(Photos by BBC Home Entertainment)
When we look back at multi-Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis as a young man, it is interesting to see how his blossoming talents grew throughout the years.
Daniel’s early works were recognized in England and later in the United States.
The BBC Home Entertainment has recently released three rare films from their archives in the “Daniel Day-Lewis Triple Feature” collection.
“How Many Miles to Babylon?” introduced Daniel Day-Lewis (Alexander Moore) to the public for his first on-screen starring role in a BBC television movie (1982).
“Babylon’s” script touched upon the life of a wealthy matriarchal family in Ireland during WWI.
“Babylon’s” somber drama was set in a mansion which symbolized all of the luxury of the upper class. Alex’s dominating mother, Alicia Moore (Susan Phillips), was proud of her privileged status and gained pleasure in emasculating her husband, Frederick Moore (Alan MacNaughton) and Alex. She demanded and delighted in having her way without caring about their feelings.
Completely in control, his mother made most of the decisions for both of them. Alex’s father protested then usually gave in.
There was a void in Alex’s life, a time of loneness without friends or anything to occupy his time as his mother refused to allow him to attend school. Alex was an observer in the mansion, simply witnessing the verbal fighting between his mother and father day after day.
While walking Alex saw Jerry Crowe (Christopher Fairbank), a young working class boy swimming nude in the river and Alex jumped in.
Some of the interesting sequences in the film were the contrast between Alex and Jerry’s lives. Jerry and the villagers were more spontaneous as they got together to sing and dance in front of a campfire at night. They seemed so happy and carefree compared to Alex. It was a different way of life.
These interludes did not last as Alex’s mother found out and demanded that he stop seeing Jerry.
Again and again class status kept interfering with their friendship.
Even though Alex felt strongly about shooting people, his mother decided he should enlist in the army.
Alex was assigned to the same army unit as an officer while Jerry as a private.
This became an even more controlling situation as Major Glendenning (Barry Foster) felt they should be kept apart because of their ranks.
Class status was very noticeable in British society. Each person’s class in life seemed like an invisible wall between them.
The plot twists into a serious situation and a surprising test of their friendship.
Award winning Sandy Zimmerman has been involved in producing television programs, TV commercials, and travel specials for 28 years. Sandy is a syndicated Show and Dining Reviewer, travel writer, professional photographer and talk show host of the Las Vegas Today Show and Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. For information or questions about Sandy’s columns, contact Sandy Zimmerman at P. O. Box #750211, Las Vegas, NV. 89136.