Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Hugh Millais, Rosé Drinker

You're going to focus on Christopher Walken in the clip above, and that's fine, but please note that the movie also starred Hugh Millais, the "film actor, yachtsman, calypso singer, oil- man, design consultant and cook" who recently passed away. (He was also a devoted falconer.) Here's one of the many highlights from his obituary.

Never one to seek regular employment, he and a friend sailed his boat to Venice and sold it there. They were promptly robbed, and decided to walk home to England, which involved being imprisoned as vagrants in Milan. He was then sent to Montreal to train as a Mountie, but became a reporter on The Montreal Star. Millais was hated by the editor because his uncle owned the paper. While there he housed the US folk singer, Josh White, who paid his rent by teaching him the guitar. After hitchhiking round Chile, Millais went to Mexico University to study philosophy and fell in with bullfighters. He and some friends sailed to New York and were invited to play and sing on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Soon after, in 1954, he won the Cat Key to Havana race in his yacht Benbow. Then, when sailing into Cuba, where a small revolution was taking place, he was shot through the arm and helped by Ernest Hemingway, a friend of his grandfather's, who filled him with daiquiris and got his arm sewn up. Millais' sailing life helped him run through a considerable legacy from his mother after which he became the "token whitey" as guitarist with the Young Brigade. While eking a living writing articles in Los Angeles, he telephoned the architect Richard Neutra and said he would like to write his biography. He accompanied Neutra to the 9th International Congress of Architects in Caracas, where his article Melting the Frozen Music helped Neutra to win several important commissions. But in 1956 the President of Venezuela went into exile, taking the national budget with him, Benbow was stolen and Millais was forced to return to Oxfordshire to live with his father and stepmother.

Sounds like a pretty full life.

16 Comments / Post A Comment

"The job pays ten thousand dollars"


Cute, isn't it? I think that's what the average Girl Scout brings in now in cookie season.

With student loans, rent, back taxes and credit cards, that's basically my monthly nut.

Somehow, toppling a tinpot dictatorship to make this month's bills seems like a little too much work.

jolie (#16)

It's a touch thrilling that the story ends with him moving in with mom and dad.

HiredGoons (#603)

I'm sure she was a wicked step-mother.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Born rich. Bummed around the world whilst burning through inheritance. Had adventure. Was robbed. Had more adventures. Robbed again. Moved home with Mum and Dad.

A full life indeed.

He sounds like a charmer, and a wonderful person to have dinner with. And also the type that makes me avoid the Costa del Sol like it was hell, which it is.

BadUncle (#153)

The Dogs of War. Starring an assault weapon. And Christopher Walken.

Abe Sauer (#148)

That isn't just some "assault weapon." That's the Manville projectile launcher. It was developed for WWII and never really very popular because, well, LOOK AT IT! BUT then it appeared in a movie because LOOK AT IT! and it became quite famous and orders rolled in and the new company that owned it started making it all over again. So, it's essentially a very successful product placement. In fact, you may recognize it as the same gun Arold uses in T2 to shoot SWAT guys while escaping Cyberdyne offices.

Dogs of War was just one of this films of its time to make certain rare guns mainstream popular. I.e., Invasion USA put the Uzi on the map in the US.

HiredGoons (#603)

Guns Don't Kill People. Product Placement Kills People.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'm glad to know Chuck Norris' legacy is secure.

Abe Sauer (#148)

I'll tell you what really kills people: my sloppy typing. Must work on that.

Flashman (#418)

That's actually a real, working gun? You'd think the recoil would be insane… unless those are really light projectiles.

HiredGoons (#603)

"helped by Ernest Hemingway, a friend of his grandfather’s, who filled him with daiquiris…"

I'll bet Hemingway is soooo pissed this got out.

zidaane (#373)

Hugh's Who: The Name-Dropper's Cookbook – I WANT.

I loved this movie as a kid. It was my second-favorite mercenary picture after the rather more harrowing and questionable "Dark of the Sun."

This is a new show about his great grandfather, the trailer of which is so extraordinarily cringe-inducing that it almost redeems itself:

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