Devotees of the legitimate stage can’t picture Ms Whitelaw without an attendant pile of mud and crap covering her lower half, but her cinema roles were every bit as disturbing as Beckett. She was run over by Gregory Peck in The Omen. On the showbiz skids in The Comedy Man. Dragged into Albert Finney’s hardboiled fantasy in Gumshoe. Attacked by Donald Pleasence in The Flesh and the Fiends. Even worse, married to Donald Pleasence in Hell is a City. Surely becoming a deranged, disembodied mouth was small relief after that lot?
FINEST HOUR: Hayley Mills’s frustrated mum unwisely coming on to Hywell Bennett in Twisted Nerve.