Dandelion Dead

Dandelion Dead

Postby Samfan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:01 pm

SPOILERS



This is about part one.....



I purchased Dandelion Dead and watched the first part yesterday. I really liked it. I really liked the scenes with Armstrong (MK) and his daughter Eleanor. The wife--what a witch! No need to kill her though.... After listening to Destiny, I kept wondering if she had something like schizophrenia. At least Armstrong showed some reluctance to kill her at first (the first time he was going to put arsenic in his wife's cocoa, he couldn't go through with it ).

It took me until today to figure out who David Thewlis is (I kept asking, "who is that?" (I finally looked him up on IMDb--he played Lupin in the Harry Potter films). The first time I saw Oswald Martin (we see the back of him, limping), I thought "Paul Milner." Then I thought that Anthony Howell could have played Martin :lol: (although, that wouldn't work--the movie's 18 years old). I also recognized Paul Brooke (Arthur) from "The White Feather" (where he played another Arthur).

And the moustache wasn't that bad....

Now on to part two...

Samfan

ETA: and when Armstrong is in his bedroom, and looks at himself in the mirror, and then looks away, it reminds me of that scene in Falling where Henry Kent looks at himself in Daisy's mirror, and then looks away.
Last edited by Samfan on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby jewell » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:44 pm

I'll be interested in hearing if you like part 2 as well as part 1.

The character is relatively sympathetic in part 1...

It's not a movie I go back to very often. I did like him in his regimental uniform. :pleased:

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Samfan » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:05 pm

SPOILERS



This is about part 2....




Ok, I didn't like this part so much....
For one thing, it all seemed a bit rushed (especially the trial part). I found it interesting that in the character bios, it noted that Katharine used some arsenic-based "medications" (this was alluded to in the trial, when the lawyer (? barrister, solicitor) asked the doctor about whether Katharine could have administered the arsenic/arsenic-based stuff herself.

Why did Major Armstrong carry around arsenic (when he was arrested, he took it out of his waistcoat pocket). I don't think he was contemplating suicide; he kept insisting that he wasn't guilty (but, perhaps outwardly he was in denial, and inwardly he felt horrible enough guilt that he was contemplating suicide). Perhaps he had been looking for an opportunity to dump it in Martin's food or drink.

Here's a Wikipedia article about the events....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Rowse_Armstrong

As for MK's performance, I did like it. He had a lot of the old familiar facial expressions that I've grown to like.

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby ayresorchids » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:30 pm

SPOILERS here, too.



I think this was the first Michael Kitchen television movie I saw after seeing him as Foyle, and I remember being particularly impressed at what a very different (and decidedly less glamorous) character he convincingly played. Somehow he makes Armstrong a man about a foot shorter than Christopher Foyle! He was so gentle and sweet a man with his kids, making it all the more tragic that he was so warped by resentment of his work and his dreadful wife that he destroyed his own life along with hers.
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Samfan » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:14 pm

I was wondering how this all affected Armstrong's children, so I googled "Eleanor Armstrong--Herbert Armstrong", and found this 1995 article on the middle child, Margaret. Sounds like she had a rather unhappy childhood. It looks like Eleanor moved to Australia. She died in 1978.

Margaret did not want Dandelion Dead to be produced.

Here's the link:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/arsenic-and-old-ladies-1619307.html

Just in case anyone is curious.

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Wolesley » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:07 pm

Thanks, Samfan, that was fascinating to read, and does raise doubts as to Armstrong's guilt.

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Lynnedean » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:24 am

Wolesley wrote:Thanks, Samfan, that was fascinating to read, and does raise doubts as to Armstrong's guilt.

If the writer of a short article about DD that appeared in "Hello" magazine in February 1994 is to be believed, Michael Kitchen was convinced that Herbert Armstrong was guilty. In the article, he is quoted as saying: "I have no doubt that he did it." There is no further quote. There is also nothing to indicate why he thought that way. Would be interesting to know.

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby calpurnia33 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:07 am

Samfan wrote:SPOILERS


It took me until today to figure out who David Thewlis is (I kept asking, "who is that?" (I finally looked him up on IMDb--he played Lupin in the Harry Potter films). The first time I saw Oswald Martin (we see the back of him, limping), I thought "Paul Milner." Then I thought that Anthony Howell could have played Martin :lol: (although, that wouldn't work--the movie's 18 years old). I also recognized Paul Brooke (Arthur) from "The White Feather" (where he played another Arthur).

And the moustache wasn't that bad....



David Thewlis was also in Prime Suspect 3 alongside Ciaran Hinds.

I've watched part 1 yesterday evening. I rather liked MK's performance although the character is heavily flawed. But most actors prefer playing baddies don't they?

I didn't like the moustache but I must confess that I don't really appreciate hair ornaments :foyle5: .

And the short sex scene made me laugh a lot. Not very erotic to say the least.
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby amiga » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:25 pm

While Herbert Armstrong was flawed, I always found MK's portrayal a comical one rather than sinister. The "love scene" is laugh-out-loud funny and all his little dances and peeking out of windows and sneaking around I found very funny. His relationship with his daughter was very sweet, even though she did turn out to be like her mother in the end. I must admit there were times I thought he was perfectly justified!

One of my favorite MK performances.

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Pers » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:31 pm

Thanks for posting that article link - fascinating stuff. I shall see if the library has Beales' book.

I felt terribly sorry for Armstrong - and desperately wished that he'd simply take his children and leave his wife since she was so nasty.
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Lynnedean » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:03 pm

BBC Radio 4 is presently running a series of programmes in which presenter Nick Ross recounts the stories of classic murder cases. This week's case is that of Major Herbert Armstrong. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer until late evening on 2nd November … Murder Most Foul: The Major, the Scone and the Dandelions
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Samfan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:18 pm

Well, I might have to just see if I can catch the broadcast from iPlayer.

Thanks Lynne!! :wave:

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Samfan » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:49 am

Lynnedean wrote:BBC Radio 4 is presently running a series of programmes in which presenter Nick Ross recounts the stories of classic murder cases. This week's case is that of Major Herbert Armstrong. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer until late evening on 2nd November …


Well, I listened to this over the weekend. It was a bit like listening to Dandelion Dead again. Well, Armstrong really was not a very nice guy, was he? In addition to [apparently] poisoning his wife and [apparently] trying to poison Oswald Martin, he may have also tried to poison a higher-ranking court clerk (he wanted this job), but may have poisoned the wrong person. Maybe trying to solve his problems by murder: getting rid of an overbearing wife, making a bad land deal go away, trying to get someone else's job.

(the only reason I have any sympathy for him is that I can only picture him as MK playing his character....) :eyeroll:

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby mohairMK » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:37 am

Samfan wrote:I was wondering how this all affected Armstrong's children, so I googled "Eleanor Armstrong--Herbert Armstrong", and found this 1995 article on the middle child, Margaret. Sounds like she had a rather unhappy childhood. It looks like Eleanor moved to Australia. She died in 1978.

Margaret did not want Dandelion Dead to be produced.

Here's the link:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/arsenic-and-old-ladies-1619307.html

Just in case anyone is curious.

Samfan


Thanks for this. I always wondered about the Armstrong children.
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Jillybean » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:52 pm

While on a book-buying trip to Hay-on-Wye a few months back I picked up 'The Hay Poisoner' by Martin Beale and as I have a few festive days off from work, I thought it time to dust it off.

Beale at the time of writing the book in 1995 was a solicitor himself in the Armstrong's former practice and it seems later a resident of the Armstrong house, he died in 2010. So far it's not a bad read, flowing theories of 'he was framed' and lack of evidence. But based on what I've read so far I'm not massively convinced as his own theories seem to be lacking in the evidence department. But I am only a third of the way through so by the end I'll either be saying "I'm believer of innocence!" or simply "...nah, not convinced". Beale's overall theory was that Armstrong was framed, others are that the case would never have been allowed to stand today due to the lack of evidence, included experts who were not-quite-so-expert and that Armstrong's rival solicitor Oswold Martin contrived the state execution of Armstrong.

As others have mentioned the Armstrong children, I thought I'd mention the prologue (which obviously pre-dates the article mentioned earlier in this thread). It focuses on Armstrong's youngest daughter Margaret and her apprehensive return to the family home, seventy years after the date of her father's hanging (she was six years old when actually she left). She was not told of her father's fate for many years and only found out when she was in her teens. She had no memory of her parents and rationalised her father's hanging with the thought that her family's suffering would have been much greater if he had been sentenced to prison. I feel so sad for her... :sad:

Beale also wrote 'Dead Not Buried: Herbert Rowse Armstrong' - I'm not entirely sure how different this is to 'The Hay Poisoner' but if anyone is interested in either, they are both on Amazon (also on eBay but more expensive):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hay-Poisoner-Martin-Beales/dp/0709061234/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Not-Buried-Herbert-Armstrong/dp/0709056028

Pip pip - hope you are all enjoying your Christmas and eating plenty :biggrin:
Last edited by Jillybean on Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby starlight » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:09 pm

Good for you, reading all that bumph. But really, I just think a Jilly video is called for in which Our Major gets away with it and waltzes off happily with Diana Quick. :D

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Jillybean » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Is that a video challenge Starlight? I feel another Je T'aime moi non plus coming on :wink:
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby starlight » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:26 pm

Jillybean wrote:Is that a video challenge Starlight? I feel another Je T'aime moi non plus coming on :wink:


You might be hard-pressed to glean enough material for THAT particular song from Dandelion Dead. All we see is a prone pair of trousered legs and spats, cradled by the barmaid's thighs.

Hmm. Spats. The early 20th century equivalent of keeping your socks on during...

But, yeah. Challenge (or, as Gainsbourg might say, "je te lance un défi!"). :lol:

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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby Jillybean » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:36 pm

Défi admis :biggrin:

But for now I have a book of arsenic and spats to challenge me... :wave:
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Re: Dandelion Dead

Postby mohairMK » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:16 am

Jillybean wrote:While on a book-buying trip to Hay-on-Wye a few months back I picked up 'The Hay Poisoner' by Martin Beale and as I have a few festive days off from work, I thought it time to dust it off.

Beale also wrote 'Dead Not Buried: Herbert Rowse Armstrong' - I'm not entirely sure how different this is to 'The Hay Poisoner' but if anyone is interested in either, they are both on Amazon (also on eBay but more expensive):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hay-Poisoner-Martin-Beales/dp/0709061234/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Not-Buried-Herbert-Armstrong/dp/0709056028


Fascinating post, Jilly. This is a very interesting topic, and I think as many people believe in Armstrong's innocence as in his guilt. But as to proof, more than circumstantial, we may never have any, one way or the other. :waiting:

A music video of Dandelion Dead? More of a comedy than a love story I would think! :eyeroll:
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