Lest We Forget

Donald Pleasence was probably best known out of his 200 movies, for his roles in the ‘Halloween’ and ‘James Bond’ franchises. But included in those 200 roles was a role he played for us in our film ‘Lest we Forget’, one of the last films he made before his death in 1995.

 

During World War II, Donald was serving in RAF Bomber Command, until the night of August 31st 1944, when his Lancaster was shot down during a raid on Agenville. Donald was captured and became a prisoner of war.

In 1963 Donald played Flight Lt Colin Blythe, the camp forger that went blind, in the film classic ‘The Great Escape’

We spent a couple of days with Donald, filming at his house in St Paul de Vence in the south of France. I will never forget arriving in the village with our vehicle laden with equipment and finding that he lived some 300 metres up a narrow street accessible only by a set of winding stone steps. He came down to greet us on the village square; and within minutes two porters from the nearby hotel (The Legendary Colombe d’or) arrived and thankfully proceeded to carry our entire load up the steps to Donald’s House.

Our film was another one of our documentaries on the men of RAF Bomber Command; and Donald told the story in a way that only a real Film Actor could. He had real presence and delivered his lines as though we were making a Hollywood Blockbuster costing tens of millions of dollars. I have always been fascinated by real film actors and the way they deliver. Theatre actors really project their character, but film actors have that magic touch where a simple raise of an eyebrow or a frown, can deliver a thousand words. And Donald was a master of this understatement. Lest We Forget is a fitting and widely recognised tribute to the brave men of RAF Bomber Command.

 

Running Time 55 minutes
Screen Ratio 4 x 3
Audio Stereo
Picture Colour.Black & White
Format Standard Definition
Director Robert Garofalo
Narrator Donald Pleasence
Year of Production Updated 2013

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