George Cole: Film and television legend. 22 April 1925 – 5 August 2015
RFodchuk and I were very saddened to learn of the death of one of Britain’s most beloved actors, George Cole. He is probably best known for playing ‘spiv’ type characters such as Flash Harry and our Mr. Chisholm’s nemesis Arthur Daley, but Mr. Cole has a had a very long and varied career playing a multitude of characters. No wonder he and Patrick Malahide were always clicking with amazing chemistry in every scene they had together in Minder.
Flash Harry from Blue Murder at St Trinian’s Source: The Telegraph: George Cole: far more than just a spiv
RF: Admin recently introduced me to “The Belles of St. Trinian’s“, and it was wonderful (and hilarious) to see a much younger George Cole as Flash Harry, who might’ve been one of Arthur’s cousins. He had a great sense of comic timing.
Admin: And I’m glad you enjoyed it. The St. Trinian’s films are lovely.
So, in memory to George Cole, here is one of our favorite scenes, from “Poetic Justice, Innit?” in which Daley and Chisholm meet outside the courthouse.
[Daley is chatting with fellow juror Joe (John Bardon) when Chisholm interrupts]
Daley: I mean who would have thought for a mo….
Chisholm: Well, well…if it isn’t the bold Arthur.
Daley: Ha! Yeah. Mr. Chisholm. [Turns to Joe] Business acquaintance Joe, I’ll see you inside.
Joe: Alright, Arthur, yeah. [Nods to Chisholm.] Nice to meet you.
Admin: Chisholm starts off rather cheerfully here. That rattled Daley a little bit which seems to please Chisholm. Daley, however, is pretty quick on his feet and describes Chisholm as a business acquaintance, thus saving face (though I reckon Joe knows exactly what Chisholm is) which is also a way of getting his own back at someone who would *never* consider himself a “business acquaintance” of Arthur’s.
Pretty sure Joe knows he’s a cop.
RF: That’s right, Chisholm is unusually cordial when he meets Arthur. I suppose you could say it’s technically true that Chisholm is a “business acquaintance”, although as with most of the ways Arthur describes things, it makes it sound much better than it actually is. Agreed that Joe probably already knows exactly who Chisholm is; Chisholm has a certain attitude and presence that tend to scream “COP!” wherever he goes, anyway.
Admin: The business of old spivs and perennial cops.
Daley: Well, they keeping you busy Mr. Chisholm?
Chisholm: What are you doing here, Arthur? Up on one, are you?
Daley: Ha-ha-ha! Me? No, no, no. You know me, Mr. Chisholm, I keep well away from villainy. No, no, I’ve just had a lunch break; I’m doing jury service.
“What are you doing here, Arthur? Up on one, are you?”
Admin: Chisholm’s smile is so snidely amused (and tremendously cute) when he asks “up on one.” I love Daley’s chirpy response, complete with charming smile and finger wave as he says that he keeps well away from villainy. This is one of the reasons that George Cole’s portrayal of Daley endeared him to the hearts of millions. Mr. Cole himself couldn’t quite understand why so many people loved Daley (cite: The Express: I Can’t Understand Why Anyone Liked Arthur Daley), but he always played him with so much natural charm that you just couldn’t help but love him.
RF: Thinking Arthur might be up on charges (and you’re right, he is snarkily amused) makes this one of the few cheery spots in Chisholm’s day. The poor fellow is already feeling quite paranoid; he’s currently very anxious that D.S. Larry Soames (Michael Culver), his replacement while he’s on court duty, will (1) show him up by doing a better job, and (2) end up being better liked by everybody, especially Jones! So of course Chisholm would hope that Arthur finally got nicked for something. And of course Arthur does his usual bit of creative rewriting when he says he “keep[s] well away from villainy”.
Admin: At least he was fortunate in that no one liked Soames whatsoever. Continue reading