Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Did Mason have an M.A. in architecture from Cambridge?


manderstoke
 Share

Recommended Posts

It's well known that he had a B.A. from Cambridge, but I read that he later received his M.A.  There is no mention of this in his autobiography and in Morley's biography.  Does anyone know about this and if so, what is your source?

 

He had a "first", whatever that is

 

Here are some interesting Mason interviews I happen to have been watching today:

 

http://youtu.be/Py_XAf4jKQM

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A "first" in the British university system is not a degree.  It means that the student had an accumulative grade point average between A and A-.  Mason was only one of three students who graduated with degrees in architecture that year who earned a "first."  One smart cookie. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/lfahighlights/lfahighlights_19840810-1318a.mp3

 

It is not with foolish boast that I recall, with almost frightening clarity, how a young man, more than half a century ago, came walking across a common in Cambridge, his neck swathed in a college scarf, his body leaning against one of those perishing winter winds that sweep across the damp Fen country.

 

He was on his way to an appointment with the high muckamuck of an acting society, not long established, called the Cambridge University Mummers and, as the president of that society, it was one of my jobs to hold auditions for aspiring members. And, since I lived in rooms on an upper floor of a house in Chesterton Road, I looked out across the common that dank day and saw this neat young man leaning into the wind.

 

He was coming for an audition and during that winter I used the script of one play for the men's auditions. It was called 'Journey's End' – the first honest play about the First World War. It was played entirely in a dugout. It was put on originally for a private society in London but when the critic James Agate wrote at glowing length about it and said it was a scandal that this noble play could not get backing to be seen in the West End, a sponsor was found and 'Journey's End' became the theatrical sensation, first of London and then of New York.

 

There were two parts in it that were so far apart in character and style that anybody reading first one and then the other could not help revealing some glimmer of talent. One part was that of Lieutenant Raleigh, a blue-eyed public school infant. The other was a whisky-sodden cynic, Captain Stanhope. So, when the intense young man swathed in the Peterhouse scarf knocked on my door and came in, we exchanged howdedoos and I told him we would, together, read a passage of dialogue, each of us taking one part and then the other.

 

He had a ruddy, a pink, face, a finely modelled head and, I remember, large piercing brown eyes. He was painfully shy and his eyes had a wary look, as of a fine fox expecting any minute to hear the huntsman's horn. I'm sorry to say that he gave no sign of any acting talent whatsoever. We had some coffee and though my normal cowardly practice with duds was to suggest that we'd call them, I felt there was no point in delaying the agony. I asked him what he was studying. 'Architecture,' he said. To my shame, which embarrassed me for years to come, I said, 'Stick to it!' And he was on his way.

 

-- Alistair Cooke

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the videos and the passage from Alastair Cooke, loved them both.  I had heard the story about Cooke, but never in its entirety.  Mason's career certainly did get off to a rocky start, as he was fired from his first acting role after four days of shooting.  Then Al Parker saw him at a cast party (Mason often went to these parties in order to have something to eat as he was desperately poor during this time), thought he was so good-looking that he should be in pictures.  Parker cast him as the lead in LATE EXTRA (1936), and Mason's film career was launched.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...