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La vallée: extract from press book

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Jul. 6th, 1972 | 06:01 pm

This extract from the press book was also available in a French translation.

MICHAEL GOTHARD

Born 24 June, 1939 in London.
Journalist.
Course of Dramatic Arts.

Actor in the following films:

HEROSTRATUS by Don Levy
MICHAEL KOLHAAS [sic] by Volker Schlöndorff
UP THE JUNCTION by Peter Collinson
GINGER BREAD HOUSE by Curtis Harrington
THE LAST VALLEY by James Clavell
THE DEVILS by Ken Russell, with Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave

He was discovered in HEROSTRATUS, Don Levy’s very interesting film, in which he played to principal role. His spectacular performance, which alternated moments of violence with lyric sequences done in very long takes, was noticed by Volker Schlöndorff, who signed him for MICHAEL KOLHAAS.

In this intense chronicle of a peasant revolt, Michael Gothard played the part of a young soldier who joined Kolhaas’ band, but who, refusing to obey, looted for his own gain, and finally died by hanging. His truculent performance, especially in the last scenes with Anita Pallenberg, earned him a very similar role in THE LAST VALLEY, James Clavell’s ponderous allegory.

But it is in SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN that film buffs were struck by Gothard. In this fantastic modern tale, very reminiscent of Fritz Lang, Gothard plays a weird character, a vampire with fabulous power, created by Vincent Price. During the course of a long chase across the English countryside, beautifully filmed by director Gordon Hessler, he cuts [off] his hand and dies in a vat of acid.

In Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS he plays an equally monstrous character, that of a young inquisitor, dressed like a hippie, who brutally tortured Vanessa Redgrave. Gothard seemed unable to get away from violence and savagery, but, fortunately, in THE VALLEY, Barbet Schroeder gives him a new kind of part, where he is not obliged to strangle, rape, torture or disembowel a half dozen people.

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