|Alec Guinness with son Matthew and
wife Merula Salaman
in 1953 after a trip to Canada. PHOTO: BBC web site.
Who would want to be best known for saying, "These are
not the droids you're looking for." Not me, that's for
darned sure. And yet, when I saw "Star Wars" so many
years ago, that was the line I remembered best. That was the line
that revealed the hidden power of the Jedi. And yet it's
delivered like any other.
As far as I can recall, that was the first time I'd seen Alec
Guinness in anything. Since then, I've seen in him in some decent
films: "The Man In The White Suit" and "Mute
Witness" being my favourites. There were the ones that are
less memorable: "Kafka", "A Passage To
India", and "Lawrence of Arabia" (a fabulous film,
but I can't for the life of me remember Alec being in it). And
then there was "Murder By Death" which I won't tell you
I get a big kick out of because it's certain to diminish your
opinion of me.
Strangely enough, he was not in a number of films
that I had thought he was: "Clue", "Who's Afraid
Of Virginia Woolf", and "Trainspotting" to name a
few. He was one of only a handful of actors who does not appear
in "Pulp Fiction" or in any film by Woody Allen. He has
also avoided being in any film with the ubiquitous Kevin Bacon.
How did he do that? How do you resist the call of Hollywood to be
in scads of big, bad films?
I guess you just have to look the money in the eyes and tell
them straight out: "This is not the actor you're looking
Sir Alec Guinness died on Saturday, August 5th while I was
holidaying in Chicago. He was 86.
Alec's Obituary (BBC)
The Man In The White
Murder By Death (IMDB)