My wife, Sadie, watched 10 Rillington Place on TV the other night. I saw it when it first came out. I didn’t like the subject matter. Loathed it. I remember thinking why the hell did they make it.?
The next day I asked her why on earth did Richard Attenborough play the murderer Christie?
‘Because‘ she said. ‘He didn’t believe in Capital Punishment.’
‘Well, did he play Christie sympathetically, then?’
‘No, he didn’t.’
I was confused. ‘So, why did he do the film, then?’
‘Because of Timothy Evans (John Hurt) who was hung when he didn’t kill his wife and Christie was the main witness.’
A lot of our conversations are very like a Pinter play.
I remembered that I’d been asked by William Friedkin to play Ian Brady in a film adaption of the book Beyond Belief about the Moors Murderers.
Now, unlike Attenborough, I turned it down. I thought it was exploitation. It wouldn’t have changed anything. Also I would have hated it.
But it was never made because it was discovered that in some States of America Brady and Hindley could have sued for Deformation of Character! Defamation of Character?
If they hadn’t hung Christie and left him to rot in prison, he could have sued and they would never would have made 10 Rillington Place.
It’s a crazy world.