Tag Archives: The Four Beauties

Just one week into a psychopath’s term in office and the Doomsday Clock has advanced 30 seconds. Humanity is going to need lots of luck to avoid ending up like the chickens in these scenes.



Oh, to have been among the fortunate audience who caught the 1974 broadcast of The Early Life of Stephen Hind (based on Storm Jameson’s novel) before it was sadly locked away from public view in the BBC vault like so much of Michael Kitchen’s television work. I can only imagine, after reading Clive James’s assessment in The Guardian (Dec. 22, 1974), how ruthlessly attractive Michael Kitchen must have been in the title role:

The Early Life of Stephen Hind (BBC2) was a three-part mini-series which did its thing and split before I could recommend it. Based on a Storm Jameson novel, it was handled with great style in all departments. Michael Kitchen ably played a Felix Krull type who charmed the ladies in all directions. It was surely no ordeal for Kitchen to stand around being called good-looking by a stream of personable women. But the character he was portraying, it emerged, was a bit of a rat — a bounder working his way up in the publishing world by a series of betrayals. He had a comeback, though, when taxed with acquisitiveness. He had been born into a life without order, comfort or beauty, and now that he had seen these things he wanted them for himself.

Michael Kitchen was also in the repeat of one of the best Country Matters. The Four Beauties (Granada). Again he was being adored by a row of stunning girls. How does this guy do it?

For someone who expressed such reluctance in kissing dear Henry, she sure came around in the end.

Veronica Quilligan certainly got lucky very early in her career. In 1974, she was again one of Michael Kitchen’s costars in the National Theatre’s premiere of Spring Awakening.

My top 20 Michael Kitchen roles:

7. Henry Batley in Country Matters: The Four Beauties (1973)

Completely stunned and delighted when I first watched MK in this romantic comedy playing a young reporter who’s a bit out of his league dealing with the four Davenport women.  Contains the most swoonworthy kiss he’s ever filmed, in my opinion.

Michael Kitchen smoking.

Glad Foyle doesn’t smoke. Wonder if MK had anything to do with that decision.

Thanks for uploading “The Four Beauties”! After what I have read about it on your blog, I am going to watch it tonight! Can’t wait to see the full kissing scene! mkmohair

The Four Beauties – wherein MK proves he is a sensational kisser. He barely even comes up for air!  Thanks for giving me a reason to revisit this scene.

Likewise, steviecat123, likewise.

anonymous said:

I’ve just discovered your very welcome up-load of The Four Beauties on YouTube. It’s lovely having it back again. Thanks. Special thanks, too, for those great pics from A&E which are a joy to look at. No wonder Christine looks so happy watching that expressive face – lucky girl!

Many thanks for your note.  Just wish I had better quality video to share and work with.  The Four Beauties and A&E are two MK gems that I would love to see released on DVD.

I’ve recently re-uploaded Country Matters: The Four Beauties so that it’s all in one YouTube video rather than in 4 parts, since I no longer seem to have a time limit on uploads.  I’ve also corrected the aspect ratio, as all the actors were looking squat in the original uploads.  For those who thought MK looked good in the original uploads, he looks even better now!  Enjoy.

steviecat123 said:

I have just spent a wonderful hour being enchanted by The Four Beauties. I think I have fallen more deeply in love with MK than before, although I didn’t think it was possible. I am typing this with the goofiest of grins on my face. Bless you, J. :))

Precisely my reaction when I first watched it, goofy grin included.  The Four Beauties ranks at the top of my all-time favorite MK pieces and makes me wish all the more that he had more romantic comedy type films to his credit.  I’m so glad to know you enjoyed it as much as I did, J.

Michael Kitchen is dapper beyond his years as he smokes a pipe in the final scenes of The Four Beauties in which Henry has a chance encounter with none other than the fourth beauty.

24-year-old Michael Kitchen looking very young and innocent in Country Matters: The Four Beauties (1973). Kudos to whoever styled MK’s full head of curls for this show so that there’s no trace of bad 70’s hair. 

Puppy love.  So adorable.

Still limping from Sophie’s earlier abuse, Henry is nevertheless taken in by her feminine wiles and agrees against his better judgement to pick a rose for her. I hope that dog was well trained. If it’s anything like the massive Great Dane I encountered recently, the slobber alone is a scary prospect.

Funny how the tables are turned two decades later:

One of my favorite scenes in The Four Beauties is this one in which Henry flirts with Sophie and ends up unleashing a hot-headed response from her that quite literally leaves him licking his wounds.  She apparently can’t take a joke or a compliment.

Yes, that really is Michael Kitchen being half smothered by Kate Nelligan’s ample bosom!  I’m not quite sure why Henry is lying in Christabel Davenport’s lap, but he must be exhausted after an evening of trying to keep up with his overly exuberant dance partner and then making out with her in a local park.   

Poor Henry becomes an unwilling participant in a boys rugby game and finds himself knocked flat on his back with his feet floundering in the air.  Hopefully, Michael Kitchen only had to do one take of this scene!

Thankfully, in the same year he played the tragic Branwell in the Brontes series, Michael Kitchen also starred in a light comedy as junior reporter and ladies man, Henry Batley. Henry hates his job but finds plenty of solace in the eager embraces of the three Davenport sisters and their mother, all of whom crush on him. (Perfectly understandable.)  I laughed out loud when I watched this scene from Country Matters: The Four Beauties (1973) showing all three adoring sisters sharing Henry between them at the movie theater. There’s just barely enough of him to go around!  The Four Beauties contains all the elements to make it an instant favorite of mine – physical comedy, flirtatious banter, MK in every scene – not to mention more instances of passionate, romantic kissing by MK than I’ve ever seen him do in a role… .

bplutchak said:

All the girls pawing him and he just takes it in stride. So adorable.

The numerous indignities he suffers at the hands of the three sisters in this episode is so comical, and yes, adorable.