Film specialities and favourites

I specialise in epics, historical films and war films as well as films featuring royalty as I am also a royal commentator and have seen the vast majority of the best known films in these categories. When I was Editor of International Who’s Who I chose the names annually added for films and theatre and have met many of our top actors.

I am a commentator on the Oscars, BAFTAS and Golden Globe awards ceremonies. I currently do pieces for CNN and al-Jazeera and have previously done BBC News Channel, Sky News and ITV News. In 2013 I did 17 interviews on the Oscars and 14 on the BAFTAS. My Oscar coverage in 2014 included interviews on Sky News, al-Jazeera and BBC World Service, I covered the 2015 Golden Globe and Oscar nominations live for CNN and reviewed the 2016 Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for CNN and radios and the 2016 Oscar nominations live for CNN.

I review films weekly for Talk Radio Europe (broadcasts to expatriates in Spain) and on Siren FM (Lincoln, http://southsidebroadcasting.podbean.com/), for Movies1 (online) http://movies1.tv/newfilms.htm also in my Artscene column in The London and UK Datebook www.thedatebook.co.uk. In 2012 I wrote ‘Jewels in the Crown’ about royalty on screen and in 2014 “The World of God according to Hollywood” about biblical epics. (www.journalisted.com/richard-fitzwilliams)

I often do obituaries on various TV channels such as BBC News Channel, CNN, Voice of America and Sky News and also for radio when a famous actor dies. I did 8 obituaries of Dame Elizabeth Taylor including Talksport Radio and several of Peter O’Toole (www.cnn.com/2013/12/16/opinion/peter-otoole-fitzwilliams/) and of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams and Alan Rickman.

I scripted and hosted a three hour event at The Cinema Museum comparing the three screen versions of Mutiny on the Bounty in March 2014. I did another on “Swords and Sandals” epics in September 2014. I gave a talk on these at Westminster Library in August 2016 and it will be repeated at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in November 2016 and at U3A, Hampstead in October 2017.

I have lectured on War on Screen at the National Army Museum and done an hour long international phone in on this topic for Voice of America. I review the London Film Critics Circle Awards Ceremony annually. The films for which I have been used most are Ben-Hur 2016 (17 reviews including Radio 4) Saving Private Ryan (23 radio reviews) and Exodus: Gods and Kings (30 radio interviews including Radio 4, 2 written).

I did 11 reviews of Titanic and reviewed The Queen (Helen Mirren) for CNN,BBC News Channel, Sky News (twice) and several other sources, I did 6 reviews of The Kings Speech in 2011.

I have covered several premieres including Extreme Measures, Johnny English (in which I was an extra), The Merchant of Venice and also post-premiere parties, most notably that for Four Weddings and a Funeral where Elizabeth Hurley famously wore That Dress. I have had numerous letters on film published especially in the Evening Standard. I have also done periodic Film Reviews of the Year for CNN and other sources.

I had had regular film slots with or occasionally been used by LBC (including Oscars live), BBC London, Talksport (including Oscar coverage thrice), BBC Wales, BBC 5 Live, Newstalk 106 (Dublin) and BBC Ulster, BFBS (for The Hurt Locker) and BBC World Service and formerly by Radio Liberty and News Direct. I am also occasionally used by numerous BBC local radios as a film critic and was the regular reviewer for BBC Three Countries and BBC Radio Jersey.

I can recite the scripts of many films such as Lawrence of Arabia, If…, the three Mutiny on the Bounty films. (I have studied the Bounty episode historically with a family connection to Bligh and lecture on the subject (See Talks) as well as specialising in maritime films), A Man for All Seasons, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, My Fair Lady The Charge of the Light Brigade (1967) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf . I have seen hundreds of films several times.

I have reviewed films since I was a student. I have been an extra in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and I Capture the Castle and have visited Universal Studios, LA and Pinewood Studios.

Favourite films

  • Epic: Lawrence of Arabia, The Leopard, Charge of the Light Brigade, El Cid,
  • Comedy: Kind Hearts and Coronets, Some Like it Hot, All About Eve, Annie Hall
  • War: Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Hurt Locker
  • Musical: My Fair Lady, Chicago, Cabaret
  • Romance: The Age of Innocence, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind,
  • Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight (trilogy)
  • Thriller: The Third Man, Godfather (part 2), Klute
  • Western: High Noon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Shenandoah
  • Horror: Psycho
  • Psychological: Don’t Look Now, Rosemary’s Baby, Persona
  • Science Fiction: 2001 A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Alien
  • Shakespeare: Henry V (Olivier), Ran, Throne of Blood, Chimes at Midnight
  • Docudrama: Battle of Algiers, Z, Culloden
  • Courtroom: Anatomy of a Murder, Witness for the Prosecution
  • Naval: Master and Commander, Mutiny on the Bounty (1936), Sink the Bismarck
  • Personal Dramas: Blue is the Warmest Colour.
  • Literary Adaptations: Tess (Polanski), Jane Eyre (1944)
  • Innovation: Citizen Kane, If.., Boyhood
  • Series: Lord of the Rings
  • Adventure: Day of the Jackal, Guns of Navarone, Northwest Frontier
  • Sexiest: Don’t Look Now, Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Classroom: The Class, Dead Poets’ Society, Prime of Miss Jean Brodie