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About the book
  • Published: 15 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099569329
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $24.99
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Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down

How One Generation of British Actors Changed the World




Jaw-dropping tales of legendary excess and bad behaviour from the British stars of the 1950s and 60s, from the author of the bestselling Hellraisers and Hollywood Hellraisers.

Alan Bates, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Tom Courtenay, Albert Finney, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, Robert Shaw and Terence Stamp: They are the most formidable acting generation ever to tread the boards or stare into a camera, whose anti-establishment attitude changed the cultural landscape of Britain.

This was a new breed, many culled from the working class industrial towns of Britain, and nothing like them has been seen before or since. Their raw earthy brilliance brought realism to a whole range of groundbreaking theatre from John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger to Joan Littlewood and Harold Pinter and the creation of the National Theatre. And they ripped apart the staid, middle class British film industry with kitchen sink classics like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, This Sporting Life, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, A Kind of Loving and Billy Liar before turning their sights on international stardom: Connery with James Bond, O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia, Finney with Tom Jones and Caine in Zulu.

Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down brings alive the trail-blazing period of theatre and film from 1956-1964 through the vibrant energy and exploits of this revolutionary generation of stars who bulldozed over austerity Britain and paved the way for the swinging 60s. What Peter Biskind’s ‘Easy Riders Raging Bulls’ did for American cinema writing so ‘Don’t Let the Bastards’ will do for the British cinema.

  • Pub date: 15 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099569329
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Robert Sellers

Robert Sellers is a former stand-up comedian and the author of the bestselling Hellraisers. He has also written biographies of Sting, Tom Cruise, two appreciations of the work of Sean Connery and the definitive book on The Pythons, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Robert was a regular contributor to Empire, Total Film, Independent, SFX and Cinema Retro and has contributed to a number of television documentaries, including Channel 4's The 100 Best Family Films.

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Praise for Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down

“A rollicking good read ... a vivid snapshot of this exciting time”

Lynn Barber, Sunday Times

“The undeniable fun of this book lies in the accounts of everyone's youthful misbehaviour - hell-raising, as it used to be called”

Daily Mail, Book of the Week

“Ahighly partial but persuasive account ... pacy and well-written”

Evening Standard, film books of the year

“A rollicking good read ... a vivid snapshot of this exciting time”

Lynn Barber, Sunday Times


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