Monday, September 2, 2013

I Am Not A Number, I Am A Free Man: A Look Back At Screen Legend Patrick McGoohan


Steve Martin at the Irish Post looks back at actor Patrick McGoohan's TV and film career.

I am not a number — I am a free man!” implores the haunted figure named Number Six, in the cult TV series The Prisoner.
This iconic phrase is now a classic of high-end popular culture, a 1960s mantra like “All You Need is Love” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’”, and it expresses either desperate defiance or a profound plea.

It’s included in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, along with the Bible, Shakespeare and Groucho Marx.

... McGoohan was recently the subject of a retrospective at the British Film Institute, running throughout last month.

Produced by cultural historian Dick Fiddy, the screenings include McGoohan’s early 1960’s TV appearances in the Armchair Theatre stories (transmitted live at the time), as well as B-Movie cult staples Hell Drivers (1957) and All Night Long (1961).

Also showing is Arthur Dreifuss’ screen adaptation of The Quare Fellow (1962), in which McGoohan plays a prison guard challenged over his favourable views of the death penalty and The Best of Friends (1991), with McGoohan as George Bernard Shaw.

... Before starring in the espionage TV series Danger Man in 1960, McGoohan insisted that there be no car chases, gun fights or gratuitous sex in the storylines, damning what he dubbed “corny showbusiness formulas”.

Exasperation at the producers’ insistence on more “action” in Danger Man inspired McGoohan, in 1967, to conceive of the challenging and claustrophobic milieu of The Prisoner.

As Number Six he plays a modern everyman, trying to make sense of a world in which technology is harnessed for human enslavement rather than freedom.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read an earlier post on Patrick McGoohan via the below link:

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