Michael Tuchner

Michael Tuchner & Jack Rosenthal – Play for Today: Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976)

Although Jack Rosenthal’s television plays are peppered with Jewish characters and passing references drawn from the writer’s Jewish roots, only three bring the subject centre stage: The Evacuees (BBC, tx. 5/3/1975), Bye, Bye, Baby (Channel 4, tx. 3/11/1992) and Bar Mitzvah Boy.

Unlike The Evacuees, Bar Mitzvah Boy is not autobiographical, and Rosenthal even played down its Jewishness in a Radio Times interview prior to its first broadcast by stressing the universality of its central theme: “When I was young and reading comics there were always men heroes, actually aged about 15, who were playing football for England or winning wars single-handed. I used to think that when I’m a man I’ll be like that, never indecisive or frightened, but there suddenly comes a point of disillusionment when you realise it is a fallacy”. Read More »

Michael Tuchner – Villain (1971)

Quote:
“Murderous, sadistic London gang leader Vic Dakin, a mother-obsessed homosexual modeled on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray, is worried about potential stool pigeons that may bring down his criminal empire. The brutal Vic cuts the throat of one bloke who has been a little too loose-lipped, afraid that his gossiping may turn into a grand operatic performance for the coppers. Vic, who enjoys playing at rough trade with his sidekick Wolfe, plans a payroll robbery and directs the blackmailing of Members of Parliament with a taste for unorthodox sex. Scotland Yard Police Inspector Matthews, playing Javert to Vic’s Jean Valjean, is moving in on him and the gang. Gang-member Frank is hospitalized for an ulcer, and Inspector Matthews might be able to make him sing. Will Frank spill the beans to the coppers before Vic can silence him?” – Jon C. Hopwood (IMDb) Read More »