Cast & Crew
Rosamund Stacey, a graduate student preparing for her doctoral degree at the British Museum, discovers that she has become pregnant from her first sexual encounter. Her socialist parents, who have always treated her in an aloof manner, are in Africa, and Rosamund feels uncomfortable in the superficial intellectual world of her best friend Lydia, and with Joe and Roger, the two men whom she has been dating. Choosing to conceal her condition from the father, George, a television announcer whom she barely knows, Rosamund first considers abortion but then decides to have the child, against the advice of Lydia and a hospital nurse. Once Lydia has moved in with her, Rosamund divides her time between her studies and receiving prenatal care. Shortly after the birth of a daughter, Rosamund learns that the baby has a congenital heart defect and must have a delicate operation, which is successfully performed by a famous surgeon who is a good friend of her father. During the next year, Rosamund receives her degree and adjusts comfortably to being an unwed mother. Then, she meets George by accident and invites him back to her flat. Startled to discover that Rosamund has a child, George indulges in some polite conversation and leaves, still unaware that he is the father. Recognizing that her nature seems to preclude marriage, Rosamund lets him walk out of her life.
Max J. Rosenberg
Edgar J. Scherick
Thank You All Very Much
McKellen had been fascinated with the stage since his childhood and began working professionally shortly after he graduated from college in 1961. It wasn't until 1968, however, that he moved into film acting with Thank You All Very Much (1969), an adaptation of Margaret Drabble's popular feminist novel, The Millstone. Until recently, however, his film work has been only sporadic as he concentrated on stage work. In fact, it would be 12 years until he returned to the screen, as D.H. Lawrence in Priest of Love (1981). Meanwhile, he carved a reputation as one of the world's top classical actors in a variety of Shakespearean leads and the role of Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, which brought him a Tony Award when he took the show to Broadway in 1981. He would also win Tony nominations for his one-man show Ian McKellen Acting Shakespeare and his re-setting of Shakespeare's Richard III in the '30s, with echoes of Hitler's rise to power. He was knighted for his service to the British theatre in 1989.
McKellenåÀs film career didn't really take off until he brought Richard III to the screen in 1995. Following that, he scored a critical hit as director James Whale in Gods and Monsters (1998), which brought him a Golden Globe and most of that year's critics awards and should have won him the Oscar for Best Actor (he lost to Roberto Benigni in Life Is Beautiful). More recently he's expanded his range to include commercial blockbusters: the arch-villain Magneto in X-Men (2000) and as Gandalf in the upcoming Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and two scheduled sequels.
Dennis was at the height of her career as a leading lady when she made Thank You All Very Much. She had won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1966, then moved on to starring roles in films like Up the Down Staircase (1967) and The Out-of-Towners (1970). Ultimately, however, her quirky mannerisms typecast her in increasingly unsuccessful films, but she came back with several strong supporting performances - in Alan Alda's The Four Seasons (1981) and Woody Allen's Another Woman (1988) - before her untimely death in 1992.
Some of England's top actors signed on to support Dennis and McKellen in Thank You All Very Much. Eleanor Bron is best known as Dudley Moore's love object in Bedazzled (1967) and Joanna Lumley's mother on the cult TV series Absolutely Fabulous (1992-96). Along with starring in the hit miniseries The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Rachel Kempson is best known as the wife of Sir Michael Redgrave and mother of Lynne and Vanessa Redgrave. And Margaret Tyzack, who won a Tony of her own for co-starring with Maggie Smith in Peter Shaffer's Lettice and Lovage, also played the governess in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-93). Indian-born director Waris Hussein made his film directing debut with Thank You All Very Much after notable successes in television, where he directed several early adventures for Dr. Who (1963). He would continue primarily as a television director, helming the popular miniseries Edward and Mrs. Simpson (1980) and the telemovie Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story (1998), starring Ann-Margret. He reached U.S. theatrical screens again in 1993 with a BBC telefilm, The Summer House, starring Jeanne Moreau, Joan Plowright and Julie Walters.
Director: Waris Hussein
Producer: Max J. Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky
Screenplay: Margaret Drabble
Based on DrabbleåÀs Novel The Millstone
Cinematography: Peter Suschitzky
Art Direction: Tony Curtis
Music: Michael Dress
Principal Cast: Sandy Dennis (Rosamund Stacey), Ian McKellen (George), Eleanor Bron (Lydia), John Standing (Roger), Rachel Kempson (Sister Harvey), Margaret Tyzack (Sister Bennett). C-103m.
by Frank Miller
Thank You All Very Much
Rachel Kempson, 1910-2003
Born on May 28, 1910, in Dartmouth, England, Kempson longed for a career in acting. She trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and made her professional stage debut in 1932 at the legendary Stratford-on-Avon Theater in the lead of Romeo and Juliet. She went on to perform with such distinguished theatrical companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English Stage Company and the Old Vic. In 1935 she was asked to star in the Liverpool Repertory production of Flowers of the Forest. Her leading man was Michael Redgrave, one of the top actors of his generation. Within a few weeks they fell in love and were married on July 18, 1935.
Kempson took a break for the next few years, to give birth to her three children: Vanessa, Corin and Lynn, but by the mid '40s, she came back to pursue her career in both stage and screen. She began to appear in some films with her husband: Basil Dearden's The Captive Heart (1946); and Lewis Gilbert's tough war drama The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954). She hit her stride as a character actress in the '60s with a string of good films: Tony Richardson's (at the time her son-in-law) hilarious, award-winning Tom Jones (1963); Silvio Narizzano's classic comedy Georgy Girl (1966) starring her daughter, Lynn; and John Dexter's underrated anti-war film The Virgin Soldiers (1969), again with Lynn. In the '80s Kempson had two strong roles: Lady Manners in the epic British television series The Jewel in the Crown (1984); and as Lady Belfield in Sydney Pollack's hit Out of Africa (1985), starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.
Kempson had been in semi-retirement after the death of her husband, Sir Michael in 1985. She made her last film appearance in Henry Jaglom's romantic Deja vu (1998) poignantly playing the mother to her real life daughter Vanessa. Kempson is survived by her three children and 10 grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Rachel Kempson, 1910-2003
Location scenes filmed in London. Opened in London in October 1969 as A Touch of Love; running time: 107 min.