic British comedy “I’m All Right Jack” opened at the Leicester Square Theatre. The film was a huge hit, so much so that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan apparently requested a copy to show to President Eisenhower on his visit to Great Britain in 1959.
Hancock’s Half Hour 65
65 years ago, Tony Hancock‘s radio show “Hancock’s Half Hour” debuted on British radio on the 2nd of November 1954.
Ronnie Barker Events
Ronnie Barker was born 90 years ago. The first series of the classic sit-com “Porridge” debuted 45 years ago. Barker also appeared in “The Bargee” which premiered 55 years ago.
John Cleese Events
John Cleese turned 80 in 2019, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” debuted 45 years ago, the final “Fawlty Towers” aired 40 years ago, & “Clockwise” was released 33 years ago.
Richard O’Sullivan 75
Wonderful Life 55
Cliff Richard’s musical film “Wonderful Life” was released 55 years ago.
Every Day’s a Holiday 55
The Butlins-set comedy musical was released 55 years ago.
Man About The House 45
The “Man About The House” film starring Yootha Joyce was released 45 years ago.
Minnie the Minx 66
Minnie the Minx first appeared 66 years ago in issue number 596 of The Beano.
Roger the Dodger 66
Roger the Dodger first appeared in The Beano 66 years ago in issue number 561.
The Bash Street Kids 65
The Bash Street Kids first appeared in The Beano 65 years ago in issue number 604.
Crooks in Cloisters 55
Starring Barbara Windsor, “Crooks in Cloisters” was released 55 years ago.
Carry On Spying 55
“Carry On Spying” was released 55 years ago featuring Barbara Windsor’s Carry On debut.
The Queen’s Coronation
66 years ago, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey.
Prince Charles’ Investiture
50 years ago, Prince Charles was crowned as the Prince of Wales on the 1st of July 1969 at Caernarfon Castle.
30 years of Parliament TV
30 years ago, Parliament welcomed in cameras when the first television broadcasts from the House of Commons started.
National Theatre 50
Now an iconic Brutalist building on London’s South Bank, the National Theatre started construction 50 years ago.
British Airways BOAC 100
British Airways was founded 100 years ago, then became BOAC 80 years ago, which then became British Airways again 45 years ago.
Eiffel Tower 130 years
The instantly-recognisable symbol of the Paris skyline, the Eiffel Tower opened 130 years ago.
First Tour Yellow Jersey
100 years ago, the Tour de France introduced the now-famous yellow jersey for the first time.
Fausto Coppi 100
“Il Campionissimo”, translated as “Champion of Champions”, legendary cyclist Fausto Coppi was born 100 years ago.
Jacques Anquetil 85
Born 85 years ago, sporting great Jacques Anquetil was the first ever cyclist to win the Tour de France five times.
Diana Rigg as Mrs Peel 55
55 years ago, Diana Rigg started filming “The Avengers” as Mrs Emma Peel.
The Avengers Finale
50 years ago, the final episode of “The Avengers” called Bizarre was broadcast.
50 years since Get Smart
50 years ago, the first episode of spy spoof “Get Smart” starring Barbara Feldon started.
50 years since The Saint
The final episode of “The Saint” starring Roger Moore was broadcast 50 years ago.
Department S 50
50 years ago, the TV show “Department S” starring Peter Wyngarde as Jason King started.
Landau & Bain
45 years ago, Gerry Anderson’s “Space: 1999” started with Martin Landau & Barbara Bain, who left “Mission: Impossible” 50 years ago.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E
55 years ago, the first series of the classic TV spy show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” aired for the first time with the episode “The Vulcan Affair” on the 22nd of September 1964.
Monica Vitti 88
The glamourous star of the spy spoof “Modesty Blaise”, Monica Vitti turned 88 in 2019.
Maggie Smith 85
The wonderful Dame Maggie Smith turned 85 in 2019. Her first main film role was in the British film noir “Nowhere to Go” co-starring American actor George Nader.
60 years of the Mini
60 years ago, the classic Mini Cooper was launched by Greek designer Alec Issigonis.
70 years of Camper Vans
70 years ago, the iconic Camper Van was presented to the press at a publicity launch.
Mini Cooper Monte Carlo
55 years ago, the Mini Cooper was confirmed as the winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.
70 years of the Vespa
70 years ago, the iconic Vespa scooter was unveiled to the British public at the 25th Cycle & Motorcycle Show at Earls Court.
45 years ago, the first ever episode of “Rising Damp” aired, and 40 years ago, the final episode of Reginald Perrin was broadcast.
The first ever Academy Awards ceremony was held 90 years ago on the 16th of May 1929.
Love, Life & Laughter 80
Opening 80 years ago at London’s Rialto Cinema on the 25th of March 1934, “Love, Life & Laughter” sees Gracie playing a pub landlord’s daughter who falls in love with a European Prince.
Art & Hue turned 5 years old in 2019!
Art & Hue turned five years old in 2019! Half a decade has seemingly flown by very quickly during which time many new pop art collections have been launched, inspired by Mid-Century Modern style, film, television, royalty, sport, and more themes.