Donner with David Hemmings and Colin Blakely on the set of the 1969 film Alfred the Great.
Clive Donner, the distinguished British film director, has died at age 84. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Donner made his directorial debut with The Secret Place, a well-received 1957 low-budget crime drama starring young David McCallum. His biggest financial success was producer Charles K. Feldman's madcap hippie comedy What's New Pussycat?, though he also had a hit during that era with another British youth comedy Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush. Donner gained great acclaim with his 1963 film adaptation of Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker which starred Robert Shaw, Alan Bates and Donald Pleasence. His 1964 film Nothing But the Best was also highly praised. In later years, however, Donner's track record was checkered, directing semi-epics like Alfred the Great and low-brow comedies such as The Nude Bomb. He did gain much praise for his 1980s TV adaptations of Dickens' Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. In the 1960s, Donner also directed episodes of popular British TV series such as Danger Man starring Patrick McGoohan. Click here for more
A childhood memory: for Christmas, 1965, my parents bought me this Man From U.N.C.L.E. gun. I was ten years old. My brother got mad at me and cracked the gun over my head. I wish he hadn't because today it commands a very high price on Ebay!- William Burge
Retro Responds: Seems like every boy who grew up in the spy rage era had both this rifle and the James Bond attache case. Both were released for the holiday season in '65. The photo you sent indicates this is some creampuff item-- I imagine it sells for enough money to finance a small nation for a year. (Hey, remember those nifty U.N.C.L.E. I.D cards that came with many toys from the show?) Incidentally, David McCallum told me recently that both he and Robert Vaughn never knew until many years after the show left the air that they were entitled to royalties on every toy sold. They never collected a dime on all the merchandise sales. - Lee Pfeiffer