Favouritest Grabs Ever – Eleventh Edition

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at our Favouritest Grabs, so Admin and I thought it was about time – plus it gives us an excuse to look through grabs.   As always, these are scenes from Mr. Malahide’s performances that we found especially interesting, entertaining, or appealing.

RF’s Picks:

John Harrison whips off his wig after a long journey by foot Favouritest Grabs Ever Eleventh Edition

John Harrison whips off his wig after a long journey by foot

What’s Going On in This Picture?

It’s from “Lost at Sea:  The Search for Longitude” (1998), recapped by Admin here.  Mr. Malahide plays self-taught carpenter and clockmaker John Harrison, who in 1714 is engaged in trying to figure out a better way for calculating longitude for ships at sea.  Up until this point, ships had been using “dead reckoning“, which wasn’t accurate enough and could sometimes result in disaster if ships were too close to rocks or other naval hazards.  The British government has offered a reward of £20,000 (an astronomical (no pun intended) sum for the time) to anyone who can come up with a reliable way for ships to calculate longitude, and John Harrison is in the running for the prize.

In this scene, Harrison has just returned from a lengthy journey – on foot! – from Barrow to London, to present his findings thus far to the Astronomer Royal, Dr. Edmond Halley.  In turn, Dr. Halley refers Harrison to London’s most famous clockmaker, George Graham.  The meeting actually goes well, but Harrison is concerned that Graham might try to pirate his ideas – although Halley assures him that Graham is an honourable man and wouldn’t do that.  Harrison also expresses some professional skepticism about Graham’s abilities as a clockmaker:  “While Mr. Graham proved indeed a fine gentleman, if truth be told I were taken aback by the poor, little feeble motions of his pendulums. The small force they had, like poor creatures sick and inactive. But, I commented not on the folly of his watches.”  Clearly, there’s a lot of professional pride at stake.  😉  Anyway, one of Harrison’s first acts upon returning home is to take off his wig, with an obvious sense of relief at finally being able to do so.

Why Is This One a Favourite?

Oh, what a relief!

Oh, what a relief!

I love this grab because we can almost feel Harrison’s enormous sense of relief ourselves when he removes his wig.  It’s obviously something he’s been longing to do for hours, and his satisfaction as he rubs his scalp is almost palpable through the screen.  It also gives us some idea of Harrison’s energy and vigour; this is a man who just walked from Barrow to London on foot, and back again, sustained only by some large hunks of bread (hopefully he brought more food with him than that!).  I also like the way Harrison sits down and immediately goes into some shop talk, denigrating Graham’s “feeble […] pendulums”, which are no doubt inferior to his own.  Not only does he have pride in his own work, he also knows that he’s now on the right track as far as determining longitude.  And I must say that Harrison looks much better without his wig, too.  😉

With wig, for comparison

With wig, for comparison

Admin:  Oh, yes, Harrison does look extra nice without the fussy wig. 🙂  Very fetching indeed.  I agree, the way he whips it off just sums up how glad he is to be back home among his instruments and studies where he can get back to work reinvigorated.  He’s clearly relieved to be in a place where he can realign his thoughts and take care of himself body and spirit.  Home, sweet home!

Foreign Secretary George Wilkins and his incredibly festive socks

Foreign Secretary George Wilkins and his incredibly festive socks

What’s Going On in This Picture?

It’s from “Bridget Jones’s Baby” (2016), recapped by Admin here, and with grabs added by me here.  Mr. Malahide plays British Foreign Secretary George Wilkins, who is being interviewed by Bridget Jones’ friend Miranda (Sarah Solemani) about the recent death of a brutal African dictator on a morning news show.  However, Miranda is being distracted by overhearing Bridget’s conversation with another friend in her earpiece and is therefore directing some strange and inappropriate questions Mr. Wilkins’ way.  Mr. Wilkins handles the situation with remarkable aplomb, all things considered.

Why Is This One a Favourite?

Well, first of all, just look at those socks!  😀  They’re bright and loud and incredibly festive, as Admin says.  They’re the first thing that grabs your eye when you look at this scene and you can’t take your eyes off them.  Even better, they’re just there and no one comments on them.  Mr. Wilkins is otherwise wearing a very nicely tailored suit and everything else coordinates beautifully, from his tie to his pocket handkerchief.  I suppose you could say that the blue of his socks matches his tie, so perhaps he was just trying to be ultra-coordinated.  It’s just a hilarious, throwaway quirk for a Foreign Secretary to have, and not something you’d be expecting to see.

Admin: The socks are such a lovely touch, and the fact no one commented on them made it all the better.  It is little touches like that which help make the Bridget Jones films so fun.  And they are so unexpected.  I mean, you might expect something wacky like that from former-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is a one-off, no doubt.  George Wilkins looks so much more refined.  But, it seems he has a jolly streak.   Good for him!

Admin’s Picks:

Realizing he is getting a green drink.

What’s Going On in This Picture?

It is from “Minder on the Orient Express” (1985).  Chisholm has just met a very French Interpol agent, Francois LeBlanc (Ralph Bates) and finds himself a fish out of water.  When offered a drink, Chisholm very shyly and quietly asks for a light ale.  Instead he winds up with some lurid green liqueur that we know there is very little chance of him enjoying.

Why Is This One a Favourite?

It illustrates perfectly how out-of-place Chisholm is in a more  European  setting.  His sneer is epic.  He knows this stuff is going to be strong and sickly sweet when he clearly prefers his drinks to be a lot lighter and drier.  And, of course, he looks so profoundly old fashioned in his trilby and old suit.  Francois’ trench coat probably cost more than Chisholm’s entire wardrobe.  Truly the way it defines the stark difference between our dour Londoner and the more cosmopolitan Frenchman is remarkable.  It could have been a  Brexit campaign poster.  Whether it would be leave or remain, I’m not sure 😀

RF:  Poor Chisholm is only a couple of days into his trip and already going through a lot of culture shock, and this situation just exemplifies it.  😀  Despite the fact he’s the only member of his squad with an up-to-date passport, this appears to be his first ever trip out of the U.K.  He is not an experienced traveller.  He probably would’ve appreciated a Rough Guide just for the trip over on the ferry.  An entire episode of “Chisholm Goes to France” could’ve been very entertaining.  Unfortunately for our favourite D.S., things are going to get worse (like problems with how much things cost) before they get better.  Moral of the story:  Don’t let the Clouseau-looking detective order you a drink!

“Nah!”

What’s Going On in This Picture?

This one shows Patrick Malahide as Terrence Dirk-Brown, gangster turned businessman from “Smack and Thistle” (1991).  Dirk-Brown has managed to survive an explosive murder attempt and has returned to exact revenge on Sir Horace Wimbol (Geoffrey Palmer) and Ms. Kane (Connie Booth).  They try to negotiate with him, but he’s decided the world is a better place without them and declines their offers.

Why Is This One a Favourite?

That cute little smile just does it for me. 🙂  He’s all smudged and bloodied after being caught in an explosion, but he still manages to give that playful grin as he decides to exact revenge.  And, of course, visually, I just love the contrast between his fair complexion and (deranged) blue eyes against all that soot and blood.  It makes him look all the more wicked.  You can see the delirious relief in his eyes as he realizes he’s going to be able to wash his hands of those two in a few seconds.  He’s a man at the end of this tether, but he knows that once he lets go, he’ll be free to do as he pleases.

RF:  That is indeed a very cute, rather wolfish little smile.  You can tell that being blown up – or mostly blown up – has helped Dirk-Brown to come to some decisions about things, and that he’s had enough of being jerked around by Sir Horace and Ms. Kane.  Now that he  knows what they’re capable of, the gloves are off and he’s ready to be as ruthless as he needs to be.  I think his smile is also a sign that he knows he’s got the jump on them.  It’s handy to be a (former) gangster when you’re seeking revenge.  I’d agree that Mr. Malahide somehow manages to make Dirk-Brown look very appealing even all smudged up post-explosion;  surely not many people have that kind of ability.  😉

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