Saturday, 28 May 2016



FILM 1536: 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD 

TRIVIA: Mel Brooks bought Anne Bancroft the rights to the book "84 Charing Cross Road" for her birthday one year.

The history of the Marks and Co book-store is briefly outlined on their website. It states: "Benjamin Marks and Mark Cohen began bookselling in 1904, when they were both employed by the firm of Henry Sotheran Ltd an old established bookseller. Sotheran's are generally acknowledged as being the 'training school' for many of the leading booksellers of the 20th century. When they decided to go into business together Mark Cohen reluctantly agreed to his partner's suggestion that the firm be called Marks & Co rather than Marks and Cohen and the pair set up shop in Old Compton Street before moving first to No. 108 and then 106 Charing Cross Road. The facade of 108 Charing Cross Road has changed a great deal since the 1920's but some things remain the same ...'108' is still a book shop. The move to the shop next door came about when Marks & Co acquired the business of George W. Davis who traded from No. 106. Davis was an acknowledged expert on the works of Charles Dickens and with the purchase of this firm Marks & Co found themselves with possibly the best stock of Dickensia in London. In 1928, probably as part of the takeover deal, Marks & Co published a short bibliography of the The Pickwick Papers written by Davis. The shop now had two areas of specialization the other being that of Freemasonry and the Occult and indeed a whole floor would be devoted to these subjects when the business moved to No. 84. In addition Marks & Co held a good stock of general books plus bound sets of popular authors, topography, natural history and modern first editions".

Helene Hanff's former apartment house at 301 E. 72nd Street in New York has been named "Charing Cross House" in her honor. A brass plaque at the entrance commemorates her residence and her authorship of her book "84 Charing Cross Road".

The movie was produced by Brooksfilms of which Mel Brooks was executive producer of this film. Star Anne Bancroft and Brooks were married at the time the film was made and released.

Frank Doel reads the W. B. Yeats poem "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" ('Had I the heavens embroidered cloths'). In real life Anthony Hopkins is related to Yeats on his mother's side.

Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins previously appeared in The Elephant Man (1980), another film based on a true story. Both films were produced by Mel Brooks.

Connie Booth (The Lady from Delaware) previously played Ginny in Play for Today: 84, Charing Cross Road (1975).

The film takes place from 1949 to 1971.



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