Episode 41

Soho Bites 41: The Green Cockatoo (1937)

At last! It's the long awaited exotic birds episode.

The Green Cockatoo (1937) is a noir-ish thriller set in gangland Soho. The Green Cockatoo of the title is not actually a beautiful tropical bird but a drab Soho nightclub. When Dave Connor gets on the wrong side of some gangsters, his brother, Jim and an innocent bystander, Eileen get caught up in the trouble.

Directed by William Cameron Menzies, it stars John Mills, supported by Rene Ray (The Countess of Midleton! Yes really!) & Robert Newton. The film has a superb supporting cast and was based on a story by Graham Greene.

Nigel Smith pays his first visit to Soho Bites to talk about the film.

Follow Nigel on Twitter & check out his many projects HERE.

Watch Nigel's Nerd Nites talk about Alfred Hitchcock HERE.

In the first half of the show, the exotic bird we're talking about is an actual bird, not a night club - the Green Ringed Parakeet. London is home to tens of thousands of these green feathery friends and their population is growing.

Nick Hunt became, for a few months, a "Gonzo Ornitholigist" investigating these birds and he joins us to tell us about his discoveries and explain what Gonzo Ornithology is. In collaboration with photographer, Tim Mitchell, he wrote a fantastic little book on the subject: "Parakeeting in London: An Adventure in Gonzo Ornithology". Buy your copy HERE.

Follow Nick on Twitter and read about his other work on his website.

Read all about Ring Necked Parakeets.

You can watch The Green Cockatoo, in full, on YouTube.

Interesting article about The Green Cockatoo.

Some pictures of exotic London nightclubs from the early 20th century

The originator of Soho Bites, Dr Jingan Young, has a new book out all about.... guess what? Films set in Soho! Get your copy at Foyles.

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