Friday, July 02, 2010


In 1968 Searle was hired to create the title sequence for Ken Annakin's 'MONTE CARLO OR BUST!' - a follow up of sorts to 'THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES'- for which Searle had also created a memorable title sequence.

I'm grateful to Mr Searle for allowing me to photograph & present here pages from the original sketchbook he kept on the set of the film.  I'd presented a slideshow of these images at the various presentations I made on Searle's work in animation & film titles. Here for the first time on the blog you can browse through his sketches and notes made while following the production on location around Europe. . .

With his customary meticulous attention to detail Searle records the duration of his trip between the 25th July to the 10th August 1968.  The film was released the following year.

In the photo below Ronald is sketching at the Rome location accompanied by Monica and director Ken Annakin.  I presume the notebook he's holding is the same one I photographed 40 years later. He's probably making the sketch shown above.

Here we can see Searle starting to explore the action of the title sequence.

Searle produced the final titles with production outfit TRICKFILM, with whom he also created the title sequences for Ronald Neame's 1970 film SCROOGE.

The rest of the drawings in the sketchbook were published as a tie-in, illustrated book of the film. They include Searle's sketches of the principal actors including Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eric Sykes, Tony Curtis and Gert Frobe.

The roving artist made sure he was on set for the scene where the girls stop to bathe in a river!

Searle even caught the screenwriter of the film, Jack Davies, on set.

You can read a well illustrated review of the film here.


illustrationISM.... said...

GREAT Searle sketchbook pages!

Docnad said...

Wow! It is a great privilege to get an eyeful of these never-before-seen pages, Matt! It seems unlikely to me that the Wilhelm Busch Museum will ever publish even a few of Searle's trove of donated sketchbooks, so we're all very grateful to you for this stunning post. Once again you have provided a rare insight into Searle's wonderful work. It is perhaps not altogether surprising that Searle's roughs are so consistently good, and not all that different in quality from his finished artwork.

Matt J said...

Thanks for the comments fellas-always appreciate feedback. We were lucky that Ronald allowed us to leaf through his sketchbooks & photograph whatever we wanted. Now they're all in the archive at Hanover it's unlikely that photography would be permitted-I believe they will be accessible though.

geraldgee said...

His great love of drawing puts us all to shame.

CrowPie said...

amazing post, thanks Matt!!