Behind the Scenes

"My room with a view (below). I had been looking forward to filming in Florence — we were housed a little outside the old city!"

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L to R: Guido,Penelope Keith. Janet Suzman, Stanley, Christopher Miles, Ian McKellen, Ava Gardner, Jorge Riveras

"The steam-train had been brought out of retirement and, for this publicity shot, renamed"

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The Lawrences’ bed-time disturbed by a Mexican earthquake

"Such effects take a long time to set up and this one was so complicated it could only be filmed once by the three cameras shooting simultaneously. Janet and I were to sit up in bed and on cue re-act to the quake’s rumble as cracks appeared in the wall. Under the bed stage-hands shook its frame as plaster and debris fell from the mock ceiling. At last this one-off shot was ready for 'action' — everything went according to plan until the last moment when I had to leap from the bed to safety. As I pulled back the bedclothes they revealed my lighter, the gold packet of 20 Benson and Hedges cigarettes and my half-finished crossword in the previous morning’s copy of the London Times newspaper!" — Ian McKellen, August 1999

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Lawrence sailing near Lake Guarda in northern Italy

"Two game extras enlivened the scene - signing autographs is the director's sister Sarah Miles, accompanied by my lover the (temporarily) non-speaking Sean Mathias"