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Up the Junction: press book extracts

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Jan. 1st, 1970 | 04:45 pm

This piece about Michael Gothard was found at the BFI Library. It is thought to be from a press book for "Up the Junction."




Tall, husky, blonde newcomer Michael Gothard must be the only professional motion picture actor to have got into the business through amateur home movies!

It happened when Michael, on holiday from University studies in Paris, was persuaded by a friend to take part in a home movie he was producing with a cheap ciné camera. Michael was so good that he took over the lead in the mini-film and so impressed his friend that the latter asked him why he didn’t take acting up professionally. Michael decided to throw up his studies and do just that. He enrolled at the Actors’ Workshop in London – and has never looked back.…

Standing 6 feet 3 inches, with tough, almost Slavic good looks, Michael Gothard had more than a touch of Rudolph Nureyev about his appearance. “But,” he grins, “I don’t dance as well!” Now he has recently completed his second motion picture appearance (not counting that home movie!) in the BHE Production for Paramount UP THE JUNCTION.

Michael Gothard was born 25 years ago in London and educated at several local state schools there. During his schooldays he was something of a wonder athlete and won cups, plaques and medals for practically every athletic event you can think of. “I seemed to have a natural talent for running, jumping and so on,” says Michael, “and enjoyed it into the bargain. I imagine my long legs helped ….!”

After leaving school, Michael went to Paris and studied French culture at the Sorbonne. He gave up plans to complete his university studies when acting cropped up (via that amateur home movie) and went to the Actors’ Workshop in London.

He left the Workshop after a course in acting and stage-craft and began touring the agents’ offices looking for work. He happened to be with an agent one day when he heard that writer-director Don Levy was auditioning for parts in his up-coming film “Herostratus”. He went along and, after giving a three-hour audition, so impressed Levy that he was given the starring role in the film. He worked for nine months on the picture – an off-beat study of a young London man who is obsessed with the idea of committing suicide, and expected to open in London late in 1967 – and was then out-of-work for 18 months! “That’s show business….!” he shrugs.

He subsequently appeared in several TV plays, including a leading role opposite Yvonne Mitchell in the successful science-fiction production “The Machine Stops”, which won a major award at the 1967 Trieste Science Fiction Festival. He also starred – as villainous Captain Mordaunt – in the popular BBC TV long-running serial “The Further Adventures of the Musketeers”.

In UP THE JUNCTION, Michael is seen as Terry, a typical young motor-cycle-mad Battersea boy who takes a fancy to local girl Rube (Adrienne Posta) and makes her pregnant. After she has had an illegal abortion, he is rash enough to call at her house – only to be literally thrown down the stairs by furious Mum, Mrs. Macarthy (Liz Fraser). Ironically, Rube later becomes engaged to him – but Terry is subsequently killed during a ‘ton-up’ motor-cycle spree on the main road to London Airport.

Michael Gothard is unmarried and lives in Hampstead, London.

UP THE JUNCTION is produced by Anthony Havelock-Allan and John Brabourne and directed by Peter Collinson from Nell Dunn’s prize-winning book. Associate producer is Harry Fine. The Techniscope/Colour film, which is a BHE Production for Paramount release, stars Suzy Kendall, Dennis Waterman, Adrienne Posta, Maureen Lipman and Michael Gothard, with Liz Fraser, Hylda Baker and Alfie Bass.



This short piece about Michael Gothard was also found at the BFI Library. It is on a page numbered '16', and headed “Up the Junction.”

MICHAEL GOTHARD is a newcomer from television. He was born 25 years ago in London and was educated there at a local state school, subsequently studying French culture at the Sorbonne in Paris. He gave up his original plans to complete his university studies in order to become an actor. He has since appeared in many television plays. He also played a leading role in the recent television series “The Three Musketeers.” His first feature film was “Herostratus.”

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