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Welland, Colin (1934-)

Actor, Writer

Main image of Welland, Colin (1934-)

Notoriously waving his Oscar for the screenplay of Chariots of Fire (d. Hugh Hudson, 1981) aloft, Colin Welland announced "The British are coming!" In the ensuing years, it must often have seemed as if they - and Welland - had lost their way.

Nothing in his subsequent career, much on TV, has matched Chariots' eloquent, nostalgic hymn to British achievement: there were the South African-set A Dry White Season (US, d. Euzhan Palcy, 1989) and The War of the Buttons (UK/France, d. John Roberts, 1994), but neither found audiences.

He has always maintained an acting career as well, but, again, his first film role, as the sympathetic English teacher in Kes (d. Ken Loach, 1969) remains his best. On TV, he was in Z Cars (BBC, 1963-65) and Bramwell (ITV, 1995-98).

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Thumbnail image of Chariots of Fire (1981)Chariots of Fire (1981)

Oscar-winning story of two British Olympic athletes

Thumbnail image of Kes (1969)Kes (1969)

Masterly Ken Loach film about a lonely boy adopting a wild kestrel

Thumbnail image of Villain (1971)Villain (1971)

Underrated gangster drama starring Richard Burton

Thumbnail image of Blue Remembered Hills (1979)Blue Remembered Hills (1979)

Dennis Potter recreates a 1940s West Country childhood, using adult actors

Thumbnail image of Leeds - United! (1974)Leeds - United! (1974)

Radical dramadoc about women textile workers striking for equal pay

Thumbnail image of Z Cars (1962-78)Z Cars (1962-78)

Groundbreaking cop drama introducing new grit and realism

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