By Stephen Bourne
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28 Martin Bauml Duberman, Paul Robeson (London: Bodley Head, 1989), p. 208. 29 Cameron, Africa on Film, p. 26. 30 Sean Creighton, Politics atid Culture: Paul Robeson in the UK (London: Agenda Services, 1998), p. 4. 31 Peter Noble, Reflected Glory (London: Jarrolds, 1958), p. 37. 32 David Berry, Wales and Cinema (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1994), p. 168. 33 Graham Greene, Spectator, 15 March 1940. 34 Seton, Paul Robeson, p. 121. 35 Michael Balcón, Michael Balcón Presents ... A Lifetime of Films (London: Hutchinson, 1969), p.
Florent also appeared in three comedies starring Will Hay, who, during that period, was one of the most popular stars in British films. In Windbag the Sailor (1936) Hay is cast away on a cannibal island, and Florent played the cannibal king's right-hand man. In Hey! Hey! USA (1938) Florent appears as an extra in the large crowd scene at the end of the film, and in Old Bones of the River (1938) he makes a brief appearance as Chief Tahiti, from whom Hay tries to collect taxes. Of the guinea a day Napoleon was paid for film-extra work, 10 per cent went to his agent.
He definitely had a Victorian attitude to raising his children. That generation of West Indians could be very strict. 5 35 Black in the British Frame In 1948 Florent made his last film appearance in David Lean's screen version of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. He is clearly visible as the elderly white-haired gentleman in the sequence set in the Three Cripples pub. He died at the age of eighty-four on 6 March 1959 and on his death certificate his occupation is entered as 'Theatrical Artist (Retired)'.
Black in the British Frame: The Black Experience in British Film and Television by Stephen Bourne