As author Bobb Potter points out in his introduction that although ‘Hammer Glamour’, which I reviewed last year, covers 80 actresses in the Hammer Films, his book intends to be more comprehensive covering all the women in the famous studio’s movie and TV catalogue. That’s a major undertaking by anyone’s business. The more major cast get several paragraphs. Others just a couple lines if any, largely depending on information available. The photographs vary but not for everyone. I suspect to do that would probably treble the size of this book, not to mention payment. These black and white pictures vary from film stills to posters so you do get a considerable variety.
What is especially interesting is pointing out other genre film and TV work these ladies have done. Even more amazing is how many of them also appeared in the Hammer TV series ‘Journey To The Unknown’, long overdue to be released on DVD. A lot of them also appeared in ‘The Avengers’ as well. It’s amazing how much incidental information sinks in as you read this book. Technically, though I doubt if many of you out there will do what I did are read the book from cover to cover and just treat it as a reference book.
An odd thing happened by the time I reached into letter D in that I was earmarking – actually that just means leaving pieces of paper in the book – actresses whom I wanted to see what they looked like to check out on the Internet later. It also became pretty obvious that when Potter called Gabrielle Drake’s part in ‘UFO’ as ‘Gaye Ellis’ this is also some of the source for his own checking on IMDB rather than questioning its total accuracy.
Collectively, this turns out to be a very useful volume and a gathering of facts and so forth that you would spend a lot longer gleaning from the Net than reading in one book. A lot of it filled in odds gaps in my knowledge, especially in who did voices for other actresses. Although I doubt if many of you would do what I would do and read from cover to cover, as a reference volume, it deserves a place on your bookshelf and I only hope Potter does a similar companion book covering the men actors in a similar fashion. Don’t be scared.
(pub: McFarland. 222 page indexed illustrated small enlarged paperback. Price: £44.95 (UK), $49.95 (US). ISBN: 978-0-7864-7208-6)