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, in 2018 11 on the Oscars. 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 and 2018 Oscar nominations live for CNN, also reviewed the 2017 and 2018 Oscar Ceremony for CNN and other sources and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG Awards and Oscar nominations for CNN in 2019.
I review films weekly for Talk Radio Europe (broadcasts to expatriates in Spain) and on Siren FM (Lincoln, http://southsidebroadcasting.podbean.com/category/richardfitzwilliams/), also for Movies1 (online) www.Movies1.tv 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 in The Express. I have reviewed Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ben-Hur, Hacksaw Ridge, Mary Magdalene and Pope Francis: A Man of his Word for Radio 4’s “Sunday” programme.
I often do obituaries on various TV channels such as BBC, CNN 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 Albert Finney, 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 and another on “Swords and Sandals” epics in September 2014. I gave a talk on “Swords and Sandals” epics at Westminster Library in 2016, the Oxford and Cambridge Club in 2016, at U3A, Hampstead in 2017 and the National Liberal Club in 2019. My talk on Monarchy on Screen was held at the Lansdowne, the Oxford and Cambridge and the Cavalry and Guards Clubs and Westminster Library to coincide with the release of the second series of The Crown in 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 as well as on film censorship. 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 and 5 of The Favourite in 2019.
I have attended several premieres including Extreme Measures, Mickey Blue Eyes, Johnny English (in which I was an extra), The Merchant of Venice and Wilde and also post-premiere parties, most notably that for Four Weddings and a Funeral where Elizabeth Hurley famously wore That Dress and which I described for the Naval and Military Club history. 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 have had regular film slots with or occasionally been used by LBC (including live coverage of the Oscars and obituaries), BBC London, Talksport (including live 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 several BBC local radios as a film critic and TalkRADIO and was formerly 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, I Capture the Castle, Silent Witness etc and have visited Universal Studios, LA and Pinewood Studios.
- 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
- War: Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Hurt Locker, Dunkirk
- Musical: My Fair Lady, Chicago, Cabaret, Mary Poppins
- Romance: The Age of Innocence, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Cold War
- Romance (2) 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, Closer.
- 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
- Classroom: The Class, Dead Poets’ Society, Prime of Miss Jean Brodie