‘The Kiss of Death’ interview with Bob Jacobs

Untitled from pebblemill on Vimeo.

In this interview Bob Jacobs (1st Assistant Director) talks about working with Mike Leigh on the 1977 ‘Play for Today’ The Kiss of Death.

The drama follows the story of a young undertaker, Trevor, played by David Threlfall, as he grows up and explores issues around relationships and commitment.  John Wheatley plays the role of Ronnie, Kay Adshead plays Lindie and Angela Curran plays Sandra.

Bob Jacobs

‘The Daughter-in-Law’ – TX Card from Dave Bushell

TX card

‘The Daughter-in-Law’ was an adaptation of D.H.Lawrence’s play about the 1912 coal strike.  It was produced at Pebble Mill in Studio A and transmitted in 1985. It was directed by Martyn Friend and produced by Carol Parks. Dave Bushell who has kept this TX card since 1985 was the director of lighting.  Michael Edwards was the designer and Ian Rae sound supervisor.

It was a star studded cast including Sheila Hancock, Cherie Lunghi, David Threlfall, Mick Ford, Carmel McSharry and Wilfred Grove.

Gareth Williams, adds the following comment: ‘I was the floor assistant on this show.  It was recorded over four days in Studio A in story order.  This meant that however much or little attention they paid in the preparation period, every single member of the crew got to see the story unfold before their very  eyes, played out by a fantastic cast.

The final scene between David Threlfall and Cheri Lunghi (the Daughter in Law) after Carmel McSharry’s character had died, left the whole studio moist eyed – and then Martyn Friend asked for another take, and we all cried again!’

Oliver White (Editor) – His Unreliable Memoirs – ‘The Kiss of Death’

Kiss of Death by Mike Leigh

Far more interesting than ‘Nuts in May’, because it wasn’t a natural winner.  The performances are stunning.  It introduced David Threlfall to the world.  The leading lady, Mike said, left the profession after this.  A great shame, if so.  It has my favourite sequence of any film I’ve ever cut.  This is when our hero goes to the girl’s home after dealing with the dead baby.  She greets him with, ‘ Yer can’t come in, me mam ain’t in’.  So begins a perfect section of sexual tension.  Fantastic!  At one stage of working on it, apparently he DID say ‘yes’ to going upstairs.  Half way up, our heroine cried, ‘I am coming out of character!!’  The dead baby is awful.  David Rose and I tried hard to get him to drop it.  Is it necessary?  Looking at a bit 10 years ago, I thought it looked rather too tightly cut.  I could be wrong.

Almost forgot!  A very clever music score by Carl Davis a la Hindemith Wry – tongue in cheek, splendid!