Actor David Wood, left, with The Picture House owner Kevin Markwick and the original poster of the 1968 film he acted in.

Chance sighting of film poster brings actor to Uckfield

The chance sighting of an original film poster on the wall of  The Picture House Restaurant in Uckfield led to an actor visiting town for a special screening of the 1968 film he appeared in.

It was actor David Wood’s sister-in-law, who lives locally, who saw the poster for the classic film, ‘if’.

David’s daughter then contacted The Picture House to see if it would be interested in hosting a special screening of the film, directed by Lindsay Anderson and which won the Cannes Palme d’Or in 1969.


David Wood on screen in ‘if’.


‘if’ told  the story of life in an English public school and was made to reflect the revolutionary fever of the late 60s.

Writers of the story and screenplay David Sherwin and John Howlett were both pupils at Tonbridge public school in Kent, and the film is based on their experiences there.

Coincidentally David Wood has just written a book ‘Filming If’ in which he recalls being a young actor on set, working hard, while enjoying being in what has become a cult classic British movie.


David Wood in the foyer of The Picture House Cinema with copies of his book Filming If.


The special screening was held at The Picture House and David took part in a Q&A session with insights into the making of the film.

Some audience members were ex-pupils of Tonbridge School and had known both David Sherwin and John Howlett.  Another audience member was in the film as an extra.

The film made a star of the lead actor Malcom McDowell who went on to be the star of Kubrick’s cult film A Clockwork Orange after Kubrick saw him in ‘if’.

Interestingly the cinema also has the original poster of A Clockwork Orange on display and it will be screening A Clockwork Orange on September 22 as part of its Cinephile Sundays strand.  Now the team is wondering: “Perhaps we could get Malcom to pay us a visit too!”

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